Summary: How to find the hope we need: 1. Remember God's rescues (vs. 1-3). 2. Cry out for God's compassion (vs. 4-9). 3. Trust in God's truth (vs. 8-13).
America's Great Heritage and Hope
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 2, 2014
*On July 4th, 1776, King George III of England wrote about the day in his diary, and this is what he wrote: "July 4, 1776: Nothing happened today." (1)
*He couldn't have been farther from the truth! -- Because up in Philadelphia, Congress adopted our Declaration of Independence. It begins with these words:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . ."
*The United States of America was born on that day. Now 238 years later, we are about to celebrate the birthday of our country. Our country was born with the hope of help from above. And today we can still find the hope we need. Psalm 85 shows us how.
1. The first thing to do is remember God's rescues.
*Remember how God has helped us in the past. Remember how God has blessed us in the past. That's what the Psalmist did in vs. 1-3, where he lifted up this praise to God:
1. Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah
3. You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.
*Here God "brought back the captivity of Jacob," and God has rescued His people many times.
 Think about the evidence of His rescue it in the history of our nation.
*God has intervened on our behalf time after time. In 1776, the British Empire had the most powerful army in the world. America had a rag-tag army of farmers and shop-owners. They were out-manned, out-gunned and out-financed. Without God's intervention, the colonies had no chance of winning the war against England. But God did intervene.
*For example, on Aug. 27, 1776, just weeks after the Declaration was signed, Washington's army of 8,000 men was trapped by the East River, near Brooklyn, NY. Nearby, 20,000 crack British soldiers were poised to attack, only waiting for their fleet. Washington desperately needed to evacuate his men across the mile-wide river, but their small boats could only hold a few men at a time. And Washington knew that when the sun came up, the boats would be sitting ducks for the British artillery.
*How did God help the Americans? -- First: sudden rains and a strong wind kept the British fleet from sailing. Then, when the sun came up on the fleeing Americans, an unusual fog formed and visibility dropped down to only 6 yards. That fog stayed put until the very last boat, carrying Washington himself, set off across the river.
*Then it suddenly lifted, and the British were stunned to see the empty shore. They fired their guns at Washington's boat, but by then, it was out of range. You could call it luck, but there is no such thing as luck. And the men who were there wrote in their diaries that it was the Hand of God. There is no way this nation could have ever been started without Divine intervention. (2)
*Also consider the last battle of the American Revolution at Yorktown: The weather was good, except during two vital periods. On the night Washington began digging approach trenches, a soldier recorded that "we were favored by Providence with a night of extreme darkness," and by a gentle rain that muffled the sound of digging.
*Then, near the end of the siege, British General Cornwallis attempted a breakout by ferrying his best troops across the York River at night. Halfway through the operation, "the weather . . . changed to a most violent storm of wind and rain" that drove the barges down river and left Cornwallis' forces divided and scattered. The adverse turn of the weather completely disrupted the attempted breakout," and Cornwallis surrendered the next day. (3)
*Tradition says that after the British surrender, the defeated Redcoats departed to the sounds of a song called, "The World Turned Upside Down." Part of it goes like this:
"If ponies rode men and grass ate cows,
And cats were chased into holes by the mouse . . .