Summary: We speak from the overflow of the heart. Our Founders knew and spoke scripture. What flows from within us?
1. Let’s play a game of Fill in the Blank and Name That Movie
• I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t _____ (refuse). – Godfather, 1972
• May the ___ (force) be with you. – Star Wars, 1977
• There’s no place like ____ (home). Wizard of Oz, 1939
• You can’t handle the ____ (truth). A Few Good Men, 1992
• You’re gonna need a bigger ____ (boat). Jaws, 1975
2. How did you do? Maybe well, maybe I could have chosen some more familiar movies, buy by in large, most Americans can quote lines from popular movies. We are especially good at quoting from movies we have seen repeatedly. What does that say about us?
3. Matthew 12:33-37 (especially vv. 34-35) 33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
4. Let’s play a different game – an American history game. I’m going to read a speech from some of our Founding Fathers and you tell me the verses the speaker used.
David Barton wrote an article in the Founders' Bible which highlights the biblical knowledge and dependence of our Founding Fathers. See "Out of the Abundance of the Heart," Founders' Bible, pp. 1453-1458.
Notice how the famous speeches and writings of prominent Founding Fathers affirm this truth. For example, consider the words of Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention. The early weeks of the Convention were marked by strong disagreement, so as some delegates were beginning to leave the Convention in frustration and disgust, Franklin addressed the delegates at that crucial point, telling them:
In this situation of this assembly groping, as it were, in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Britain when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor... And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred, Writings that except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel... and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.
Unrealized by many today is that in those nine sentences, Franklin quoted eight different Bible phrases appearing in thirteen different Bible verses:
1. Groping in the dark (Job 12:25)
2. The Father of Lights (James 1:17)
3. Illuminate our understanding (James 1:5)
4. A sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice (Matthew 10:29;
6. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1)
7. The builders of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
John Quincy Adams affirmed Colonial knowledge of the Bible when he said:
With regard to the history contained in the Bible... it is so much praiseworthy to be acquainted with as it is shameful to be ignorant of it.
Consider next Patrick Henry’s famous speech, in which he told the assembled legislators:
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty and in such a country as that which we possess are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is just God, Who presides over the destinies of nations, and Who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.... Gentlemen may cry, “Peace, Peace,” but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in field! Why stand we here idle? "What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!