Summary: In this message we will see how the nation of Isreal and America have much in common - some good & some bad.
"IF MY PEOPLE"
I. A NATION UNDER GOD
Solomon had just finished the 7 year building project of the Temple of God. A project that had over 160,000 workers, 3,300 foremen and used hundreds of tons of pure gold.
And after the Temple was complete Solomon placed on the altar a burnt offering and spread his hands towards heaven and prayed (I Kings 8, II Chronicles 6).
"AND WHEN SOLOMON FINISHED PRAYING, FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND CONSUMED THE BURNT OFFERING AND THE SACRIFICES, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TEMPLE. THE PRIESTS COULD NOT ENTER THE TEMPLE BECAUSE THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED IT. WHEN ALL THE ISRAELITES SAW THE FIRE COMING DOWN AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD, ABOVE THE TEMPLE, THEY KNELT WITH THEIR FACES TO THE GROUND, AND THEY WORSHIP AND GAVE THANKS TO THE LORD, SAYING;"HE IS GOOD; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER."
And then Solomon and the people offered more sacrifices before the Lord; 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And the priests and Levities took their positions and with the Lord’s musical instruments that David had made that gave thanks and praised God singing, "HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER..." And they celebrated God for seven full days.
It was a great moment for the Israelite Nation and her King, It was a high point for a nation that has seen many ups and downs over the past 1,000 years. David their first King had said in Ps 33:12, "THAT BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD..."
AND FOR THE MOMENT ISRAEL WAS A NATION UNDER GOD!
Tomorrow is the fourth of July and all across this vast and wide country, Americans will be celebrating the day the United States declared her independence from the British Empire.
Yes tomorrow night there will be much celebrating and fireworks bursting in the air. If you happen to go to see fireworks tonight, take a few minutes to look at the people, Most watching really have no idea as to what they are celebrating or what America is all about. Most are just looking for a reason to party and get crazy.
One Nation ...Under God!
What does that mean?
It means that we have this land, this flag, this government as a gift from Almighty God.
It means that this did not become, "the land of the free and the home of the brave" by blind fate or a happy set of coincidences, but that a wise and benevolent God was hovering over us from the very beginning of conception...
When Columbus discovered this land, he took a cross in his hands and planted it upon the new soil, fell upon his knees, kissing the earth, taking possession of this continent for God.
When our forefathers landed at Cape Henry in 1607 the first thing they erected was not a building, but a cross.
It was faith that hung the lanterns on the prow of the Mayflower as she charted the dangerous Atlantic. The very purpose of the Pilgrims coming to America in 1620 was to establish a government based on the Bible. And to ensure that future generations would know the reason why they came they wrote the Mayflower Compact which said, "HAVING UNDERTAKEN FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH... WE DO SOLEMNLY AND MUTUALLY IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND ONE ANOTHER, COVENANT AND COMBINE OURSELVES TOGETHER.."