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 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.."
The New England Charter signed by King James the I, confirmed this goal.."to advance the enlargement of Christian religion, to the glorY of God Almighty." Governor Bradford in writing of the Pilgrims landing, describes their first act: "being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven.."
When Rhode Island formulated her charter in 1683 she began it this way, "We submit our persons, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of King and Lord of Lords and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His, given us in His Holy Word."
And in the summer of 1787, when representatives met in Philadelphia to write that Constitution of the United States. After they had struggled for several weeks and had made little or no progress, 81 year old Benjamin Franklin rose and addressed the troubled and disagreeing convention that was about to adjourn in confusion.
"IN THE BEGINNING OF THE CONTEST WITH BRITAIN, WHEN WE WERE SENSIBLE OF DANGER, WE HAD DAILY PRAYERS IN THIS ROOM FOR 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.. HAVE WE NOW FORGOTTEN THIS POWERFUL FRIEND? OR DO WE IMAGINE WE NO LONGER NEED HIS ASSISTANCE?