Summary: Psalm 33:12-22 begins by saying “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...” The rest of the chapter describes how our country can continue to survive as a free people, blessed of God
In God We Trust
July 4th sermon
July 3, 2016
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Adapted from Bruce Howell’s sermon, “Happy Birthday America” found on SermonCentral.com.
TEXT: Psalm 33:12 – “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Tomorrow will be the 240th year anniversary of the United States. Historically, that’s actually a long time for a nation to remain free. 240 years may seem like a long time, but did you know that 240 years is actually just 12 generations?
But even its brief history on the world stage, God has richly blessed the United States. It is the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
It also has a wonderfully rich spiritual history.
• It was founded by pious Pilgrims and Puritans.
• Two of the greatest religious revivals in history, known as the First and the Second Great Awakenings, occurred in the United States.
• Rev. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and almost all the forefathers extolled Christianity and its morality.
• It was the teachings of Christ that was the basis for the end of our country’s national discrace—slavery, and it was devoted Christians who lobbied endlessly to abolish it.
• My County, ’Tis of Thee was written by a Baptist minister, Samuel Francis Smith.
• The Pledge of Allegience was written in 1892 by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy.
• The words “In God We Trust” are traced to the efforts of Rev. W.R. Watkinson.
God truly has shed His grace on the United States of America...and there’s a reason or it.
Illus. – When it was a young country, the Frenchman, Alexis de Toucqueville, visited the United States to discover what made America so great. He traveled across its vast land, looking for greatness in its harbors and rivers, its fertile fields and boundless forests. He studied its schools, its military, its Congress, its Constitution—but still he could not find the secret.
It was not until he went into its churches and heard its pulpits “aflame with righteousness” that he found the answer. When he returned to Europe, he wrote, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Sadly, our country has ceased to be good and is no longer great in many ways.
• It once stood for the Ten Commandments, but today the Ten Commandments are mocked, and often are illegal to even mention in a public setting.
• When the founding fathers reached a deadlock in the Constitutional Convention and simply could not agree on a crucial point, one of the members suggested that they have a prayer meeting; and right there the members of the Continental Congress knelt down and prayed for God’s wisdom. – Sadly, today prayer is illegal in our public schools.
• Violence, crime, abortion, immorality, drunkenness, pornography, governmental corruption, rampant materialism, an insatiable desire for sinful pleasure, and every imaginable sin are a pretty apt description of broad swaths of Americans.
And yet, on every American coin and paper bill is the little motto “In God We Trust.” Today, the motto on our coins is no longer true, but it SHOULD be true for us who name the name of Christ. How can we transfer the motto, “In God We Trust” from our money into our hearts? The answer lies in Psalm 33—not just in verse 12, but in the rest of the chapter as well. I’d like you to see three principles in this chapter we as believer should observe if we are to survive as a free people, blessed of God.
I. THE FIRST PRINCIPLE IS REVERENCE FOR GOD.
Verse 18 says: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him….”
The idea of fearing God in the Bible encompasses two ideas:
• One is a fear of judgment for willful sin that that we do not repent of and forsake. – Hebrews 10:29-30 says, “For we know him that hath said, ‘Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense,’ saith the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’”
• The second, more common way the phrase “fear of the Lord” is used in the Bible is a idea of a reverence and respect for God and the things of God.
Our nation desperately needs to return to reverence for God. But today in our culture we have gone far beyond disrespect to outright blasphemy!
• Ordinary people’s speech is spiced regularly with GD this and GD that, and the precious, holy name of Jesus has become a common expletive.