TEXT: GENESIS 28:16-22
The background for this scripture is that Jacob had stolen his brother Esau’s blessing, and for fear of Esau, he fled to the land of Padanaram. He stopped for the night and went to sleep and had a dream where God revealed His glory to him. God promised to bless him and keep him and eventually bring him back to his homeland. When he awoke Jacob took the stone he had used for a pillow and, “set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it” (vs 18). He made a vow that if God would bring him back home again safely, that the stone which he set up as a pillar, and its place would be called God's house. The word, “Pillar” in the Hebrew is “mats-tse-bah’,” and means, “monument, a personal memorial. By setting up this stone Jacob erected a monument to memorialize this significant event in his life. He set up a memorial statue.
Did you know that on December 18, 2007, The House of Representatives passed a Resolution naming the first week of May as “American Religious History Week?” It is long with a lot of “whereas-es” for the appropriateness of the Resolution, such as: “Whereas some of the most important monuments, buildings, and landmarks in Washington, DC, include religious words, symbols, and imagery;” and, “Whereas religious artwork is found throughout the United States Capitol, including in the Rotunda where the prayer service of Christopher Columbus, the Baptism of Pocahontas, and the prayer and Bible study of the Pilgrims are all prominently displayed;” and, “Whereas the Lincoln Memorial contains numerous acknowledgments of God and citations of Bible verses, including the declarations that “we here highly resolve that … this nation under God … shall not perish from the earth”, etc., etc.
The Resolution ends with four statements of “therefore be it resolved,” the third of which is most important to my topic: It reads, “The United States House of Representatives… rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation’s public buildings and educational resources.”
These Marxist-Communist, God, and America-haters, such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other anarchist revolutionaries and criminals who are behind destroying our statues and monuments, are doing it to take away our heritage. Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are our country’s two greatest Presidents. Last week, on June 19th, rioters in Portland, OR wrapped the American Flag around the head of a statue of Washington, lit it on fire, and pulled the statue down to the ground. A TV News crew found the statue face down and covered in graffiti. Another group has vowed to tear down the Emancipation Statue of Lincoln in Washington, DC. They don’t like the fact that the black man is below Lincoln, seemingly on his knees. But that is not the truth.
Michael Giorgino wrote about the statue in the Federalist Blog Post. He said, “Charlotte Scott was a former slave, freed by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. When she heard that President Lincoln had been assassinated, Scott stated, ‘The colored people have lost their best friend on earth! Mr. Lincoln was our best friend, and I will give five dollars of my wages towards erecting a monument to his memory.’ He went on: “Her contribution sparked a movement for freed slaves to raise money to erect a memorial to Lincoln. The monument drive came to the attention of the Western Sanitary Commission, which cared for the Civil War’s…wounded soldiers, widows, orphans, and freed slaves…and thousands of contributions poured in from former slaves…(that) totaled more than $12,000.”
Still quoting Girogino, “Sculptor Thomas Ball’s original marble version of the memorial represented the kneeling slave as passive, simply receiving the boon of freedom from the hand of the great liberator. James Yeatman, President of the Western Sanitary Commission, objected, so the artist changed…the presentation (to bring it) nearer to the historical fact, by making the emancipated slave an agent in his own deliverance. The former slave was…represented as exerting his own strength with strained muscles in breaking the chain which had bound him…the figure of a living man was also introduced — the last slave in Missouri taken up under the fugitive-slave law…who was…rescued from his captors…Archer Alexander.”
Giorgino goes on: “Marcia Cole, (is) a member of the Female Re-Enactors of Distinction of the African American Civil War Museum who portrays Charlotte Scott. She said, ‘I understand there’s a big campaign trying to raise money to either take it down or mend it, and I say ‘no’ on behalf of Ms. Charlotte,’ she told ABC7 News in Washington. ‘People tend to think of that figure as being servile, but on second look you will see something different…That man is not kneeling…with his head bowed. He is in the act of getting up. And his head is up, not bowed because he is looking forward to a future of freedom.’”
Giorgino closed his piece by saying, “Descendants of slaves in America are no longer in bondage because of the great Americans, black and white, who fought a bloody Civil War and abolished slavery. We should all be grateful to Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation, for preserving the Union, and for ending slavery. And we should be just as grateful to Archer Alexander and all those he represents who broke their chains raised their heads high, and stood tall so all men may breathe free!”
Let’s look at the probable result of what will come from destroying our memorials.
I. BY DESTROYING OUR MEMORIALS OUR FREEDOM WILL BE FORGOTTEN
A. The dictionary defines a memorial as “something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event.” Related words in the dictionary are monument, statue, and plaque.
B. As mentioned above, our Congress noted that the statues and monuments in our capital and our country are inscribed with religious words, symbols, and imagery, religious artwork, the Baptism of a native American…numerous acknowledgments of God, and citations of Bible verses
C. Sadly, Americans, have forgotten our Memorials and what they stand for. Our main problem is not a political, economic, or even an educational problem, our problem is moral and spiritual. We are dying as a country from a sickness called: Sin. We have forgotten our God.
D. The average High School graduate of America can’t tell you who the first President was, what was the significance of the year 1776, or what the Civil War was when it was, who it was between, or why it was fought.
E. Our founders believed in the God of the Bible and knew the Lord never meant for us to believe that we can create a Utopia of heaven on earth in America, as the Communists so falsely believe.
F. As The Apostle Peter said we are to, “…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” (I Peter 3:15 NKJV).
G. As Christians we must stand for God, reminding people of our Christian history founded on the principles of the Bible. We must stake out our ground and not let our freedom be forgotten.
II. BY DESTROYING OUR MEMORIALS OUR FREEDOM WILL BE FORSAKEN
A. I could use many examples, but I will use the Ten Commandments that Federal and state governments have erected as Memorials.
B. The Supreme Court in 1980 set precedents by striking down a Kentucky statute requiring that the Ten Commandments be posted on the wall of each public-school classroom in the state. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky courthouses.
C. A well-known recent case involved former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Moore was removed from his position in 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for refusing a court order to remove a marble monument of the Ten Commandments he had placed in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.
D. Along with the Ten Commandments, references to our Christian heritage have been removed from the textbooks of our public schools. Our leaders have forgotten that America became great because of GOD’s goodness and have allowed our educational system to be corrupted by God and America-haters.
E. Tearing down our memorials by these evil-doers is not about racism. Their hope is that it will cause America to forget our heritage and history
F. Why is forsaking our memorials so devastating? The Psalmist said, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Psalm 11:3).
G. We must not allow our freedom to be forsaken by the destruction of our memorials.
III. BY DESTROYING OUR MEMORIALS OUR FREEDOM WILL BE FORFEITED.
A. Today’s America is much like Israel in the days of the prophet Hosea. He prophesied in the period of the Northern Kingdom's decline and fall in the 8th century BC.
B. Their apostasy was unchecked, having turned away from God to worship a golden calf, and Baal, a Canaanite god. They committed homicide, theft, and sexual sin.
C. In Hosea 4:6, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
D. In Hosea 8:7, God says of them, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” God was telling them that they would be swept away in the judgment of God, and this is exactly what happened. Hosea’s ministry extended over half a century, and he lived to see the fulfillment of his prophecy in the captivity of Israel.
E. Between approximately 740 BC and 732 BC, Assyria first took captive thousands, deporting them to Assyria as slaves, and finally conquered the capital city of Samaria in 732 BC. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel were never able to return and rebuild their homeland.
F. Israel had the same Commandments that had been given to Moses by God as a memorial, but they traded that holy memorial for the worship of a golden calf, therefore their freedom was forfeited.
G. Hosea so reminds me of where we have come to in America. Hosea 6:4 is an example. Jehovah says through his prophet: “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, and like the early dew it goes away.” America’s faithfulness has also faded away.
H. Like Israel, America has experienced moral corruption and spiritual bankruptcy. If we allow the Marxist, God, and America-haters to destroy our Memorials, our freedom will soon be forfeited.
Helen Raleigh was born and raised in Communist China. She came to America as a college student and was able to remain and become a citizen. She lived through Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution in China…a campaign to get rid of the “four olds” — old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas…From her perspective of having been under the domination of a Communist system, she wrote about the toppling of Washington’s Statue in the Federalist. She said, “By pulling down his statue, the mob wants to send a message: they reject all founders of the United States and denounce the founding principles that this nation was built upon. If Washington can be condemned and humiliated…and what he stood for can be rejected with no resistance, no one else in this country is safe…The dismantling of Washington’s statue and the dismantling of all historical statues won’t stop the mob…Each destructive act that is left unchallenged will embolden the mob further…people who refuse to conform…will lose their jobs and see their lives be ruined.” She went on, “The mob won’t stop until they destroy everything we hold dear and attain complete power over us…Knowing this is where our nation is heading, one question we need to urgently ask ourselves…is: am I going to sit back and hope the destruction will spare me…or am I going to step forward and say “no” to the mob?”
Alexis de Tocqueville was a Frenchman who visited America after we had won Independence and he wrote a book about what he saw. He said: “...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America… Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country… America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
If we allow our Memorials to be destroyed our freedom will be forgotten, forsaken and forfeited. May the God of heaven help us to pray down help from heaven for our country at this critical time.
Jacob DID return to Padanaram again. Gen. 35:9, 10: “Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said, “…your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So, He called his name Israel.” And God DID bless him and made of him a great nation. He and his family went down to Egypt a family an came out 400 years later a great nation of people that has continued to this day. May America also remember her memorials and also long continue as a great nation