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Summary: This is a Memorial Day Sermon preached in our Church in a special observance for remembering those of our Church Family The Lord had recently called Home to be with Him.

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WE REMEMBER THE LORD OUR GOD

--Psalm 20 (Text: Psalm 20:7)

“Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses,

But we will call only on the name of the Lord our God.”

[Translation: “The Psalter,” COMMON WORSHIP: SERVICES AND PRAYERS FOR THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, The Archbishops’ Council, 2000.]

If I could begin my ministry once more, there is only one major change I would make. I wish I could have made a career in the military chaplaincy. As far as I know, only one of my family, a cousin, served in the Armed Forces. Although the traditions of Memorial Day essentially honor the memory of those who have given their lives in defending our country, it has become a day to honor the memory of all our departed loved ones. I hold two memories from my youth connected with Memorial Day. Every year we would go to the cemeteries to decorate the graves of my grandparents, and every year our band would play at the Service conducted by the American Legion and the VFW.

Do you realize Memorial Day had its beginnings in Illinois? Carbondale’s Woodlawn Cemetery is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It is the final resting place of 330 persons including freed slaves and sixty veterans from the Civil War (http://www.dailyegyptian.com/fall00/10-10-00/ourword.html). On April 29, 1866, General John A. Logan, Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, conducted the first Memorial Day Service in Illinois, and perhaps the first one in the entire United States, at Woodlawn Cemetery. He then was led to issue his General order Number 11 which declared:

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of

strewing with flowers, or other decorating the graves of

comrades who died in defense of their country during the

late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every

city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.

[--http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp]

Today we lovingly remember not only those who have given their lives for our Country in Iraq and Afghanistan but our loved ones Jesus has recently called Home to be with Him, and as Lincoln said at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this” [--http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm].

The text the Lord gave me for today’s message is Psalm 20:7. Most modern translations render it:

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

But we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

The King James and the New King James Versions appear to be more accurate in their interpretation:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;

But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

The English word “remember” in line two is a more accurate synonym for the original

Hebrew term. Psalm 20 and 21 might be described as twin Psalms. In Israel they

were acts of worship used by the Army before and after battle. Before engaging in

battle, the King would gather his forces at the Tabernacle or the Temple and Psalm

20 would be their prayer. After the battle was over Psalm 21 would be their Psalm of

Thanksgiving.

Catch the power and the faith behind the testimony of Israel’s Army as they all

declare:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;

But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Under the leadership of King David Israel became the world leader of the Ancient World, because she “remembered the name of the LORD her God.” David was the one the Bible proclaims was “a man after God’s own heart; and, although he committed some horrific sins, he repented, sought God’s forgiveness, and was restored to fellowship with His God. He knew that his strength came from the Lord, that he was totally dependent upon God, and that he was helpless without Him, as he testifies in Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—

from where will my help come?

2 My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

4 He who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

David led his Country by precept and example in total surrender and dependence upon the LORD.

Whenever Israel had leaders who were fully surrendered to the Lord as was David, God blessed her and made her a great nation. However, Israel did not always “remember the Lord her God.” Judges 8:33-34 tells us, “As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites relapsed and prostituted themselves with the Baals, making Baal-berith their god. The Israelites did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side. . .”

Whenever Israel forget the Lord her God, she suffered Divine judgment. There is a lesson for us as the United States of America to learn from Israel’s folly. God has given us an eternal truth in Psalm 33:12:

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