Why I love America . . . and what I love more.

Even though our country is not all I want it to be, and doesn’t seem to be what it used to be, I still love the United States of America!  I have many reasons for which I have an appreciation for this great country.  However, the reasons that are the most important to me may be a little bit of surprise to some people.  Here they are (if you are in a hurry, you can scroll down and view the main points) :

1.  Because of the price paid for our liberty.  This principle can be found in the story of King David and his mighty men (1st Chronicles 11:15-19).  David’s mighty men broke through the Philistine garrison to get some water from the well of Bethlehem for David.  When they returned with the water, David would not drink it, but poured it out on the ground as a sacrifice to the LORD.  He recognized the sacrifice of the men and compared the gift of water to their blood because they were in jeopardy of their lives.  His assessment was that it would be wrong to devalue the sacrifice of these men by simply drinking down their gift to him.

Countless individuals have given their lives in the pursuit of freedom which they have then passed on to us – the people of the United States.  I, like David, recognize those sacrifices; I will not devalue them by using them selfishly.

An incalculable cost has gone into the purchase of our freedom and I love America because of the price paid for our liberty.

2.  Because of the partnership with Israel.  When God initiated His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, He concluded by stating that, “I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee.”  There is no middle of the road that says, “I will be neutral to those that are neutral towards you.”

The U.S. is viewed globally as the staunchest friend of Israel.  The question is, should we be?  The passage of Scripture in Genesis could not be any clearer.  If we abandon Israel, we are abandoning the blessing of God; if we make Israel the enemy of the United States, we have made the United States the enemy of God.  I understand that Israel has been set aside in this theological dispensation, but the fact of Biblical history is that even when Israel has been exiled, God has blessed those that bless them and judged them that were against Israel.

As long as the U.S. is a friend of Israel, we will experience at least a measure of God’s blessing; it is an indisputable fact of Scripture.

3.  Because of the piety of some of her people.  1st Kings 19:1-18 records a very interesting story.  Elijah had just shamed and then had killed the 450 prophets of Baal.  Jezebel was ready to kill him and he fled into the wilderness.   There, in an encounter with God, he declared, “I’m the only one left!”  God disagreed and told him that there were still seven thousand who had not bowed their knee to Baal!

There are still some righteous people in the U.S.  You and I could travel the country and find a decent church not too far from our destination.  I know many pastors who stand in their pulpits and speak the truths of God’s Word just like I do.  Furthermore, I’ve come to know many people, who may not attend the same church that I do, but they love the same Lord that I do – they may be in the schools, in the businesses, or in the government of our community – but they still live a life that is built primarily on the principles found in the Scriptures.

4.  Because of the philosophy of government.  The design of our government mimics the kind of government that God considered to be ideal.  As Isaiah was describing the perfect government of Christ in the Millennial Kingdom, he described the LORD in three specific ways.  Isaiah 33:22, “the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King, He will save us.”  Notice three particular words: “judge, lawgiver, king” . . .   Three different aspects of government are noticed in those three words – legislative, executive, and judicial!  The branches of government in our country reflect the aspects of Christ’s rule in his perfect kingdom.

As frustrated as we may get at times with the overreach of the executive(s) or legislating by the bench, the fact is that there is a balance of power that is so deeply ingrained in our Constitution that it would take far more than a generation to entirely upset that scale.  If you are inclined to be a little pessimistic – I encourage you to read U.S. history (especially 1861-1865) – our country has been through these cycles before and we have withstood far greater challenges.

5.  Because of the prosperity which fuels missions.  Paul challenged Timothy to encourage the believers in Ephesus who had earthly means to use that wealth in a specific way.  1st Timothy 6:17-19, ” Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

I don’t think that any country has been more philanthropic than the United States.  Even more importantly, I believe that the wealth of Christians in America has been used to fulfill the Great Commission around the world.

BUT . . . . as much as I love America, and as good as these reasons are, the reasons could change.

Furthermore, there is another perspective that supersedes what I’ve just explained.

Hebrews chapter 12 challenges believers (in context, Jewish ones) to look at others who have been people of faith (from chapter 11) as an example of how they should be running their race.  In the first 11 verses of chapter 11, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah are all mentioned as people of faith.   The author of Hebrews makes a couple of specific points about them.

1.  They lived by faith.  11:13  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

When the author writes that they “died in faith,” he means that they came to the end of their natural life while living in faith.  The five modifying phrases describe their coming to the point of physical death while living by faith.

2.  They learned to forsake.  11:14-15  “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.”

Forsake what?  Their previous country!  They considered their earthly country to be inferior to their heavenly country and they were willing to forsake their earthly country in favor of the pursuit of the heavenly!

3.  They longed for their Father.  11:16  “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

The word “country” is referring back to the same word in verse 14.  The word is referring to the “Father Land” or the “Land of the Father.”  The rest of verse 16 makes it clear that there is an established relationship with God.

Simply put, the people of faith who were our examples, lived by faith on this earth, they learned to forsake the things of this earth, and they longed for their heavenly Father.  How different our lives would be if we refused to be distracted by the things of this earth and instead kept our focus on the things of eternity!  Our country is the greatest on earth and because of her qualities can be a tremendous tool for accomplishing the will of God, but it must be kept secondary in our affections and energies!

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