Reflections on the Fourth of July
Happy Independence Day! Today, we celebrate the work the great American experiment and the founding of our nation 245 years ago in Philadelphia. As great as the work of our Founding Fathers was, they certainly did not perform these great deeds by themselves, but turned to the Lord and laid the very foundations of our nation at His throne.
Unlike most, if not all, other revolutions before or since, ours did not replace one monarch or single ruler with another. When we shed British rule, our Founders then moved to ensure the authority in this land, under God, would rest with the citizens, as they embodied in our Constitution (1787).
Who were these men who pledged to each other "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor"? They were a group of 56 lawyers, physicians, preachers, merchants, and educators. All would have received a classical education and been rooted in the knowledge of God's plan for humanity. In that knowledge, they took the very best of the ancients, the Enlightenment, and the teachings of the Christian faith and produced a nation in the beautiful words of our Declaration of Independence.
So, today, as we celebrate with fireworks (as John Adams predicted we would), picnics, and gathering as families, take some time to read the inspiring words that echo through the ages in our Declaration of Independence.
Also, remember the cost of our freedom from its earliest days. Perhaps what many forget about those 56 men was the price they individually paid when they signed the Declaration of Independence. Five were capture by the British and tortured; twelve had their homes destroyed; two lost sons during the war; nine fought and died themselves; and many were thrown in prison. They knew the cost would be high, but continued on, knowing in their hearts that the rights of all "are endowed by their Creator" and relying on "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions..."
Finally, let us pray for our nation, its leaders, and for a new Great Awakening throughout the land. I encourage us today to pray the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked says, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land."
Happy Fourth of July!