Daily Devotionals

Our Nation’s Security

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“For the Word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.  He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.  By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.  He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; He put the deeps in storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.  For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm….  Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage.”  

— Psalm 33: 4-9, 12


In his famous pamphlet, “The Crisis,” Thomas Paine wrote the following words in December 1776:  “These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”  


Tomorrow we celebrate our nation’s year of independence.  Remembering our past is an integral part of celebrating July 4th, and we thank God for people like Thomas Paine, George Washington, and all the men and women who courageously fought and died in order that we Americans may enjoy the rich legacy of living, working, and worshiping in freedom.


However, our celebration of freedom calls us to consider our future as well as our past.  How do we as a nation preserve and protect our privilege of living as a free people? How do we guarantee our children’s children the same rights of freedom that we enjoy today? 


“These are the times that try our souls,” as we look at America’s future and as we debate the issues of national security.  “These are the times that try our souls,” because we are not quite sure what makes our nation secure.


As we prepare to observe Independence Day, I suggest that we include a portion of Psalm 33 in our celebration.  In this Psalm, we discover three realities which make a nation secure:  God’s Word, His counsel, and His providence.  


The psalmist tells us in verse 12, “Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage.” The purpose of God is election.  The purpose of God is freedom.  God calls humankind to be His people.  In that call, we find freedom, freedom from the powers of sin and death. 


The psalmist assures us that our security does not come in the might of the warrior.  Rather it comes from our faith and trust in the omnipotent God, the all-powerful God, who reigns forever and ever.  When we as a nation can trust in God alone, then we can look forward to the future without fear because we trust in one who cannot be defeated.


Prayer:  *Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty, to Thee we sing.  Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light; protect us by Thy might, great God, our King, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.


Submitted by Judy Holmes

*Smith, Samuel Francis. “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” 1832.