My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)
O beautiful! For spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
Our land truly is beautiful. Arguably, no fairer land exists in all the earth. From the Smokey Mountains in the east, to the rolling plains of the Mid-west, to the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains, to the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert, to the sunny West Coast and the Pacific, our landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful. Our land is rich and productive, feeding not only our people, but much of the world. God has blessed our land tremendously.
[May] God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
God has shed His grace on our nation. Beginning with the first settlers of Jamestown to the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, who set pen to paper and wrote: “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”, to the founding fathers who declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” to the framers who gave us “a more perfect union,” God shed His grace on our nation.
O beautiful! For Pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
In less than a century, our borders stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and the industriousness of the American people created the wealthiest nation on earth – but not without cost.
O beautiful! For heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
About eighteen months before the end of the Civil War, November 19, 1863, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the crowd gathered for the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery with these words: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The test of the conflict would prove, “whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”
On this, the 240th celebration of America’s birth, the question looms more crucial than at any time in the history of America the beautiful. A land dedicated to “the glory of God and the advancements of the Christian faith,” to the equality of man, and to liberty derived from “nature’s God” now rejects God, advances all but the Christian faith, creates class warfare, and dispenses “liberty” as determined by an elite class of “elected” rulers. “Nature” is now god, and the unnatural is elevated above the natural. We have exchanged “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3), and liberty for tyranny. We call what is evil good and what is good evil. We protect those who commit evil acts in the name of Allah, and demonize those who speak truth in the name of Christ. How long can America the Beautiful endure having abandoned the principles on which it was founded?
I used to have a huge ash tree in my backyard that looked beautiful on the outside. It extended heavy, foliage-laden boughs reaching for the sun from a massive, well-rooted trunk. The tree appeared as if it would stand forever. Then one day, a big windstorm blew in and broke off one of the heavy main branches. As the limb fell, it that split the tree all the way to the base, and it took half of the trunk with it. Upon a closer inspection, I discovered that the tree was rotten on the inside. It looked great on the outside, but on the inside, it was really sick. So, when the big storm blew it, it could not stand up to the tempest. That is how I picture America today.
[May] God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success is nobleness
And every gain divine!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)