“It’s a trap!” proclaim social media memes, copying the scene from “Star Wars” where a fish-like space admiral warns the rebel fleet to beat a hasty retreat. Sometimes it really is a trap. Sometimes it is deadly.
“In God We Trust.” It’s on our nation’s money. But do we? Do we trust in our money? Or do we trust in God?
We have watched much of our nation’s wealth vanish in the last few months. How quickly our great, modern, super-sophisticated country has been brought to a halt. Has God reminded us that our greatness is fleeting, our strength a vapor apart from God?
God built America. Only God can preserve it. Psalm 127:1 warns, "Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." Psalm 33:16-19: “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.”
It is a biblical truth: We must place our dependence only on God. Psalm 33:12 tells us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”
Time and time again the nation of Israel forgot itself. In modern slang, sometimes the Israelites thought they were too cool for school, too big for their britches. Israelites started to trust in themselves, believe in themselves, and depend on only themselves, instead of placing their trust firmly on God and God alone. They forgot where their blessings came from.
And we’re so different? We read of the cycle of God’s people growing strong from the blessing of God, then forgetting about God, and then collapsing, only to repeat the cycle. How can we imagine we are exempt from the same temptations common to mankind?
Pride is one of the so-called seven deadly sins. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 21:4 also cautions, "A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin."
I love America. The United States of America is the greatest achievement of government and social development in the history of the world. We should be pleased. As the Pilgrims explicitly prayed, we should be a city set on the hill to light the way for all of the world to learn from for their own blessing and benefit. We are here to be a blessing. But we should not falter in our devotion and appreciation for what God-fearing people called and gathered out from the nations have accomplished.
Through my maternal grandmother I trace my lineage with satisfaction and pleasure back to the Mayflower Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth and dedicated this continent to Jesus Christ as its Lord and Savior using Plymouth Rock as an improvised altar. (They came to share Jesus’ love with the inhabitants, although later arrivals violated that trust.) My mother insisted on having us family scatter her ashes at the grave of Governor William Bradford in the Pilgrim’s graveyard. (I think the statute of limitations has expired.) I cherish what the blessing of God has fashioned here on these shores, despite the faltering imperfections of humans.
Where did our wealth come from? And how does it remain strong? According to Deuteronomy 8:18-19 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.”
Academic analyses of the USA’s failure to help develop other countries, which I studied in a post-graduate course at George Washington University, criticize that by the 1950s and 1960s the USA had come to believe that we could heal other, poor nations with what we treasure and worship: Our money. We did not give developing nations the principles and precepts and values that built our own success. Instead we just sent them green paper. Our actual god in recent times.
Do we still trust in God as a nation? We exalt in the glory of the United States of America. We trust in our high status as Americans. We truly believe that we are superior and untouchable because we are U.S. citizens. And too much of this attitude seeps in even to otherwise God-fearing Christians and into the Church as an institution.
Trusting in anything else distances us from the blessings. Proverbs 29:25 reads, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
We must return to the spring from which we came. Isaiah 51:1-2: “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” 1 Peter 5:6-7: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Jonathon Moseley is a frequent writer of news analysis and political commentator, who is a leading member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, and Executive Director of American Border Control. He has worked with dozens of election campaigns, including serving as campaign manager and treasurer for Christine O’Donnell’s 2008 nomination contest for the United States Senate from Delaware. He has a law degree from George Mason University.