Recently I attended a rodeo. It was entertaining and there were a few decent examples of cowboy skills. However, it was the crowd that had my attention.
This was not my first rodeo – humor unintended. It was absolutely spine tingling. The electricity from the crowd as Lee Greenwood’s mid-eighties hit “God Bless the USA” played and a beautiful young lady bore the Stars and Stripes waving. The crowd was exultant in the moment.
I stood in awe of how this mass of people could live in the current events and still think the song was descriptive of their condition. I began wondering if they somehow were praying it or perhaps trying to invoke it like some superstitious talisman.
After listening to the words again for the first time I realized how they reveal a grievous error within our country. We are guilty of presumption.
The problems originate from Americans themselves, specifically Christians in America not doing their duty. We have not fulfilled our Providential mandate. Our forefathers sought the blessings of Heaven for themselves and their posterity. These were secured but not without their sacrifice of: risk and faith, trial and effort, decision and blood.
What was purchased with their premium investment we have taken for granted. The grand engine of liberty they constructed is winding down as we idly sit and watch. We have not done the things mentioned in the song and have therefore not held onto the promise of the song.
“And I won’t forget the men who died and who gave that right to me. …”
We have forsaken our heritage in all realms national and Christian. Thus, we have not only forgotten but renounced the men who died that purchased our freedoms with their blood and pain and sacrifice. We have forgotten their “why” and smugly rejected their faith and ideals.
Truly, we have given “lucky stars” and every other idol credit for our blessings received from the Providential hand of the Almighty – none other than the Messiah Christ Jesus Himself.
We go about life as though we owned it all, had no obligations to our Creator, content to wallow in unprecedented riches and bounty, never taking stock or putting back what we consume.
There has not been a people this side of Noah’s flood with such blessings of wealth, resources, ingenuity, potential and opportunity. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12.48).
“… ‘Cause the Flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.”
So we allowed it to be burned and denigrated and threw it away.
“… where at least I know I’m free…”
Having been taken for granted, our “freedom” is now replaced by a poorly formed facade of the original.
“and I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today…”
We didn’t go to war. Our men and young and old have given their lives and health on the field of physical combat for generations. They have done their part but we did not do ours. We did not defend America in the home,in the pulpit, at work, on the street, in the voting booth, in our hearts.
We are guilty of Presumption (Ps 19,13). Our sins are many. It is not the pagan, infidel, or scoffer who stands guilty for America’s decline it is her “Christians” that are to blame.
We have not redeemed the time occupying till our master comes (Eph 5.16,Col4.5;Lke 19.13) rather we have consumed our blessings upon our own lusts (Jas 4.3) greedily indulging in the the things of this world. We’ve not kept our lamps trim and now it’s growing dark we cannot see or refuse to see the snare before us and the deny the existence of the awful net as it closes about us. (Ps 106.36; 2 Ti 2.26)
When we could have done as we ought we would not. Even now, how many with senses jaded by the delights of this world and judgment impeded by the dulling effects of Satan’s soothing coo’s float along unwilling to be inconvenienced with the truth?
Let all those who are men arise and speak the truth, acknowledge our condition, pray the price, and put their hand to the task before us. Now more than ever, we must acknowledge that we are subject to the Rule of Heaven and our liberty is derived from and dependent on the grace flowing from cherishing Divine decree.