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Seeking Wisdom, Day 28 – One Nation Under God

March 22, 2016

I love to tell the story, the old, old story, of how 13 small, isolated, and separate colonies, spread out over the eastern coast of this great continent, came together to form a different kind of nation, one in which power is derived from the consent of the governed. Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Jews, Agnostics, Atheists, and all agreed to live peaceably together under a central government. How clever! How American! Two hundred and forty years ago government was established by the people. Today we  pledge allegiance to the flag, but “under God” was not added to the pledge until 1954. Somehow that was always understood, a fact that didn’t need stating.

Solomon was a king, anointed by God, as kings were then. He had wealth, power, and glory, but all of that has disappeared, even his temple. Some pieces of wisdom remain for his progeny. Let’s examine a few of his wise sayings about government in Proverbs 28, for this year’s election brings great responsibility.

(Proverbs 28: 2) “Where there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” George Washington was that wise and knowledgeable leader at a crucial time. The disparate colonies struggled to attain unity, and Washington established precedents for bringing the nation forward together.

(Proverbs 28: 15) “A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as the roaring lion or an attacking bear.” Looking back in history we find kings who usurped power and were brought into submission by the people. Nobles in 1215 brought King John the Magna Carta, limiting his power. Did Nero fiddle while Rome burned? Rulers who bask in wealth while their people starve will feel their anger.

(Proverbs 28: 16)  “A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.” Looking at governments without kings, we see leaders who oppress the people in North Korea and Russia. People desire some autonomy, and foolish leaders usurp it all.

(Proverbs 18: 12) “When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge everyone goes into hiding.” (or revolt?) We look to the future and what do we see? A nation under God, a government of by and for the people, and not one in which the ungodly rage, riot and revolt. Our elections are important. May God be with us.  …Amen?

 

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