Friday, February 17, 2012

End of the Beginning, One Nation Under God

Today's Reading:
  • Genesis 48:1 - 50:26
  • Proverbs 4:20 - 27

Genesis 48:1 - 50:26
Today I read the end of the beginning of mankind.  As I read the final words of Genesis I really felt like an entire chapter of mankind had closed.  I know that the history included in the book of Genesis spans over a couple thousand years (this is according to the timeline in my NLT Study Bible) and therefore it feels really odd for me to feel like this is an era that ended, but somehow that's just how it feels to me.

I read about the deaths of Jacob and of Joseph.  I saw Jacob's twelve sons divided into the twelve tribes of Israel.  These tribes became the foundation for all Jewish people.  From this point on Israel is a nation that God deals with as a whole, instead of individuals and their descendants.  Perhaps this is why I feel like there is such a shift with the closing of this book.

I am saddened to see the end of this era and to experience the deaths of Jacob and Joseph.  The book of Genesis ends with a promise that God will deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt.  And while I know how this story goes, I look forward to truly studying the book of Exodus for the first time in my life, just as I have now finished truly studying Genesis for the first (but not last, God willing!) time in my life.

Psalm 20:1 - 9
This is a simple Psalm that calls upon God to be with and bless his followers.  God had delivered David from his enemies through His mighty power, and David knew who to attribute his victory to.

It's the end of this Psalm that commands most of my attention.  This Psalm says that the nation who relies on chariots and horses will fall, yet the nations who rely on God will rise up.  I am so thankful that I live in the United States.  I fully realize that living in this country is unlike living in any other country and that I have great advantages that people all over the world desperately long for.

Multitudes of people make our way into this country with a need to succeed, and they work so hard to obtain a better life for themselves and for their children.  In this country that is completely possible.  But I am scared to live here because I know that our nation -- which was founded under God -- is turning away from God.

I feel a blessing when I look upon our currency, and see the words "One Nation Under God."  Should those words ever be removed, well, God help us all.  Our nation will only be great as long as it is a nation under God. I believe this with all my heart and soul.  When our nation removes itself from God -- and I believe it will -- then our nation is going to fall.

Many may argue that our nation is already crumbling.  Our demise might not happen right away.  The bible is full of examples where empires continue to rule for long periods of time.  Regardless, it will fall eventually when we move away from God.

Please, fellow followers of Christ, pray for our nation.  Pray for God's continued protection.  Pray that it remains a great place for us, for our children, and for our grandchildren to live.  Pray to God that He might recognize that a good deal of people in this nation are His people, and that He watch over us and our families, keep our nation strong, and help us to move the focus back to being one nation under God.

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