As we get ready to begin the month of November, and approach that uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving, I would like to share a few words about being thankful for America.
As we have eyes to see, we can see God's natural and spiritual graces bestowed upon America, in our history as well as now. These have come from God, and reflect back on His goodness. We don't deserve His gifts, but He has given them out of His generous heart. I give thanks for all of these. God has greatly blessed America.
There are people who burn with hatred for America, and they cite our country's many sins. Sometimes the accusations are one-sided, such as criticizing police violence but excusing abortion, or vice-versa. We know America's sins, measured against the Bible's commandments. But no country is irredeemably wicked. The Bible predicts that Egypt and Assyria will continue into the kingdom of Christ, after He returns. Isaiah 19:16-25. Instead of destroying Egypt and Assyria for their many sins, the gracious Lord will preserve and reform those two nations. In a similar sense, the Lord knows there is a "good America" that He can perfect.
God gave us an exceptional Constitution. It isn't faultless, because it was written by imperfect men who knew they were imperfect. But it is exceptional and wise, born out of the lessons of the classical past, the suffering of their time at the hand of King George, and good plain reasoning.
Some enthusiastically but unwisely call it "inspired by God." They probably mean that God's prayed-for providence was involved in its writing, which I believe was true. But it was not inspired like the Bible. The Bible is uniquely God's Word. Nevertheless, our Constitution lays out an exceptionally wise system of governance.
Knowledgeable Christians recognize that the Jews are still God's chosen people. God loves the Jewish people, and will keep His promises to them (read Romans 11:28-29). We also recognize that the Christian Church is His spiritual nation (read 1st Peter 2:9) and His Spirit-indwelt bride (Revelation 22:17). We recognize the unique, blessed status that Israel and the Church hold in God's eyes. By these truths we know that America hasn't replaced Israel in God's plan, which is a false doctrine taught by certain cults.
We ought to be thankful to God for America, because we know that everything truly good about America came down from God. As Paul said to the Corinthians in 1st Corinthians 4:7, what do we have that we were not given? Thankfulness to God for America reminds us to give the glory to God.
As Solomon once said, it is good to hold onto one thing without letting go of the other (Ecclesiastes 7:18). Good Christians recognize the sins of America, now and in the past. We also recognize the God-given virtues of America, now and in the past. We appreciate our country; we don't burn with hatred toward her, as some do. We also have a sober outlook on our country; we don't minimize America's great need for repentance and salvation through Christ. As Solomon said, we hold onto both sides of the truth.
The patriotic hymn America, America is a call to God. It asks God to shed His free grace on us, and bring about the brotherhood we don't have. It recognizes that we have flaws that only God can mend, that we lack self-control, and that our liberty needs to be law-abiding. America's gold definitely needs refining. So, we thank God for the grace He has shed, ask Him for more, and ask Him to mend us!