by Rev. Eric R Towse

HOW would you punctuate that phrase? Most would put an exclamation (!) at the end. This is certainly where it belongs if it is meant to emphasize a sincere desire on the part of a people to return in humility to their heavenly Father asking for His blessings and mercy. Some, however, view the phrase as a mere patriotic slogan where the emphasis is on “America” rather than God. (This is the use approved by the Supreme Court when it is “lawfully” displayed in a public school.)

Christians who have strived to point out some of this country’s wrongs created by abortion, its propensity towards “inclusiveness” which has resulted in the acceptance of sin, deviant life-styles, and a total watered-down form of patriotism so as to exclude God, may chose to punctuate it with a question mark: God Bless America?

We, as a nation, have found it most convenient to consider ourselves to be “one nation under God” at times of crisis—calling on Him to deliver His people as did ancient Israel when it found itself under siege or oppressed by its enemies. God was always faithful. He delivered His people, but only after they turned to Him having confessed their sins and repented. The enemies of ancient Israel were always soundly defeated, that is, until Israel’s next apostasy.

Remember that America is not ancient Israel. God is sovereign over America only by invitation! Our representative form of government may:
• submit to God,
• pick-and-choose principles upon which to both govern the people and seek the favor of God, or,
• attempt to separate itself from all religious influences as a secular society.

It should come as no news that the trend over the past 50 years has been towards the latter. Americans in increasing numbers are seeking the favor of God in view of our war against terrorism. Although America is not ancient Israel we can certainly learn from mistakes made in the past. II Chronicles 7:14 says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

How we as a people need to do just that! This promise of God was spoken to Solomon and was fulfilled time and time again during the days of the Judges. Paul said it differently: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

As we continue in this struggle we must not waver. Christians must be true to God’s Word and teach others to do likewise. As for our nation, it may be appropriate to think in terms of, “God Will Bless America, When America Blesses God!”