Title: National Blessings
Theme: God's Covenant Blessings to a Nation
Introduction: The New Testament has a brief passage of Scripture that is too often missed as one reads the Bible, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down…" (1 Corinthians 10:6) so we may see what may befall us, depending our obedience to God's Word. ( JFB; Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Corinthians (p. 323). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company; Matthew Henry Commentary) His covenant to a people: "If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God." (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) This covenant is personal; involving families and especially a nation. The blessings in Deuteronomy 28 come as full obedience to the Lord. (Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Deuteronomy (p. 428). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company; Merrill, E. H. (1994). Deuteronomy (Vol. 4, p. 353). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers; Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 271). Peabody: Hendrickson; Smith, J. E. (1993); The Pentateuch (2nd ed., Dt 27:1–28:68). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.) This passage of Scripture finds Moses, who received this constitution from God delivering a message that affects civil policy, religion and military establishments that is necessary for the happiness of His people, [Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Leviticus 26:3-12; Deuteronomy 4:5-8]. (Preached by Timothy Stone – 05101792) truths for a nation wanting God's blessings.
Proposition: I would propose to you that America has the opportunity to enjoy God's blessings. These blessings can affect all areas of life: city and country (Deuteronomy 28:3); offspring of man and animals (Deuteronomy 28:4); preparation of food (Deuteronomy 28:5) and in travel (Deuteronomy 28:6). Further, the Lord assures protection from enemies (Deuteronomy 28:7) and secure storehouses (Deuteronomy 28:8) (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (Dt. 28:1–9). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.)
Interrogative Sentence: Has God's blessing for a nation been enjoyed in America? Can we enjoy His blessings today?
Keep in mind that Israel owned the land because of God's covenant with Abraham, but the people could possess and enjoy the land only if they obeyed God's covenant as a holy nation. We today have all the blessings we need in Christ because of His grace, but we enjoy these blessings only as we trust and obey His voice. (Matthew 6:33; Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Dt 28:1–14). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.) Keep in mind that God's promises are not to Israel in a physical sense, but in the spiritual sense; Christians, you have placed their trust in Christ. Galatians says, "Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:7) "If you belong to Christ, then, you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29) (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version (Heb 2:16). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.)
Transitional Sentence: The first truth we must understand is what is meant by Biblical covenant with God. "A covenant (Hebrew, berith; Greek, diatheke) is a promise or agreement between two parties. A covenant may be conditional or unconditional." (Willmington, H. L. (1997). Willmington’s Bible handbook (p. 820). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.; Karleen, P. S. (1987). The handbook to Bible study: with a guide to the Scofield study system (p. 35). New York: Oxford University Press) "It is God who makes the offer so mankind may enter into a relationship with Him based on conditions which man could neither initiate nor alter, mankind can only accept or reject the covenant." (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The letters to the Corinthians (p. 189). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.)
Early American history indicates clearly that men in government understood the heart of Deuteronomy 28 and they sought the knowledge of the one who shared the "National Black Robe Regiment." Malachi wrote, "For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth." (Malachi 2:7)
"In a message spoken on General Election day of May 26, 1790 to John Hancock, Samuel Adams, the Honorable Council, Senate, and House of Representative of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Pastor Daniel Foster, taught God's Word, teaching from Proverbs 8:12-17, "I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are Mine; I have insight, I have power. By Me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by Me princes govern, and nobles - all who rule on the earth, and those who seek Me find Me." Pastor Foster said, 'The civil government is ordained of God in the hands of the Mediator, the Absolute necessity of order and government, for the existence and happiness of society, pleads it Divine origin. For without it, the affairs of mankind would fall into the utmost confusion and disorder... Civil government, then, is a branch of the Tree of Life, and founded in, and built upon the covenant, sealed in Heaven by the oath of God, and upon earth by the blood of Christ." (Pastor Daniel Foster, A.M. Pastor of the Church in New Braintree, Teaching Governmental Principles for the Political Leaders of His State; Wall-Builders, David Barton)
National blessings begin with those in public service who are truly trusting in the covenant of God to lead them as they seek Him with a true heart.
Transitional Sentence: The nation that has leaders who keep the Lord's covenant will lead the people they govern to the blessing of being a nation that is high above all the nations. Our key text, "If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth." (Deuteronomy 28:1) Deuteronomy 26:19 says, "He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations He has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as He promised." (Deuteronomy 26:19)
The world thinks of Israel as being God's people and they consider the Untied States of America to be a Christian nation. I had the privilege of assisting in planting a church in Moscow Russia. I noticed that many of the young people had an interest in becoming a Christian, because they thought if they could be like an American, you express faith in Jesus Christ. It came across to me that many wanted to make a confession of believing in Jesus, because that is the religion Americans embrace. Not only were they interested in Christianity, the young people wanted Levi Blue Jeans, because that is what American's wore. The same went for drinking Coca-Cola or Pepsi, or even eating at McDonald’s. Literally, there was a constant line going into and out of McDonalds, because McDonalds is the restaurant Americans ate at, or so they thought. I personally sat in a pub—which is what we would consider to be a bar—ordering American hamburger and fires, listening to Christian music. That music played because they felt it gave their bar an American atmosphere, and reflected the American culture. So many of the young Russians idolized America and Americans. America, according to them was famous, above all other nations.
For the most part, America is the police force to depend on to help bring civil rest to warring nations. At this time, America is the nation that the poor, afflicted and hopeless are fleeing to, because we are seen as the land of the free and the land of opportunity. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "America is another name for opportunity." George W Bush wrote, "America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of our people." Robert J. McCracken wrote, "We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls." Robert J. McCracken
After spending three weeks in Russia, upon my arrival back in America, I felt like kissing ground as soon as I got off the plane.
Israel was the nation God had intended to spread the Gospel; however, they rejected that honor when the Jews pushed the Romans to hang Jesus on the Cross. America is the one of the leading nations, taking the Gospel around the world with humanitarian efforts that is seldom matched by other nations, much like the Apostle Paul did. Archie Mruant's, French observer of America, in 1832 wrote, "There is no country in which the people are so religious as in the United States. ...The great number of religious societies existing in the United States is truly surprising: there are some of them for everything: for instance, societies to distribute the Bible; to convert; educate and take care of the widows and orphans; to preach... to build chapels and support seminaries." The fact is, America is still strong in making sure men and woman are taught and trained to preach the Word of God. There are several internet ministries working out of America, enabling Christians to receive powerful sound Biblical doctrine, thus equipping the church to be universal to fulfill their part of the Great Commission.
In Closing: The fact is, America, like Israel, is famous. History has proven that both nations have enjoyed their seasons of being above all the other nations. Thus, they have great allies and dangerous enemies. Regardless of the direction their inhabitants, politicians and civilians are taking their nations, God's Word has been proven true; He is a man of His Word. We serve a Lord whose mercies are new every morning; all we need to do is renew our part of the covenant with God, so we can enjoy all the blessings promised.