Today in History
The Four Rís
How our form
of government came into being
When I was in school I hated history: meaningless
names, dangling dates, and outlandish outlines. Did history affect you
that way? I hoped I'd never have to think about history again.
alas, that didn't happen. A friend insisted on my going to a history
class she planned to teach! I loved Biblical History; I could see the
hand of God in that history; but secular history! Then my friend told
me that American history is Christian History, that we need to look at
cause and effect, and the Christian principles of civil
government! Imagine! I had a hard time with that. But, I continued in
the class. We read original documents written by our Founding Fathers
and it began to dawn on me that something had been missing from my
"education." I read this:
"We have staked the future...upon the capacity
of each and all of us to
govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten
Commandments of God."
Analyze that sentence any way you like and it is
obvious the person is writing about his contemporaries, their
abilities, and that the basis for folks to govern and sustain
themselves is the Ten Commandments- rules! Who were the writer's
contemporaries? The founders of the United States of America and this
writer was none other than James Madison, one of the composers of the
Constitution of the United States of America.
Then I began to hear things like, "The Hand of
God in American History." Would you believe that?
is God the God of Biblical history; he is the God of all
history. Of course that makes sense. If he's the God of Biblical
history, he must be the God of all history.
Then I learned that, not only were the founders of
our country not deists and atheists, but that they were Christians who
knew the Bible well. In fact, I learned that the liberty, prosperity,
and comfort resulting from their writings, work, and warrings were the
direct result of their implementation of the Biblical principles
they had practiced and used in the creation of their forms of colonial
Iíd heard-well, wasnít the above because our
country is so rich in natural resources? Everything that followed just
happened--naturally! Or does it? Is there such a thing as cause and
effect? If we plant tomatoes, will we get tomatoes? or potatoes?
(Modern historians must have missed something.) Things don't just
happen. History, isn't just a bunch of haphazard events just waiting
to happen. It was caused--and Jehovah, the God of the Bible, is the
great First Cause! Imagine! I confess: learning about "The Hand
of God" in the making of Christian America was new, and exciting,
to me. But our founders knew all that. I love this:
The events of history are not accidents.
There are no accidents in the lives of men or of nations.
may go back to the underlying cause of every event and
discover in each God's over-ruling and intervening wisdom.
has been said that history is the biography of communities; in
another, and profounder sense, it is the biography of Him
"who worketh all things after the council of His own
will," (Ephesians 1:11) and who is graciously timing all
events in the interests of His Christ, and of the kingdom of
God on earth....God's hand is seen in the starting, speeding,
retarding and matching such coincident and colliding
influences as mark the progress and constitute the varied
crises of history. (Rev. S.W. Foljambe, quoted in Consider and
Ponder, Verna M. Hall, editor, pp. 46-47.)
Isn't that much more satisfying than believing that
every-thing just "happened by chance"? Isn't it comforting
to know somebody's in charge? Indeed, being the kind of God he
is, wouldnít he write rules/principles for civil government, cause
and effect being one? Yes, Jehovah is the Great First Cause."
Think about that.
What is manís chief end?
Or, stated another way, what is Godís ultimate goal for men?
From the Westminster Shorter Catechism: "Manís
chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." Whether...ye
eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God, I
Corinthians 10:31; Trust in the living God, who giveth us
richly all things to enjoy..., I Timothy 6:17.
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