“The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.”–Proverbs 3:33
In 1938, as the Nazis continued to build their military might and the clouds of war loomed darker over Europe, Irving Berlin brought out a song he had first written in 1918 but then set aside. Sung by Kate Smith on an Armistice Day radio broadcast, “God Bless America” quickly became a national favorite. The introduction to the lyrics refers to the song as “a solemn prayer.” But it is important for us to remember that it is a prayer that can only be answered in context of our national behavior.
We cannot expect God to bless our nation unless we are willing to be a righteous nation. When the government is working in obedience to God’s design for them to reward good and punish evil (see Romans 13:3), there is a positive impact on the entire society and a basis for seeking God’s blessing. The Psalmist wrote: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Proverbs 33:12).
Those of us who love God and believe His Word have a special responsibility as citizens. Though this world is not our home and our ultimate loyalty must always be to the eternal, we have also been commanded to “shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). Paul wrote these words to a church born from persecution by an unrighteous government. One of the first members of that church was the jailer who was converted when Paul and Silas were freed from his prison by an earthquake. These people realized that the evil of their government and their society did not excuse them from doing right, but made it more important that they do so, and it is the same for us today.—As we see our nation turning its back on God, it is more important than ever that we take a stand for right and truth.–Dr. Paul Chappell