Be a Patriot
July 5, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. - Psalm 33:12.
With the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, we saw a vivid exhibition of bravery and patriotism. Everyone knows since the disasters of the failed Challenger launch and the failed reentry of Columbia that the launch or the reentry of a space shuttle is not a sure thing. Watching the astronauts, we know that it could be the last moments of their lives. They also know very well that their lives could be extinguished in only a few short minutes or in a few short days with a failed reentry. It is a necessary bravery since the space shuttle program must continue for several more years. It is vital for the space exploration program and for national security.
What is a patriot? The American Heritage Dictionary defines a patriot as, "One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country." It is obvious that the American shuttle astronauts love their country and demonstrated their patriotism in a very vivid way. Are you a patriot? Are you a person who loves, supports, and defends your country? If so, how do you do it? The Psalmist points out a vital aspect of being patriotic. The Psalmist says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD."
In the United States, we like to think of our country as the greatest, richest, and most powerful country in all of history. However, we are a young nation compared to the Roman Empire and Chinese dynasties. We do live in a great and powerful country but at the same time, it is a very fragile and vulnerable country. We know that it is true, don’t we? Two airliners captured and flown into the World Trade Center not only killed 3,000 people - the attack also drastically injured the economy of this country. We can only shudder to think of the consequences if Flight 93 had actually succeeded in hitting the Capitol building. We know the enemies of this country are hard at work trying to find a way to hit us again and to hit us harder the next time. Our ports are vulnerable and even one major port shut down for an extended period could cripple our economy. North Korea has gone nuclear and may have a missile capable of even hitting the middle of this country. Iran will soon have a nuclear bomb and they have long been sharing information with North Korea about missile technology.
Beyond the political and terrorist enemies of this country, there are other concerns as well. Hurricane Katrina last year should have been a wake up call about the fragility of our country. It is already hurricane season again and New Orleans is probably not much safer than it was last year. But it is not just hurricanes is it? Fires have become an increasing problem. Tornadoes appear to be increasing their range into many other states. Earthquake scientists still believe a big one could occur at anytime in San Francisco or Los Angeles or anywhere along the major fault lines.
Some of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded did not occur in California. The New Madrid Seismic zone lies within the central Mississippi Valley, extending from northeast Arkansas, through southeast Missouri, western Tennessee, western Kentucky to southern Illinois. Between 1811 and 1812, four catastrophic earthquakes, with magnitude estimates greater than 7.0, occurred during a three-month period. The earthquakes may have been of a magnitude eight or greater. New Madrid, Missouri was the epicenter. Survivors reported that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. What are the chances of that happening again? Scientists give it a 90% probability by the year 2040.
Do you understand, comprehend, how fragile our country really is? If you do, it ought to make a difference in how you live your life because we really do need the blessing and protection of God upon this country. Only through God can we find safety and protection. In light of our need of God, here are some ways you can be a true patriot and demonstrate in active ways your love of God and love of country:
Every time you come to church it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you pray it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you read your Bible it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you witness to someone it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you are kind to someone it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you tithe it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
Every time you say "NO” to evil and "YES” to God, it is not only an act of obedience to your God, it is also an act of patriotism.
The Psalmist says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance (Psalm 33:12." Let us make God again, the God of this country by living for Him.