Just fifty years ago, John Wayne hosted a variety show celebrating America. The contributors were among the most prominent voices of Hollywood, a panoply of stars who loved this nation, joining together to sing God Bless America. Today, most of those patriots are gone, their names and their fame lost to the newer generations. Unfortunately, they have now been replaced by a Godless community of celebrity voices that, for the most part, hate and bring shame to our country.
Go back another fifty-two years to 1918, toward the end of World War I when Irving Berlin initially wrote God Bless America; he was one of the greatest songwriters the USA has even known. Like so many others who became citizens of this great nation, he was an immigrant who entered via Ellis Island in New York Harbor. He was only five years old when his family fled the extreme poverty, discrimination and brutal pograms of Imperial Russia. Clearly, he understood the value of freedom! But like so many others of both his and the succeeding generation, his is a name that is unknown to many younger people today.
What will history have to say fifty or a hundred years from now about our current crop of the rich and famous? Probably not much; they will become a pretty-much-forgotten footnote in history. We would all be wise to remember the absolute truth of the words of King Solomon:
For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 2:16 NLT)
God Bless America should be more than a song that is commonly sung at the opening of sporting events; it should be a prayer expressed from the heart of every American. That said, I still have to wonder if it will be one of the aspects of major league sports that will be eliminated when those games resume because it is considered too dangerous for the emotional health of the nation; it is just too divisive for it speaks of God. As the ‘powers that be’ determine what ‘truth’ we can or cannot engage in, we would do well to remember that the ultimate authority is God. Political correctness means nothing to Him, and the only Truth that really counts is His:
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2)
If there was ever a time for our nation to heed the words of the Lord, this certainly seems to be it!
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)