The Psalms contain some wonderful lessons for every generation of mankind. Though written more than 3,000 years ago, these songs and devotions of David provide insight into the nature of God and the very nature of man. The 147th Psalm is no exception. Israel has returned from a long night of Babylonian Captivity. It has been seven decades since they left their homeland. Now they have come home with thanksgiving in their hearts and praise on their lips. Would you focus on Psalms 147:13-14 for a moment? Note four blessings that Israel would enjoy as a result of their restoration to God, and to their homeland.
First, God had “strengthened the bars of thy gates.” A nation is secure so long as they trust in God for their guidance and protection. If armament and military power provide security, then the former United Soviet Socialist Republic would still be standing. While we would not discount the importance of a strong military, we dare not ignore the importance of godly principles as a guide for those who lead that army.
Second, God had “blessed thy children within thee.” Our generation has enjoyed the benefits and blessings of God’s gracious lovingkindness. As the “children,” “grandchildren,” “great-grandchildren,” and even unto “great-great-grandchildren” of our forefathers, we have enjoyed the benefits of the seeds of righteousness and godliness planted by our forefathers in the early years of this nation. Don’t let anyone tell you that this nation was established as a “secular” nation – it was founded upon Biblical principles. To deny this truth is to ignore history. The horn of plenty has been turned upside down on America, and we reap the benefits of peace, joy, and happiness because of the seeds planted by our forefathers. It has been observed on more than one occasion that America is rooted in a deep respect for God and His word. Our founding fathers believed that the great experiment of democracy and the establishment of this nation would not succeed without divine blessings. Men were given the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. But that life and liberty they held so dear was not a pursuit of fleshly lusts or materialistic gain. It was the pursuit of God and His purpose in our lives. And so, for more than two centuries God opened up the windows of heaven and gave to this nation unparalleled opportunities and abundant wealth.
Third, God “maketh peace in thy boarders.” Until that infamous September day many years ago, this nation had never been attacked on its homeland by an outside enemy. It is no accident that our boarders remained secure from the intrusion of those who would overthrow our way of life and rob us of our determination to seek God’s blessings on us as a nation. This generation has enjoyed unparalleled peace and tranquility that has been the envy of the world around us. Even during those stressful days of the cold war, we enjoyed peace within our boarders, and a sense of deep contentment within our hearts.
Fourth, God has “filled thee with the finest of the wheat.” Who would argue that our nation has enjoyed the best of the best? Who would dare deny that our standard of living has been the envy of the world? Millions have sought to come to America to enjoy the prosperity this nation has had to offer to her citizens and those who would seek to become a part of that great American dream. Our generation has enjoyed the best that America has had to offer. Whereas previous generations had to struggle through economic crises such as the Great Depression, we have had at our disposal abundant and unparalleled prosperity. Walmart Super Centers provide every good imaginable; all we need to do is pick up a cart, move up and down the aisles and pick off the shelf anything we might desire. And if we don’t have the cash to pay for our basketful of goodies, we can pull out a plastic card and, zip zip, no questions asked – we can walk out the store with our baskets overflowing. From necessities, to luxuries and entertainment, it seems as if there is nothing we cannot get our hands on.
But now there has arisen a generation that does not know God. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness has become a pursuit of the gratification of the flesh. God has been “expelled” from almost every institute of higher learning. The word of God has been banned in the halls of our public schools. Now the humanists and God-haters have pushed the throttle to full speed in an effort to rid us of every vestige and display of the name of God from our coins, strip it from our halls of justice, and eradicate it from our monuments. God has been left out of the lives of our citizens, the Bible has been banned from our institutes of learning, and the only mention that Jesus receives in Hollywood is in another movie that seeks to shock our sensitivity and display our Lord as nothing more than a homosexual pervert or radical cult leader. Unless things change drastically, our generation will not be able to pass along to the next generation the things we have too often taken for granted. What does this generation have to offer the next? This generation no longer studies the Bible; this generation has fed on the husks of humanism, and drank deeply from the well of Charles Darwin; this generation has capitulated to the demands of the liberal left; this generation has grown fat and lazy, irresponsible, and irrational. Oh, there may be a few exceptions, and perhaps the silent majority has remained silent for too long, but for the most part, I do not see anything on the horizon that holds out a lot of hope for the future of our country and the next generation.
Reread the Psalm again. Learn what Israel learned. God blessed her children only when Israel turned back to God. If we would have something to give to those generations yet in the distant future, let us like Israel, begin our journey home to God. Therein lies our hope; only then can it be said of unborn generations, “He hath blessed thy children within thee.”
by Tom Wacaster