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Why Would God Bless America? 09/14/2006

Can we rightly ask God to bless America?

It's a phrase we hear and see all around us on bumper stickers, in songs and at the close of speeches. We heard it throughout the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and at the conclusion of President Bush's Oval Office message that night. I remember when the president stood on the pile of rubble in New York City, addressing a crowd of workers with a bull horn. Someone interrupted him with the cry, "God Bless America!" and the president repeated it at the close of his impromptu speech.

But what are we asking with these words?

First, by addressing it to "God," we personalize it. We acknowledge a Creator, a Higher Power, a Divine Being. We rightly shatter the falsified wall that attempts to go beyond a healthy division of church and state and strives to create a stridently secular state. By asking God to do something, we first and foremost recognize our human limitations and desperate need for supernatural intervention to guide us to liberty and protect us from evil.

Second, we invoke an awesome action called "blessing." Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher of life and love, once outlined the true meaning of blessing and revealed to us exactly who could receive it.

"Those who walk in humility will be blessed," he said. Pride, arrogance and self-righteousness cannot, by the pure nature of God, coexist with God's blessing.

Those who have a broken heart, who care for others and show mercy will find themselves in a position to receive God's blessing. Though we are imperfect, fallen creatures, we can still hunger and thirst for Godly righteousness, cleanse our hearts and minds, and work for peace. In doing so, we allow God to pour out his blessing upon us.

It is important to understand that bringing justice to evil-doers and protecting the innocent works in favor of peace. Pacifism merely allows chaos and tyranny to reign. Like a surgeon aggressively pursuing a cancerous tumor, a just and righteous nation will remove the evil that seeks to destroy its people.

The master teacher also said that we are blessed when we are persecuted or attacked for doing what is right. Evil men do not like their plans disrupted and will always distort the truth so that they may continue plotting death and destruction.

We're also told that we will be blessed if we are light and salt, meaning that we show the right way to live by our example. When we allow that light to shine, we become a bright city set on a hill where the world can see the path to peace and prosperity.

Logically, when we engage in attitudes and actions contrary to these principles, we remove ourselves from the possibility of blessing. If we are self-absorbed, uncaring, greedy or deceitful, we cannot expect any Divine favor.

Finally, when we ask this blessing upon America, or any nation, we seek something not merely for ourselves, but for our fellow man. Before the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, God promised Abraham that he would spare the impending doom if only ten righteous men could be found. Though the vast majority of the people deserved anything but blessing, God was willing to extend it to the whole population on behalf of a single person.

We know that there will always be evil among us even in our own communities but the grace of God allows even a small group of us to request His blessing on everyone, if we will only position ourselves to receive it.

So when we say, "God Bless America," we must understand the importance of our relationship with God, as well as our attitudes and actions toward other people, in order to determine whether or not we should expect this prayer to be fulfilled.


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 577

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.