In everyone’s collection of music, there are usually some patriotic songs. On or around July 4, we might hear or sing “God Bless America.” When it comes to celebrating our founding, we like to focus on the fact that our nation has religious roots, and that we have seen ourselves as God’s people.
In the book of Psalms, the hymnbook of ancient Israel, some of the songs echoed the truth that a nation whose God is the Lord is on solid ground.
Psalm 33 gives voice to this sentiment:
1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.
Praise befits the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
he put the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
I hope this song still rises from our hearts on the 4th.
Help me, dear God, to remember to whom we owe our supreme allegiance as a nation. To You be the glory. Amen.