It is hard to believe that a nation that was founded upon Biblical principles has strayed so far away from God.
Thanksgiving has become a cultural holiday that celebrates food and football. Very little thanksgiving or praise is given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What may seem to be of little significance to us is of great importance to God and our national morality and prosperity.
The Apostle Paul begins his description of the ancient world and its immorality by saying that it began with ingratitude: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:21).
George Washington was aware of this when he issued his first Thanksgiving Proclamation. He wrote, "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful of His benefits. ... Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." It was dated Oct. 3, 1789.
Our failure to give God thanksgiving and praise has become our downfall as well. The further away from God we stray the more immoral we will become. And the more immoral we become the less security and prosperity we will have. Proverbs puts it this way: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).
In the last paragraph of Washington's declaration, he calls upon the whole nation to "unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations To promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best." Read the whole declaration in the book: America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations, p.654.
May Almighty God, in His mercy and grace, call this great county back to the roots of the Christian faith upon which it was founded.
- Savits is the pastor at Newberry Church of Christ.