The ratification of our U. S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, was a miracle. The attendees to the convention were of strong and varied opinions as to how the government of our new nation should be structured. Debate stretched over four hot summer months in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When compromise or agreement seemed hopeless, Benjamin Franklin reminded the other attendees at the Constitutional convention that prayer had been offered many times in the past for Providential guidance and was essential to their cause. Then he pleaded:
“I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid… I therefore make the move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business and that one or more of the clergy in this city be requested to officiate in that service.”
If our Heavenly Father’s assistance was needed then (and it was), are we not in even more need of His help to preserve our divided country today? Unfortunately, pundits who even mention Constitution Day totally exclude God’s hand in the crafting of this remarkable document, which has stood as the supreme law of the land for 233 years. In fact, the mere mention of God or anything religious has increasingly come under attack and is continuously stifled and ridiculed. Our children will most likely only learn of the influence of Divine Providence in the beginnings of our nation at the dinner table or in other ways solely in our families.
Hosea 4:6 laments that: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
If we forget and no longer teach the principles of liberty to our children and grandchildren, they too may be lost to ever-increasing government control; in essence to socialism and communism.
Have we forgotten the first liberty protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Are we limited in the practice of our religions, especially since the advent of Covid-19? How has this occurred? Thomas Jefferson believed that: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”
Have we been vigilant in protecting our liberty? The liberties and freedom vouchsafed by our Constitution have slipped away from us as the chains of regulation, “security” through providing welfare (which necessitates burdensome taxes), unimaginable debt, and other laws have slowly and carefully wound around us, largely unnoticed or of little concern to us. A day of reckoning is at hand. Will we reap the harvest of our lax attention to liberty? Will we remember God in the time of our suffering?
President Lincoln observed:
“We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.” [A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America, 30 March 1863]
What is the solution to our loss both of freedom and a sense of unity as a nation? In Proverbs, we are reminded: “Righteousness exalteth a nation.”
We must remember God and His blessings to us. We do this as we serve each other and recognize His hand in our lives.
We remember God as we seek to understand Constitutional principles and learn the history of our Founding fathers.
We remember God as we act to become involved in local, state, and national issues. Contacting elected officials, or running to become an elected official, will enable us to influence those around us for good.
As we remember our Heavenly Father and serve Him, we will be blessed and led to the path where we can do the most good. We are warned in Deuteronomy 6 verse 12: “Then beware lest thou forget the Lord…” for we will be left on our own, without His guidance and protection.
“Our government was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams
So, let us remember and reverence God, and no longer forget Him.
A fourth-generation Idahoan, Karey and her family make their home in Egin, Idaho. Karey holds an associate’s degree in education from Ricks College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She previously served as a Republican member of the Idaho House of Representatives from 2017-2018 and will return to the House for 2021 session. Karey and her husband, Burke, are the happy parents of seven children and 14 grandchildren.