Posted on November 24, 2011
From the moment European travelers set foot on this continent, they recognized God’s grace on their endeavors and gave thanks for their success. One of the earliest legal documents, The Mayflower Compact, set out in simple language the plan and purpose for this early colony:
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia… Mayflower Compact 11/11/1620
The Pilgrims sought freedom, especially in their desire to worship God as led by their heart. And while at first they struggled under a primitive form of communal living or socialism, privatization led to a bountiful harvest. In 1623, they celebrated Thanksgiving with their native American neighbors who had also greatly benefited from God’s grace that year. They did not attribute this to luck or the benefits of the community, they recognized the benefits of the love of their Heavenly Father.
And afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving… By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine now God gave them plenty … for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had … pretty well … so as any general want or famine had not been amongst them since to this day. William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
And as Bradford also noted, socialism, in this case a forced redistribution of wealth, had inhibited the success of the colony. No matter how much harder one worked, you received no more, or less, than the laziest member of the colony. This created resentment and far less productivity and motivation.
…that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
But after each family was given their own land to work for their own benefit, the attitude and success of the colony was guaranteed.
This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression. William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
Though not the first to celebrate Thanksgiving in the new world, the Pilgrims have given us one of the first calls by civil authorities to give thanks to God. Their celebration gave rise to much of our Thanksgiving traditions and imagery – although more legends survive than reality.
America has never been and will never be a Christian theocracy. But without the acknowledgement of a supreme Being and the wisdom granted by His Word and Spirit to Godly men and women, this nation would not exist in its present form. No nation has experienced any level of prosperity and freedom without drawing intimately from the Truth that is in the Bible. Our Founding Fathers were all great men of faith and their letters and Founding documents ooze with references to God and His Word.
One cannot objectively look at history and not recognize the hand of God guiding these United States through some of its darkest moments. From its founding, defeating England, the world’s only superpower at the time, with an army of merchants, farmers and preachers, to an improbable victory over Japan and Germany in World War 2, America has been greatly blessed.
It has birthed some of the greatest inventions of all time. It has produced miracle drugs to combat numerous diseases. It has led in the development of transportation, communications, technology and space exploration. American innovators have changed the way business is done all over the world and in every industry.
No other nation has sent and supported so many missionaries, or given so much aid to those in need. No other nation has sacrificed so much in the name of freedom. No other nation has conquered its enemies only to turn around and help with the reconstruction and reestablishment of their state. We have been used as both God’s hand of judgement and His hand of mercy throughout the world. There are very few nations as willing and able as the United States to stand against evil, or help in time of crisis.
There are nations that date back thousands of years, have similar if not greater resources, but yet can’t seem to feed their people or even respond to the most basic natural disaster. There are remnants of great empires that once ruled the known world that have people living in squalor and mud huts. There are countries literally swimming in wealth, but yet the average person has little to no freedom and absolutely no hope of a better life in their own country. That same person can arrive at the shores of this nation, and with just an idea and some determination, build a business empire, creating jobs and opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands more.
What makes America different from so many other nations on this planet? Two things separate us, our love for a covenant keeping God and the freedom He gives us.
We may at times elect ungodly men and women who attempt to lead us astray. We may endure slander because of our faith. We may be attacked internally and externally by those under the control of the evil one. None of that moves us because the light of Truth shines on.
It saddens me to hear the President of the greatest country on this planet totally ignore God’s role in our prosperity in a Thanksgiving message of all places. It is incredibly offensive to suggest that the Blessing on this nation is the result of luck (do a word search on the origins of luck and chance to see how offensive that suggestion is to Christians), or some bizarre understanding of social justice. But even if our leaders ignore the prominent and unmistakeable hand of Providence on this land, I never will. If you ignore God in a vain attempt to appease some radical minorities, you insult the majority. There is no neutrality – even atheism is a belief system. And besides, if you are not thanking God, who the heck are you praising?
This is truly a great nation because of God’s Blessing. For this, we should all be eternally thankful regardless of background.
Even if you reject God and religion, you need to recognize and understand that personal liberty would not exist without the Judeo-Christian concept that freedom comes from above, not from a government or king. The nations that have rejected God and embraced atheism, or have attempted to destroy all religion, have been the least free and responsible for the greatest genocidal crimes against humanity. The religious theocracies that reject the Judeo-Christian God haven’t been that far behind their demonic brothers in the destruction of life and denial of liberty. Look at the historical record and give thanks to God for America and the freedom you enjoy here. There are many people that literally die every day just wanting to be free.
In the midst of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress gave this Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1777 when the American colonies stood alone against the greatest army and navy in the world, and victory was far from certain. It remains powerful to this day.
For as much as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these United States to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and praise: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.
And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.
And one final quote on God’s goodness for this nation.
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His heritage. Psalm 33:12 AMP
Have A Happy And Blessed Thanksgiving!!