Teach the Children
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Today while watching the morning news, they were on the street asking people what their New Year’s resolution was. One young man stated he wanted to get out of this country before it sank completely. How sad a statement! We sing “God Bless America”, and then make statements like this. Sounds like to me that “Hope” is dead in the streets.
Kopf, Carl Health (1902–1958), was an American clergyman. He once stated:
“Whether God blesses America or not does not depend so much upon God as it does upon us American’s.” How can and will God bless America when Americans have thrown him out of their lives? In 1962 we threw God out of our schools and every attempt to put God back has been denied the people. So I ask again, how can and will God bless America, when we continue to deny God His place in our daily lives. We have replaced God with things we feel are more important; Silver and Gold – Money, possessions; all centering on self – ME. In our present conflict, which is economic distress, and terror attacks from religious extremes; it is little surprise that it did not happen sooner. I read once, “A culture’s teachings, and most importantly the nature of the people, achieve definition in conflict. They find themselves, or find themselves lacking.” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37–38). This command, given by Moses and underscored by Jesus, must be diligently taught and observed.
This commandment is not automatically transferred from one generation to another. Deuteronomy attaches the importance and responsibility of teaching to the family (4:9; 6:7, 20–25; 11:19). This educating must be done in a diligent manner. The home is to be the center for conserving and propagating truth. Home is where life makes up its mind. Moses understood that the greatness of the nation Israel depended upon the teaching of the commandments in the home. As a nation, we need desperately to apply this truth ourselves, or face the captivity of the world. Socrates asked, “Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth and take so little care of your children to whom one day you must relinquish it all?” The instruction from the parents to the children was not to be a “lesson,” but a continual way of life. Truth was to be communicated when they sat, as they walked, after they lay down at night, and when they arose in the morning (v. 7). A variety of methods is given to help parents saturate their children with these important commandments. They were to experience them (v. 6); talk about them (v. 7); exhibit them (v. 8); write them (v. 9); and, most importantly, model them.
Sadly, our present day generation is just like the generation that followed Joshua and his generation after their death. Our generation today lacks that personal knowledge of God which is the heart of biblical faith, and we have forgotten all that God has done for our nation. Lest we forget; that our nation started with a ragtag army of farmers, fathers and sons, boys some just 13 years old; out numbered by British Regulars and the entire British Navy, yet by prayer and fasting God delivered them from the tyranny of an unjust King. It is no longer in the history books but on July 13, 1775, Governor Jonathan Trumbull wrote from Lebanon, Connecticut, to General George Washington, who had recently been placed in command of the Continental Army:
The Honorable Congress have proclaimed a Fast to be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this continent, to stand before the Lord in one day, with public humiliation, fasting, and prayer, to deplore our many sins, to offer up our joint supplications to God, for forgiveness, and for his merciful interposition for us in this day of unnatural darkness and distress.
They have, with one united voice, appointed you to the high station you possess. The Supreme Director of all events hath caused a wonderful union of hearts and counsels to subsist among us. Now therefore, be strong and very courageous.
May the God of the armies of Israel shower down the blessings of his Divine Providence on you, give you wisdom and fortitude, cover your head in the day of battle and danger, add success, convince our enemies of their mistaken measures, and that all their attempts to deprive these Colonies of their inestimable constitutional rights and liberties are injurious and vain.
On July 20, 1775, General Washington issued the order:
The General orders this day to be religiously observed by the Forces under his Command, exactly in manner directed by the Continental Congress. It is therefore strictly enjoined on all Officers and Soldiers to attend Divine Service; and it is expected that all those who go to worship do take their Arms, Ammunition and Accoutrements, and are prepared for immediate action, if called upon.
The Navy cruisers commissioned by General Washington during the Revolutionary War flew as their ensign a white flag with a green pine tree, and above it the inscription:
An Appeal to Heaven. It was said that the Revolutionary War was won by Divine intervention.
On February 26, 1776, General Washington issued the orders:
All officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers are positively forbid playing at cards and other games of chance. At this time of public distress men may find enough to do in the service of their God and their country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality.
On March 6, 1776, from his headquarters at Cambridge, General Washington issued the command for a Day of Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation:
Thursday, the 7th instant, being set apart by the honorable Legislature of this Province as a day of fasting, prayer and humiliation, “to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental army with His divine favor and protection,” all officers and soldiers are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred duties at the Lord of hosts for His mercies already received, and for those blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through His mercy obtain.
As you can see God was first and foremost on the minds of our forefathers as the conflict raged. Thus our Supreme Courts have been mistaken in there discussions on religion. It was because of Christian ideals that our Constitution was drafted, and as you can see there was not a separation of church and state in the beginning of this nation. There was respect for religious freedom as seen in this order given by General Washington; On September 14, 1775, from his headquarters at Cambridge, Massachusetts, General Washington sent the order to Colonel Benedict Arnold prior to his campaign against Quebec:
As the contempt of the religion of a country by ridiculing any of its ceremonies, or affronting its ministers or votaries, has ever been deeply resented, you are to be particularly careful to restrain every officer and soldier from such imprudence and folly, and to punish every instance of it.
On the other hand, as far as lies in your power, you are to protect and support the free exercise of the religion of the country, and the undisturbed enjoyment of the rights of conscience in religious matters, with your utmost influence and authority.
On the same day, in a personal letter to Colonel Benedict Arnold, September 14, 1775, General George Washington enlarged:
I also give it in charge to you to avoid all disrespect of the religion of the country, and its ceremonies.
Prudence, policy, and a true Christian spirit will lead us to look with compassion upon their errors without insulting them.
While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case they are answerable.
Our history is full of the Divine Hand of God moving to create a great nation just as he did for Israel. When you step back and look closely at the battles of the Revolutionary War you see many miracles. In June of 1775, the situation in Boston grew more serious, as encounters between British troops and Colonial militia became more frequent. Following an exchange fought on one of the islands in Boston Harbor, Amos Farnsworth, a farmer turned militiaman, entered in his diary:
About fifteen of us squatted down in a ditch in the marsh and stood our ground. And there came a company of regulars on the other side of the river … and we had hot fire, until the regulars retreated.
But notwithstanding the bullets flew very thick, there was not a man of us killed. Surely God has a favor toward us. … Thanks be unto God that so little hurt was done us, when the balls sang like bees round our heads.
By incredible means, fifty cannons were moved from Fort Ticonderoga to a position overlooking Boston. An instance of divine intervention resulted in a victory over the British, who had surrounded Boston for a year and a half, without loss of life either side. On March 17, 1776, General Washington replied to an address from the General Assembly of Massachusetts regarding the recent evacuation of General Howe and the British troops from Boston:
And it being effected without the blood of our soldiers and fellow-citizens must be ascribed to the Interposition of that Providence which has manifestly appeared on our behalf through the whole of this important struggle, as well as the measures pursued for bringing about the happy event.
May that Being who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity; and compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their counsels and arms, and crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause of virtue and mankind.
May this distressed colony and its capital, and every part of this wide extended continent, through His Divine favor, be restored to more than their former luster and once happy state, and have peace, liberty, and safety secured upon a solid, permanent and lasting foundation. The Devine hand of God was on the United Colonies and saw them through the conflict at every turn.
On July 2, 1776, from his Head Quarters in New York, General Washington issued his General Orders:
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them.
The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die. Our own country’s honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.
Let us rely upon the goodness of the cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions.
The United Colonies depended on God to bring them through the conflict, for this there is no question. It is written history!
For the United States to recover it will take a diligent and earnest return to what our forefathers knew, God! God needs to be first place in mankind’s hearts and mind, and we need to learn His law for us. When we the people return to what we have lost in this day of unnatural darkness and distress, then God will bless this country again.
We start by teaching the children about God and how good He has been to us.