Thursday, February 21, 2013
In God We Trust
In Memoirs of the Second World War, by Winston Churchill, I recently read about how Adolf Hitler took control of Germany. Hitler came to power completely legally. The citizens, suffering from unemployment and trying to recover from hyperinflation, voted for the Nazis. A few months later, the Reichstag majority voted 441 to 94 to give Hitler complete “emergency” powers for the next 4 years.
It seems that since the famine in Joseph’s days, whenever there is an “emergency,” people sell themselves and their inherent, God-given rights to Pharaoh (Genesis 47:18-19). The same scenario is repeated in the first book of Samuel. God had delivered the Israelites from all their enemies, but when there was an “emergency”—when Nahash the king of the Ammonites came—the Israelites cried, “Give us a King!” They did not realize that God was their King. He was their banner, Jehovah-Nissi (Exodus 17:5) who fought their battles. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. He was the Lord their Healer, the Lord their peace, God Almighty. But no, they wanted a Pharaoh of their own, an earthly, tangible, fallible king. Samuel warned the people that they would lose their freedoms and become servants, slaves to their king. The Israelites got what they asked for—King Saul.
History often repeats itself. In 1932, the people of Germany were in trouble. Who did they turn to? God, their Father? No! They turned to their Pharaoh—their government. Portraits of the Fuehrer (Father) were posted in churches, and preachers were ordered to praise the Fuehrer Hitler in their churches. Most obeyed and became unwitting adherents to the reprehensible doctrine—unspoken but de facto—that “The state is God.” They lost their liberties and got the “Fuehrer” Adolf Hitler, a tyrant.
And yet even today so many people in these United States are completely blinded. After every disaster or emergency, the government takes more power under the pretense of keeping us safe. They forget the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
During the Great Depression, many were unemployed, and some were going hungry. Who did the people turn to? The government, of course. And in the 80 or so years since then, every time there is a little “Emergency” anywhere, they always do the same thing. The nature of the people is predictable. They forget “The Lord will provide” and demand that the government provide. They have lost their strong, resilient, and independent spirit in a large part. Like Esau, selling his birthright for a bowl of pottage, like the Israelites desiring a king, and like the Egyptians selling themselves to Pharaoh for food, many of the people are willing to sell their birthright of liberty for bowls of entitlements.
On all of our coins, our motto is written, "In God we trust." Do the people of these United States really trust in God?