The Heart in Transformation: The Life of David

Rev. Dr. Mark Raeburn Johnston

-three-

Under God

Persons arguing against any reference to the living God in the Pledge of Allegiance is a
recent event in American history. A few years ago, a known atheist stood before the Supreme Court of America, and while pointing to an American flag declared, “I’m an atheist!  I don’t believe in God!”

Defending the use of “under God,” the Solicitor General responded by saying that the
phrase doesn’t place the pledge in the category of unconstitutional religious expression.

Rather, “under God” was one of various
“civic and ceremonial acknowledgments of the indisputable historical fact that caused the framers of our Constitution and the signers of the Declaration of Independence to say…that God gave them the right to declare their independence when the king has not been living up to the unalienable principles given to them by God.”

The importance of a nation rightly positioned under God can be discerned in our study of David and his predecessor, King Saul!

Saul was divinely chosen to lead Israel, but he eventually assumed such self-importance
that he chose against God in decisive ways. Instead of being a king submitted to Heaven’s authority, Saul pretended to the ministry of Samuel by offering sacrifices in the prophet’s absence.  The king elevated himself above the authority of God!

Whenever the government of man usurps the authority of God, only divine displeasure can occur.  And judgment usually follows!

While King Saul’s behavior required correction, the Lord would not leave Israel without a shepherd.  A new king would be anointed!  That would be the shepherd David, a young man who honored the Lord, and who placed himself “under God’s” authority to obtain personal blessing and national prosperity!

David’s anointing foreshadowed the One who Nathaniel exclaimed, “Thou art the King of Israel!” (John 1:49)

Pilate would append that very title, “King of the Jews” above the head of Jesus, who hung above the entire world while on Calvary’s Cross.  Being ‘under God’ points to our hope, God’s mercy, our redemption, and God’s love.

Let’s take a moment today to thank the Lord for His blessing, and let’s renew our pledge to submit ourselves under God’s authority!

Prosperity for any nation begins “under God!”

 

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