We live in troubled times marked by political strife, an unprecedented pandemic, and a fear and uncertainty about our future and where events will take us. I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln as he addressed the political upheaval that precipitated our nation’s one and only civil war; a bloody conflict when we almost destroyed ourselves as a nation.
Lincoln said, “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Should we expect some trans-Atlantic giant to step the ocean and crush us with a blow? No, all the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer; if it ever reach us, it must spring up among us, it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide.”
Lincoln’s words seem prophetic when we consider the troubled times we are living in, and which seem to be a harbinger of the trouble prophesied in the book of Revelation.
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?
Long before Lincoln, when the first Constitutional Convention was close to adjourning in disarray, Benjamin Franklin addressed the moderator George Washington with these words:
“In the situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were graciously answered.
“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 men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice (a reference to Matthew 10:29), is it probable and empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1).’ I firmly believe this and I also believe that without His concurring aid we will succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel (Genesis 11).
“I therefore beg leave to 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.” Our Founding Fathers prayed and a nation was born. For those of you who are sensible to the danger of national suicide I plead, pray!