Earlier this morning, I was watching an episode from a documentary series about the American Revolution. It is a very well-done series and in this particular episode there was a segment on the arrival of British troops in force to the colonies. This is after the battles of Lexington and Concord, and after Bunker Hill (or Breed’s Hill, more accurately). The British fleet arrives in New York harbor boasting a force of over 130 warships and 20,000 men ready to subdue once and for all, the upstart Americans and their bothersome revolution. At the time, this was the largest gathering of a naval force brought to bear against a single adversary in history.
Imagine for a moment what the colonists were up against. Themselves, a rag-tag, disorganized, leaderless rabble with no clear goals or even an idea of what to do next, facing the mightiest nation on the planet. The fleet in the harbor representing the unrelenting and unforgiving sword that was about to be wielded against them — the embodiment of a massive, overbearing and oppressive government trying to force its laws and its taxes upon a population without its consultation or consent.
As one looks at America today, one can see a gathering discontent of the people who are tiring of conditions that seem very similar to what our forbearers experienced on that cold November day in 1775 when the British war fleet sailed into New York. It is obviously a symbolic comparison, but the symbolism is not difficult to grasp. The colonists of 1775 are symbolically represented by American citizens of the present day. The mighty British fleet is today replaced by a massive, overbearing American government forcing its unceasing and increasingly oppressive regulations and its ever-growing burden of taxes and inflation upon a population, without its consultation or consent.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison on January 30, 1787 that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing” for America. Unlike other leaders of the Republic, Jefferson believed that the people had a right to express their grievances against the government, and if those grievances might take the form of violent action, well then, so be it. This country was founded as a Republic. That means the People are in charge, and it is the People who decide what is best for them. The People do not need a tyrannical government to tell us what to do, nor to protect us from ourselves.
Now, for those of you reading this that think I am advocating rebellion, I certainly am not. What I am advocating is that rather than thinking in worldly terms, as I have described above, we all remember the principles on which this great country was founded: Judeo-Christian principles. The Bible says that we are to respect the authorities placed over us, because they were placed over us by God. The Bible also says that we are to pray for our leaders. I admit those are difficult things to do, especially when it seems that the people we trusted to be our leaders appear to only be interested in furthering their own power and wealth.
But God… God is sovereign. God is true. God is Almighty. And God has had all this planned out before time even began. So when we pray for our leaders, we should pray that God would speak to their hearts and turn them from a seemingly destructive course to one that is edifying and godly in nature. We can pray that they would eventually give their lives over to Jesus Christ. We can also pray the same things for ourselves and the people we know. We are all the same, capable of the same evil, and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, the same good blessings. And no one is too far gone to saved by the love and grace of Jesus.
There is hope for America. But it is not in any national leader, politician, celebrity, or diplomat. The only hope for America is Jesus Christ. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
There is no greater hope than that.