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The hot summer of 1787 saw a group of men gather in Philadelphia from all over the American colonies. They were coming to consider altering their national government. They had been living under the Articles of Confederation for eleven years; and while it was much better than being enslaved to King George of England, it had some serious flaws. One of these flaws was that it had no executive branch, therefore no one to see that the laws were enforced. Likewise, it had no power to coin money; that power had been left with the individual states, and thus, there was no real standard of measurement. This had greatly hampered the growth of business between the colonies. There were other problems; thus, the gathering in Philadelphia.
The work would go slowly. The heart of this group was somewhat removed from the heart of the Second Continental Congress, which had written our Declaration of Independence and established the Articles of Confederation as our first national government. In 1776, the great revival known as the Great Awakening was still flowing. The thinking of the delegates in Philadelphia in 1776 and been more dependent on “a superintending Providence.” Their dependence on Him had caused them to more readily listen to His wisdom released through another delegate; thus, more harmony was felt. Now, the measure of prosperity which they had known the last eleven years had somewhat stolen from them that dependence on God, and thus, the willingness to listen to another. The disagreements had gotten so sharp Washington, the President of the Convention, was afraid their hopes of establishing a better national government were going down the drain. One day the New York delegates walked out, and it looked like the end of the United States. At that point an eighty-one year old delegate from Pennsylvania struggled to get to his feet. Trembling, as he stood painfully on gout-infected feet, he stated,
“In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection. – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending Providence in our favor.
…And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
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, is it probable that an 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.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel…
I therefore beg leave to move – that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business,”
Franklin’s call to repentance saved America in 1787. Will we hear God’s call to repentance again in 2012? Will we return to believe the Bible is trustworthy for rebuilding our nation just as it was trustworthy for birthing it? That decision lies with you and me, our families, and our churches.
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you–
and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson this has been Think About It.