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On April 19, 1775, seventy-five American Farmers faced an overwhelming force of some 600 British professional soldiers. The Americans were out-manned, out-gunned, and out-trained. And when the first shots were fired, nine of the Americans fell dead. Why were they willing to face such overwhelming odds? Were they dreamers? Were they crazy? Were they men of such noble ideas they were willing to die for them? While they were all these things (except crazy) they had an even greater reason for resisting the King of England. They believed they were obeying the God of the Bible with their resistance. Their Congress had stated,
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian…duty of each individual ….Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
(Massachusetts Provincial Congress. 1774, in a resolution. George Bancroft, Bancroft’s History of the United States, Vol. 1-X (Boston: Charles C. Little & James Brown, 3rd Edition, 1838) Vol. VII, p. 229. Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Glory of America (Bloomington, MN: Garborg’s Heart’N Home, Inc., 1991), 8.31.)
When our ancestors defended themselves on Lexington Green, and later much more successfully at Concord Bridge, they believed they were walking in a principle of liberty taught in the Bible.
When God place Adam in the Garden of Eden, he told him to “keep it”; that is, to guard it against his enemy satan (Genesis 2:15). His was to constantly be a defensive posture: If satan tried to enter the Garden, Adam was to drive him back and give him no entry! Thus, from the beginning of man God was teaching us that it is a moral duty to defend what He has entrusted to us. That includes our life, liberty, and property He has loaned us. Indeed, when we defend what He’s entrusted to us, we are honoring the God Who gave it. This is why America’s Founders believed that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.
Over the centuries God has had His people defend themselves:
Noah defended His family from the Great Flood by building an ark, in which they lived a year and thus were protected from the devastation which came on the world.
Abraham defended his family and neighbors after a raid upon them. He rescued the women, children, and goods which heathen kings had stolen from them. He defended their life, liberty, and property which God had given to them.
Moses defended the daughters of Reuel who came to water their flocks. Shepherds drove them away from the well, but Moses stood up for the girls, refusing to let the shepherds harm them or their flocks. From this we learn that men are to defend females, not exploit them. Men are to be the defenders of God-given rights.
Joshua moved to the defense of Israel’s allies, the Gibeonites, when they were attacked by a group of kings (Joshua 10:5-7). God honored their defensive war and gave them victory over the massive army assembled against them. From the Biblical teaching of their Pastors, America’s Founders learned that defensive war is just.
Jesus defended those oppressed by selfish men. He drove the thieving merchants from the temple area with a braided whip (Matthew 21:12-13). He was not afraid to stand up to the governmental powers of His day and defend the rights of those they oppressed.
The Apostle Paul defended His God-given right of life by using His Roman citizenship rights. He used it to stop soldiers from whipping him. He used it to “appeal to Caesar” in order not to be killed. The Bible teaches we are to defend our God-given rights!
Early Americans were willing to die in order to obey God by protecting the rights of life, liberty, and property which He had entrusted to them. Are you willing to speak up against oppressive government, and even die, for those same rights?
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.