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Though common men, the Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were some of the wisest people who ever lived. They came together about 1605 in a covenant which meant they each believed that the Bible was completely true; and that it could be trusted to meet one’s need in this world, just as it could be trusted concerning eternal things. They believed the God of the Bible to be sovereign, or “supreme in power”, as Noah Webster would define the word in his first American dictionary.
They believed when church leaders disagreed with the Bible, those church leaders were always wrong, never the Bible. They believed when the King disagreed with the Bible, the King was always wrong, not the Bible. They believed when church writings disagreed with the Bible, those writings were always wrong, not the Bible. They lived this out in their daily lives and proved that the teachings of the Bible were far superior to any ideas of men about how to build a nation. To put it simply, they believed the Bible was always right. They believed God’s way of thinking, expressed in the Bible, to be far superior to man’s way of thinking.
William Bradford, their Governor and historian, had revealed their heart when he wrote,
“…their desires were set on the ways of God and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His Providence, and knew whom they had believed…”
(Of Plymouth Plantation, W. Bradford, original manuscript)
Because they believed God to be Sovereign, they trusted Him instead of their government to meet their needs and to protect them. Because they believed Him to be Sovereign, they lived lives that were disciplined. They believed He had placed them on this earth for His own purposes; and, because He was their Sovereign, that meant they were accountable to Him for their actions. This caused them to stay committed to a task even when it became very difficult. Men who lived by their own ideas gave up on the very difficult task of birthing Plymouth Colony. But those who were surrendered to God’s will continued to persevere even though death continually stalked them. And their faith birthed the greatest nation in world history.
Because they believed God was “supreme in power”, when a twelve week drought came in the summer of 1623, they didn’t blame the government, asking, “Why doesn’t the governor do something?” Instead they took the problem to their Head, Jesus Christ, their Sovereign Lord. They set aside a day of fasting and prayer. And they didn’t just pray all day. They searched their own hearts to find out if they were outside God’s order revealed in the Bible. And if they found sin in their heart, they admitted it to God; and, if it involved another person, they went to that person right there in the room and asked them to forgive them. This honesty caused God to move on their behalf. Before nightfall, the clouds were beginning to gather. Rain started falling in such gentle showers that not only were their crops revived, but even the Indians admitted that the Pilgrims’ God was more powerful than their medicine men: And they began to turn to Jesus Christ.
The Pilgrims believed the Bible could be trusted to work in this present world. They took seriously the words of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which state:
“If My people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
Do you take those words seriously?
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.