What does the Fourth of July mean to contemporary Americans? For many it means a day off from work and little more. To others it means an opportunity to “party,” roast hot dogs, drink beer and watch fireworks.
But to the Founders of our nation, it meant far more. Upon the completion of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, known as the “Father of the American Revolution” said,
“We have this day restored to Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come.”
Adams was a man of no small stature in the colonies. His views are widely known and he was not a closet Christian. He formed the Committees of Correspondence that unified the colonists preceding the Revolution; signed the Declaration of Independence; and served as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Massachusetts.
It was Adam’s view that in declaring their independence from Great Britain, the colonists were placing themselves under the only true “sovereign”, the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS. Adams believed that as God “reigns in Heaven” it was His desire to further His Kingdom in the New World “from the rising to the setting of the sun.”
On July 3, 1776, the day following Congress’ approval of the Declaration of Independence – John Adams – a signer of the Declaration and later our president wrote the following to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
To John Adams, it was to be remembered as a “Day of Deliverance” from the control and oppression of tyrants, and it should be marked by acts of devotion to the God who delivers! To Samuel Adams, and to his cousin John, the spiritual implications were significant. As God, the author of our liberty has “declared” us free from the power, dictates and cruel authority of the arch “tyrant”, the colonists were declaring themselves “free” to serve the King of Kings, and not an earthly tyrant. Their understanding of the event was theologically based, in a desire to serve the only true “sovereign”, Christ Himself.
It is difficult in light of the current state of America for the next generation to gain an understanding or appreciation of these spiritual implications. The enemy is using ignorance, complacency, and revisionism to disengage Christians from their civic duties.
While we celebrate “Independence” this Fourth of July, remember that the greatness of America is knowing that our liberty comes from Him who died for us, and that our “freedoms” spring from the love of God.-by David Crowe at www.crosswalk.com