If The Foundations Be Destroyed

Bible Book: Psalms  11 : 3
Subject: America; Godly Patriotism

On July 4th we celebrate the birthday of the United States of America. Those who founded this great nation over 200 years ago considered Independence Day an important occasion for rejoicing. John Adams said: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

Psalm 11:3 asks, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

I want to speak today about the foundations upon which this nation was built. First, I want to speak of


We need to remind ourselves constantly of how this nation came to be. Some advice given to ancient Israel in Isaiah 51:1 is also good advice for modern-day Americans:

“...look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.”

In Maxwell Anderson’s play, “Valley Forge,” George Washington is pictured standing on a bleak wintry day before one of the wretched huts housing the Continental Army. Cold, wet and hungry, standing there in the wind and snow, Washington said, “Men will think lightly of this liberty when they forget what it cost.”

May the Lord help us never to forget the price that was paid by those who laid the foundations for this nation, and for the freedom which we enjoy today. May God help us to remember the blood, sweat and tears that were shed to bring our nation into being. We must never forget those rugged, independent-minded colonists of the 1700s, who balked at the idea of taxation without representation, and at the idea of the British government placing restrictions upon their freedom. The colonists continued to protest, and the British continued their heavy-handedness. Then, on March 23rd, 1775, a 39-year-old man named Patrick Henry spoke to Virginia’s House of Burgess, and these are some famous quotes from that speech:

An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us....We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations, and will raise up friends for us. The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave....Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

The Revolutionary War actually began on April 19, 1775, with what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “the shot heard round the world,” when colonial troops clashed with British soldiers at Lexington, Massachusetts. There were efforts to prevent further bloodshed, but the die had been cast, and the war accelerated. One of the major battles was the Battle of Bunker Hill near Boston, on June 17, 1775. The colonists knew they needed a unified army, so the Second Continental Congress elected General George Washington commander of all American forces, and on July 3, 1775, he took charge.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, thus officially ending ties between the American colonists and the British government. The war raged on both land and sea, and many were killed. There were some memorable examples of heroism during those tempestuous days. For instance, on September 22nd, 1776, Nathan Hale--as he stood before the British who were about to execute him as a spy--said, with resoluteness and courage, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country!”

Several other nations joined the conflict on the side of the colonists, and finally--in the war’s last major battle--General Cornwallis and his British troops surrendered at Yorktown. Then in 1783 the war formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, thus giving birth to a new nation. The 13 colonies now had become the Independent United States of America.

We must never forget the debt of gratitude that we owe to those brave patriots who fought and died to give birth to this nation--and we must also remember those who have served this country throughout our history, many of them giving their lives in order that you and I might live in freedom. Nor must we ever forget those who serve even today to keep our nation free.

The author of Psalm 16:6 declared, “...I have a goodly heritage”--and so do you and I.

We’ve considered the laying of our country’s foundations--now think with me about


This nation was founded on faith in God, who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ; it was founded on reverence for the inerrant, inspired Word of God, the Bible--and it was founded on the conviction that men should live by Christian principles.

That’s why God has blessed America. Psalm 32:12 says, “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” John Quincy Adams said: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” If a national leader were to make such a statement today, the liberal establishment would have a conniption fit!

The architects of this nation were God-fearing men, and the majority of them were devout Christians. Likewise, many of those who have led us in the years since then have been men who have sought to honor God in their lives.

James Madison, the man most responsible for the writing of our Constitution, said: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” George Washington, in his inaugural address, said: “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained.”

The Declaration of Independence is a very brief document of 1,321 words. A person can read it in 10 to 15 minutes. In the text of the Declaration of Independence our Creator is mentioned twice in the beginning and he is also mentioned near the end. Faith in God produced that document. Faith in God launched this nation. And it will take faith in God to preserve this nation. The Ten Commandments are engraved in several places on our buildings and monuments in Washington, D.C. Our pledge of allegiance declares that we are one nation “under God.” Our nation’s motto, engraved on our currency, is “In God We Trust.” Make no mistake about the God-honoring foundations upon which this nation was built!

But now, having looked at the nature of the foundations upon which our country was built, consider with me


We must face up to some disturbing realities about where we are today as a nation.

First, though, let me make one thing absolutely clear: I am unapologetically and unashamedly a patriotic, flag-waving American. I believe that this is the greatest country on the face of the earth. I’m grateful to be a citizen of the United States of America. There is no place on the planet that I’d rather live than in America. I often get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I see Old Glory waving in the breeze, or when I hear our national anthem, or when I see our military personnel in uniform.

But while I love my country, love need not--and ought not--be blind. We must face the sad fact that the America of today is a far cry from the America of even a few decades ago--and a lamentably far cry from the America that our founding fathers envisioned.

There are individuals and organizations today who are set on destroying America’s foundations. Someone has said, “The enemy is inside our gates with its God-defying demolition crew that will go to any lengths in their quest to erase our God from our nation and from the pages of history.” Some of the textbooks published today read as if the early settlers came here purely out of materialistic motives--while the truth is that the majority of them came to find religious freedom, where they could worship Christ according to the dictates of their conscience.

Shortly before his death I heard D. James Kennedy read some statements from a history book used today in some of our nation’s public schools, and in quoting from the Mayflower Compact--written by the Pilgrims in 1620--the textbook totally excluded the reference to “the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith....”--and they did so without even indicating that there were omissions. So anxious were these textbook authors to revise our country’s history that they resorted to plain dishonesty. Contrast that with a history textbook published in 1832, in which Daniel Webster is quoted as having said: “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles....”

In Washington D.C. there is a World War II Memorial. On the Pacific side of the memorial are engraved excerpts from the address which President Franklin D. Roosevelt made to the nation following the December 7th, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. He spoke of it as “a date which will live in infamy,” and went on to say this: “With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph--so help us God.” I have read that speech exactly as it was transcribed from the audio, and I have heard the audio--and that’s the way President Roosevelt closed that paragraph: “so help us God.” But those who had the World War II Memorial built, with excerpts from Roosevelt’s speech, left off those last four words: “so help us God.” I don’t know who was responsible for that engraving, but they obviously didn’t want any reference to God included--so they left off a vital part of the President’s speech, as if he had made no appeal to God. That is nothing short of blatant dishonesty.

Many, in their efforts to make ours a totally secular society, have gone to the point of absurdity. You probably read, just as I did, a few years ago, that the ACLU objected to the State of Tennessee making available automobile license tags containing the words, “Choose Life.” The ACLU claimed that allowing such wording amounted to the State endorsing a particular religious point of view.

Well, so what? I’m frankly tired of our public officials cow-towing to all of these off-the-wall groups. This country was not founded by adherents of a false religion which promotes murder and mayhem. This country was not founded by atheists, or agnostics, or by so-called “New Agers,” with their hodge-podge of far-out teachings. This nation was founded by folks who believed in the living God, and in Jesus Christ, the Savior, and in the Word of God, the Bible.

The children in most of our public schools are being taught that this universe came into existence by accident, and that man evolved from lower life forms. The evolutionists never can explain where that lower life form, that primordial cell, came from, but that doesn’t seem to faze them. They are intent on removing God from all public life, and their rationale is rather transparent: If there is no God, then there are no moral absolutes, and consequently “anything goes”--including sexual perversion.

Those same forces are relentlessly attacking the family, and trying to legitimize homosexuality and lesbianism. Unfortunately, they have sold their bill of goods to a lot of folks. For example, a number of American corporations, in order to be what they consider “politically correct,” have fallen in line, like sheep, and have instituted policies which not only tolerate, but actually promote, the gay and lesbian agenda.

We read statistics which indicate that the vast majority of Americans believe in God, and I thank the Lord for that--but there is obviously a vast disconnect between what many people say their believe, and how they behave. The majority of Americans do not attend church on a regular basis, and many not at all. Divorce shatters one of every two homes. Crime and immorality have reached epidemic proportions. The statistics on murder, rape, child abuse, and other horrendous crimes are staggering.

While there are pockets of righteousness, for which we thank the Lord--at the same time, to a large degree the foundations of our country are being eroded to a degree that would have alarmed our founding fathers--and should alarm you and me. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Well, what can we do about it? In Jeremiah 8:22 the prophet asked, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there....?” Indeed, is there anything that you and I can do to turn the situation around?

We’ve looked together at the laying of our country’s foundations, the nature of those foundations, and the sad eroding of them--now let’s think about


As we’ve noted, Psalm 11:3 asks, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The fact is that there are several things the righteous can do to stop the erosion and strengthen the foundations!

A.    Make Sure That We Are Among The Righteous

In the first place, each of us can make sure that we are among the righteous. We can check up on our personal spiritual and moral condition, and correct whatever is not right.

If you’ve never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then you need to do so, for that will not only please God, make you a new person, and cause you to miss hell and gain heaven--it is also the greatest thing you can do for your country.

For America to be a more Godly nation, there must be more Godly people--for a nation is but the sum total of the individuals who make up its citizenry. The 22nd President of our country, Grover Cleveland, said: “All must admit that the reception of the teachings of Christ result in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship.”

If you are a Christian, then face the question, “How strong a Christian am I?” In the little country church that my parents attended, and where my dad was a deacon, there was a sign on the wall of the auditorium, prominently displayed, which read: “What kind of a church would my church be, if every member were just like me?” Good question--and another good question to ask yourself is, “What kind of country would America be, if every citizen were just like me?”

Jesus said, in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” If you’re a believer, what have you done, and what are you doing now, to let your light shine?

Have you made a public profession of your faith? Have you obeyed Christ by being Scripturally baptized? Are you faithful in Sunday School and church attendance? Are you tithing so as to support your church’s efforts to advance the Kingdom of God in this community and around the world? Are you sincerely seeking, by God’s grace, to live a clean, exemplary life, so as not to bring reproach on the cause of Christ? Are you personally sharing your faith with others?

What can the righteous do? We can make sure that we are righteous, by trusting and following the Lord Jesus Christ.

B.    The Righteous Can Pray

In that same connection, there is a second thing that the righteous can do: we can pray for ourselves, that God will help us to be what we ought, and for others, that they, too, will come to know the Lord and live for him.

We can, and should, pray for our leaders. In fact, we are under a divine mandate to do so. In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 the apostle Paul wrote, under divine inspiration:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

C.    We Can Participate To Better Our Community, State and Nation

There is a third thing that the righteous can do, in order to stop the erosion of our nation’s foundations: we can not only get right with God ourselves, and pray--we can also participate in efforts to better our community, our state, and our nation. Jesus said to believers, in Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth....” Salt was a major preservative in the first century, but in order to do its work it had to be applied so as to penetrate the meat or whatever substance was being preserved. In like manner, if you and I are to be God’s preservative agents in this morally and spiritually deteriorating society, we’ve got to penetrate the common life around us--we’ve got to be involved.

One obvious thing we can do is to vote. I am appalled at the low voter turnout in most of our elections. Men and women have died to give us that right--and for a person to neglect to vote is shameful and irresponsible. As far as I’m concerned, a person who could vote and simply chooses not to do so has no grounds for griping about the way things are going in our country.

We can also speak out on moral and spiritual issues. We’ve heard the expression, “Silence is golden.” Well, that’s true in some circumstances--but there are other times when silence is just plain yellow. Certainly, we should, as Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:15, speak “the truth in love”--but speak the truth we must, whether or not our position is popular or politically correct. We need to stand for the Word of God, and for the Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was built.

A few years ago I read about a school in California that was preparing the children to present a patriotic program to which the public would be invited. To be included was the song made famous by Lee Greenwood, “God Bless the U.S.A.” The misguided administrator of the school decided that their program shouldn’t contain any religious references, so he instructed the children that instead of the words, “God bless the U.S.A.,” they should sing, “I love the U.S.A.” Well, he didn’t figure on the storm of protests that would come from parents. In light of the pressure they exerted on him, he relented and restored the original wording of the song. He admitted that he had gotten carried away with his desire to be “politically correct.”

We can make a difference if we speak out!

We need to speak out as we interact with people at work, in the neighborhood, at school, in the social setting--and we must make our positions known to our elected officials.

We can get involved in movements, organizations, and causes which are in keeping with the teachings of Christ. Obviously, we can’t be involved in every good organization, or give money to every good cause--but we can ask God to guide us as to how best we can invest our time, energy, and financial resources.

So, “if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” We can make sure that we are right with God and are maintaining purity in our personal lives--we can pray, for ourselves, our leaders, and others--and we can participate--and the time to dedicate ourselves in those ways, or rededicate ourselves, is now!