In the “Star Spangled Banner,” America is deemed “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”¹ The words in this poem, penned by Francis Scott Key in 1814, are the lyrics to the song which became our National Anthem in 1931.¹The first stanza is the one we have memorized and heard sung at many public events, while the last stanza is often overlooked:
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! ²
We have taken pride as a nation in the declaration stated in the last line, but maybe these words mean something else in today’s world. Has freedom become a license to do as one wishes in defense of sin through a brazen boldness deemed as “bravery” in this land we live in? Is this what “free” and “brave” mean to some today?
Our country is in desperate need of the Lord’s presence in lives, in decisions, in words, and in deeds. We need to return to the motto “In God we Trust” and make it mean more than mere words on a coin. It has to be our firm belief, and our belief must be shown through our actions. Then, and only then, can we declare that we are “the land of the free and the home of the brave!” Freedom and bravery cannot come from man; both are only given through God.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience… (Colossians 1:11)
I encourage each one of us to pray with due diligence for this country. The Word gives us guidance in this prayer:
**If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
**And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
Let us pray without ceasing for this land which we claim as our earthly home, the one we will leave behind as our legacy and inheritance to our children and grandchildren-if the Lord wills. The examples they see and hear are you and me.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/03/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
1Morley, Jefferson. “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” July 4, 2013 http://www.theglobalist.com
2Toll, Larry. “On the ‘forgotten’ fourth verse of the national anthem.” July 1st, 2013. http://www.evangel.edu/ campus_blogs/2013/07/01