Principle Truth: if you want to know the purpose of a thing, examine its origin. For example, the Bible begins with “In the beginning God created…” (Gen1:1).
The word “Genesis” means beginnings. The reason God placed the book of Genesis first is so that humanity might understand not only that He created all things but also that He gifted His creation with unique purpose.
Therefore, one way to know the purpose of America is to examine its origin. Over the past several weeks I have shared several things about the life of George Washington. Looking at our first President can help us understand God’s call upon both Washington and America.
The First Inauguration of a U.S. President happened in New York City which was the nation’s capital at the time. Everything was planned. Nothing was left to chance. However, as the inaugural parade proceeded toward Federal Hall, one official remembered that a Bible for administering the oath of office was missing. The contribution of the Bible to this ceremony was not merely a simple oversight but was literally a New York law*. In other words, no Bible, no ceremony! Well, needless to say, the Parade Marshall hurried back to obtain a Bible!
Thousands were in attendance to witness this historic event taking place on the balcony of Federal Hall. The Bible was laid upon a beautiful crimson cloth. Robert Livingston, the Chancellor of New York, who was one of the five men chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence**, administered the swearing in ceremony. The Bible was opened randomly and fell to Genesis 49. George Washington placed his left hand upon the Bible, and took the oath raising his right hand. After the conclusion, he bent down and kissed the Bible.
Immediately, Washington and the other officials proceeded from Federal Hall to the Senate chamber where he delivered the first ever Inaugural speech. Before delivering the speech, he opened in prayer:
“My fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the
universe, Who presides in the councils of nations, and Whose
Providential aids can supply human defect, that his benedictions
(blessing) may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the
people of the United States a government instituted by themselves
for these essential purposes.” (April 30, 1789)
During the speech he declared:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the
have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems
to have been distinguished b some token of Providential
agency(Divine power). (April 30, 1789)
At the end of the speech, he prayed a second time:
“humble supplication that…His divine blessing may be equally
conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations,
and the wise measures on which the success
of this government must depend.” (April 30, 1789).
After the prayer had concluded the Inaugural speech, President Washington and the entire U.S. Congress walked over to St Paul Chapel for a “Divine Service”! In other words, the entire group of government officials went to church to hear a message preached from the Word of God!!!! Remember, that every event of the Inauguration including this had been previously approved by the United States Senate.
FYI, there were seven “Christian” activities in America’s first Inauguration:
1.the use of the Bible3*
2.solemnifying the oath4*
3.Two Prayers offered by the President Washington
4.Christian Words from Washington’s Inaugural address
5.Other People who offered Christian words during the ceremony
This was the ceremony that ‘officially6* began the nation of America! From the very beginning, our founding fathers established “God First” as the governing moral principle of the United States by incorporating the Word of God into its official activities, ceremonies, documents, and laws, etc. It is for this reason…God has blessed this nation!!!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for
his own inheritance. -Ps33:12
*James Parker, Conductor Generalis; Or the Office, Duty and Authority of the Justices of the Peace (New York: John Patterson, 1788), pg 302-304. “Of oaths in general”
**Declaration of Independence ‘Committee of Five’- On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut.
3*I’m sorry to report to all the ‘religious liberty’ and ‘diversity’ advocates, but there was no Koran(Islam), nor Veda (Hinduism), nor Sutras (Buddhism), nor Granth Sahib (Sikhism)!
4*Although we do not know if Washington used the term “So help me God”, what we do know is that certain states had requirements to use “So help me God!”. For example, Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Georgia etc. (The American Story. David Barton, pg242)
5*The American Story. David Barton, pg242
6* Unofficially America began in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence…another Christian document! However, our continued existence after 1776 was solely contingent upon winning the War for Independence.
"To change a habit, make a conscious decision, then act out the new behavior." - Maxwell Maltz
‘Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation’ is the title of a small booklet written by George Washington, our first President. What I find most amazing is that he wrote it when
he was 14 years old!!!! You read that right…I repeat, 14 years old!! In other words, George Washington was such a precocious young person, that he was thinking about the virtue of manners, i.e.how to treat people in social settings… at the age of 14!!! I can remember was I was 14…my thoughts were not on writing a book on manners!!!
The book is an easy read, because it is only 30 pages long and lists 110 rules; and many of the rules are hilarious!!! Allow me to give you several of the Rules conceived in the heart and mind of a 14 year old.
4.In the presence of others sing not to yourself with a humming noise, nor drum with your fingers or feet.
23.When you see a crime punished, you may be inwardly pleased, but always show pity to the suffering offender.
51.Wear not your clothes foul, ripped or dusty, but see that they be brushed once every day, at least, and take heed that you approach not to any uncleaness.
56.Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
65.Speak not injurious words, neither in jest or earnest, scoff at none although they give occasion.
66.Be not forward but friendly and courteous; be the first to salute, hear, and answer; and be not pensive when its time to converse.
70.Reprehend not the imperfections of others, for that belongs to parents, masters, and superiors.
71.Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of others and ask not how they came. What you may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not before others.
81.Be not curious to know the affairs of others; neither approach those that speak in private.
82.Undertakd not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise.
89.Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust
90.Being set at meat, scratch not, neither spit, cough, or blow your nose, except if there is a necessity for it.
91.Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals; feed not with greediness; cut your bread with a knife; lean not on the table; neither find fault with what you eat.
95.Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand; neither spit forth stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.
98.Drink not, nor talk with your mouth full
100.Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done with a pick tooth.
101.Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.
105.Be not angry at the table whatever happens, and if you have reason to be so, show it not; put on a cheerful countenance especially if there be strangers, for good humour makes one dish of meat a feast.
George Washington was an amazing human being!!!To write 110 rules at just 14, means he was practicing them at 10,11,12,13, etc. These ‘110 Rules’ just offer more evidence why God chose him to be our first president, and why God has blessed this nation---more than any other nation in American history!!
We do not have to know where we are going, as long as we know Who we are following!
-Dr. James O Davis, pastor
Why has God blessed America? One reason is her godly leadership:
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” -Ex18:21
Last week I offered George Washington’s Sunday Morning Prayer. Now I offer excerpts from a several days of his prayers:
Sunday Evening Prayer:*O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon…
Monday Morning Prayer:…Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit…
…But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life…
Monday Evening Prayer:Most Gracious Lord God, from whom proceedeth every good and perfect gift, I offer to thy divine majesty my unfeigned praise & thanksgiving for all thy mercies towards me. Thou mad'st me at first and hast ever since sustained the work of thy own hand; thou gav'st thy Son to die for me; and hast given me assurance of salvation, upon my repentance and sincerely endeavoring to conform my life to his holy precepts and example…
Tuesday Morning Prayer:O Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I thine unworthy creature and servant, do once more approach thy presence. Though not worthy to appear before thee, because of my natural corruptions, and the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against thy divine majesty; yet I beseech thee, for the sake of him in whom thou art well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to admit me to render thee deserved thanks and praises for thy manifold mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest & repose of the past night, for food, rainment, health, peace, liberty…
Tuesday Evening Prayer:O Lord, what is man, or the son of man, that thou regardest him; the more days pass over my head, the more sins and iniquities I heap up against thee. If I should cast up the account of my good deeds done this day, how few and small would they be; but if I should reckon my miscarriages, surely they would be many and great. O, blessed father, let thy son's blood wash me from all impurities, and cleanse me from the stains of sin that are upon me. Give me grace to lay hold upon his merits; that they may be my reconciliation and atonement unto thee, -- That I may know my sins are forgiven by his death & passion….
The heart of a man is revealed through his prayer life. What you just read is evidence of three things:
1.a glimpse into the heart of our first President!
2.a glimpse into the heart of God on the reason He called GW to be our first President
3.a glimpse into God’s love for America and why we must fight for her!
To call George Washington a deist**…is complete dishonesty!
* https://www1.cbn.com/george-washingtons-prayer-journal-4. Taken from William J. Johnson, George Washington, The Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, 1919)
** Deism rejects the idea that God has any active role among humans. They believe God created the world and left it to be run by humans.
“Losers look at what they’re going through. Winners look at what they’re going to.” -Dr. Ed Cole
Why has God blessed America? One reason is her godly leadership:
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
Check out this prayer by our first godly leader…and president, George Washington:
Sunday Morning Prayer:
“Almighty God, and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day, receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee; I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated of thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou requirest of me, and since thou art a God of pure eyes, and wilt be sanctified in all who draw near unto thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts, pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense; and as thou wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and forever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”
One way to judge the fruit of a person’s godliness, is his/her’s prayer life. Three things immediately jump-out about George Washington’s prayer:
1.“Morning prayer”. The idea of “Morning” tells us that he prayed more than once a day. He believed in prayer.
2.Deists don’t pray because they reject the idea that God personally intervenes with man.
3.The amount of the Word of God included in his prayer indicates:
i.He didn’t just read the Bible, but was a student!!!
ii.He was taught to pray the Word of God
iii.He was a mature Christian
This prayer would be absolutely amazing…if Washington were a theologian!!!! But he was a General in the military; a founding father, and also a President of the United States of America!!!
Following are the number of verses from the Bible, that I could find* included in this ONE prayer!!!! Remember, this was just his morning prayer!!!
“Almighty God”-Gen17:1; “merciful Father”-2Cor1:3; “children of Israel”-Gen32:32(644 times in KJV); “to offer a daily sacrifice to thee”-Jer33:11, Heb13:15; “glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day”-Neh9:17,18; “my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee;”-Ps5:3; “Gracious God,” -Jon4:2,2Cor13:11; has preserved me from the danger of the night past” -Ps91:10-12; “but wait on thee”-Ps27:14; “pure eyes” -Hab1:13; “sanctified in all who draw near unto thee” -Ps73:28; “sacrifice of fools,” -Eccl5:1; “east is from the west” -Ps103:12; “merits of thy son Jesus Christ” -Is53; “compass thine altar” -Ps26:6; “my prayers may come before thee as incense” -Ps141:2; “wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers” -Ps27:7; “so give me grace to” -Jms4:6; “saving of the soul” -Heb10:39; “in the day of the Lord Jesus”-1Cor5:5, 2Pet3:10; “Gracious God” - Jon4:2,2Cor13:11; “Bless my family, kindred, friends and country” Eph1:3; 1Chron4:10; “be our God” -Jer7:23; Jer11:4; “who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us,”-Rom14:8,1Cor15:3,4, 2Cor5:15, 1Thes4:14; “Jesus Christ our Lord,” -Rom1:3, (9 times in NT).
In the 1830’s, French nobleman Alexis de Tocqueville travelled across America to determine what was happening here, which ended with his great work ‘Democracy in America’, where he stated:
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers … and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce … and it was not there … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution … and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and her power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."
George Washington’s prayer life is one result of the ‘flaming righteousness’ in America’s pulpits …and THE reason God chose him, and ultimately blessed this nation! Remember, “righteousness exalts (Pro14:34)”…a nation, a family, an individual!
*If you find more, please let me know!!!!!
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports”
-George Washington in his Farewell Address.