The early Americans realized that their God would provide if they remained faithful to Him. They often made reference to the hand of 'Divine Providence' as they went about their daily tasks and as they met to deliberate upon wider issues in their community, their colony, and later, their nation. They also knew that they would also have to be faithful and to take action when it was called for to make their dream manifest. And so from the 19th century and up to the present time the concept of 'Manifest Destiny' has increasingly been formulated into U.S. foreign policy. Many historians consider this principle to be the main spiritual engine driving American history forward.
AND 'MANIFEST DESTINY'.
They sailed from England with a dream. Their Puritan vision was for the New World to be a 'city set upon a hill', and a light to the world. This later overflowed into a sense of 'manifest destiny' and a belief that America will lead the world into a new era of peace and security.
An essay by Gavin Finley MD
1. Puritan History, Past, Present and Future. An Introduction to this study. 2. John Winthrop and the Puritan dream of a shining 'city upon a hill'. 3. 'Manifest Destiny' is rooted in the Puritan dream of a 'nation under God'. 4. The Puritan belief in a 'Nation Under God' goes back to ancient Israel. 5. Gutenberg, Bibles and the Reformation bring in the Pilgrims and Puritans. 6. The Puritans rise up in the 1600's to dominate English Parliament. 7. The Puritan Army goes to battle against the king in the English Civil War. 8. The Puritan Army wears yellow ribbons and sashes in the English Civil War. 9. The Puritan Religion supports Parliament in the English Civil War. 10. Puritans vs. Pilgrims. Similarities and differences. 11. The Puritans in the New World and the signing of the Mayflower Compact. 12. Puritan belief and the American Revolution vs. the French Revolution. 13. America's Puritans today and the 'Religious Right' 14. The abortion issue and America's Puritans today 15. Today's Puritans and the expansion of America's global peacemaking role. 16. Today's American Puritans and the rise of Dominion Theology 17. Puritan belief and the future history of America.
THE PURITAN DREAM OF A SHINING 'CITY UPON A HILL", A VISION OF A JUST AND PIOUS "NATION UNDER GOD" STILL REMAINS IN AMERICA TODAY. IT IS THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF WHAT HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS "MANIFEST DESTINY".Americans expend a lot of energy in the fulfillment of what they term "the American dream". In that dream active American Christians find themselves inspired to work towards the realization of God's purposes here below. They work very hard to set up a vast number of programs for good causes. Christians have made a huge impact on the national life, the culture, and the politics in America. In the economic arena they deal with a very large and intricate array of business agreements which call for a high degree of moral integrity or a large number of lawyers or both. In the business merchant world the new civilization over in the New World has been a guiding light. So too has been the so-called "Protestant work ethic". This was brought to America by the Pilgrims and Puritans and also the French Huguenots, the Swiss/German Anabaptists, the Mennonites, and the Amish. All of these people groups had suffered religious persecution back in Europe. Their pilgrimage had taken them on to New World and America has benefited greatly from the quiet and honest Christian work ethic these people brought with them. This was present in good measure at the grassroots of the English colonies in the New World. This has been a big reason for America's success.
God is an important part of American life. That has been the case now for 400 years. The Puritans rose up in English Parliament in the early 1600's. This very same time period saw the early migrations of the Puritans across the Atlantic to the New World. The political history of the Puritans did not end there. It is a story that leads right on up into the present time and the emergence of the greatest superpower the world has ever known.
America has no king. Nor do they have any profound racial unity to bind them together. The Judeo-Christian God was, and remains today, the only real anchor and hope of America. Without Him the country would soon be torn apart by racial and political rivalries or rotted from within by political corruption and finished off by the tyranny that is endemic in the nations of this world. Rationalism and existentialism, are empty Utopian dreams. They sound good in the humanistic oratory of politics. But as history has abundantly demonstrated, man-centered proclamations of good intentions do not keep nations together. And the persecution of such programs fragments and brings down the nation and often scatters the good people within to other places.
What does a Republic based secular humanism look like? Well this has already been tried in the crucible of history. If people wish to see what America would look like without God then European history has already gathered the main elements, put them in the test tube, and done the experiment. A Republic based on secular humanism has already risen up and emerged into history. Oh yes, it was a revolution to be sure. And that new republic based upon secular humanism did in fact emerge in the very same 18th century time period as did the American Revolution. This was a great nation with bright and intelligent people. The nation was highly favored nation with great natural resources, good seaports, and excellent human resources for its time. This nation in that time period was hostile to the worship of the true Judeo-Christian God and was heavily devoted to Illumism, Nature, (with a capital "N", and human reason or rationalism. This giddy affair of a leading nation in Christendom with secular humanism was of course the French Revolution. This was an extraordinary political and social experiment. The French attempted to set up a republic based on "human reason". Secular humanism was established in the government as the "religion" or the "belief system" of the French nation. The God of Abraham was excluded and expelled from all governmental deliberations.
And just how did the experiment turn out?
History very graphically showed us the sad and tragic results.
The French had come out from their monarchy as did the Americans. They displayed the same red, white, and blue colors. And they lifted up the same mores of "liberty, equality, and fraternity" that was the stuff of American dreams. But they exhibited a different attitude. They attempted to achieve their "liberty, equality, and fraternity" after having crushed the Christian Church. They planned to bring in their Republic based upon "human reason". At the time men like Voltaire and Thomas Paine were pushing man-centered thinking as the new religion of the West and as the new high priests of the Enlightenment they sought to excommunicate Biblical revelation from the modern world, which at that time was already showing itself to be the world of the machine. In this political experiment the French were driven by the so called "Enlightenment". The "Age of Reason" was a book written by Thomas Paine and it was all the rage in the late 18th Century. In France the Judeo-Christian God was taken out of all the governmental proceedings of the new French Republic. The revolutionary government replaced the God of the Bible with and unknowable absentee clockmaker god of "Deism". This “god” crafted by the fathers of the French Revolution did not exist, except in their own minds. He was a figment of their own fevered debauched imagination and a shoddy product of their own "human reason". The true God was replaced by an impersonal, unknowable, and uncaring god of "Nature".
And what was the result of this social and political experiment in France? History gives us a very clear picture. The French attempt to establish a stable republic or democracy turned out to be an abject failure. The French Revolution descended into a bloody mayhem that came to be called the "Reign of Terror". It was one of the greatest tragedies European history has ever seen.
Europeans of the Old World remained under this spell. Other nations would later go on to make new and novel attempts to establish a state based in secular humanism. What are we to conclude about the Russian experiment in secularism set forth on behalf of "the workers" and an industry without private capital or private enterprise? Communist Utopians woke up from their devil-inspired dreams and tried to ramrod through a regime in Russia that would ensure a 'worker's paradise'. But their U.S.S.R. turned out to be just another great Russian tragedy. Stalin committed monstrous outrages against humanity. Political dissenters as well as Baptists, Pentecostals, poets and novelists, were bundled into the Gulags alongside the criminals. There in the cold and without being properly cared for they were worked to death. 60 million people died in the Stalinist purges and in the Russian work camps. And in an age when people insist that it is religion causes all our bloody grief let us remember this. These people, sixty million of them, died in the hands of secular humanists of the socialist variety.
Secular humanism is generally promoted by the common people, the current world system, and by the history professor with the pink bow tie. But here we clearly have some academic dishonesty going on. It has already been tried by a very prominent government. We saw the experiments run to their completion in the test tubes of various human governments. We saw secular humanism unveiled in both the French and Russian revolutions. And on both occasions the experiments ended in disaster.
The facts speak for themselves. State secularism has been tried in the crucible of history. And it has been found wanting. The godless French Revolution, waged war against the Church with extreme prejudice. Low-life rabble from the streets condemned noble French citizens. Many fine people ended up at the guillotine. The great and much touted socio-political experiment in France ended up in a complete and utter shambles. The political upheavals, the inflation, and all the attendant social miseries lingered on in France for decades afterward. The miserable conditions went on and on for years. There was mayhem in the streets. France staggered and slipped down the chute into bloody anarchy. The Reign of Terror was only halted by a dictatorship. And this came in under Napoleon.
The little Corsican led the French into a series of military campaigns to take over European Christendom. He even led his "Grand Army" on forays into Egypt and even up towards the Holy Land. Finally he took them on a disastrous campaign up into Russia.
Napoleon did not bring in a peaceful new world order under the glorious French rule. The reason was simple. They had kicked out God. And the glory had departed. (Of course many of our French brethren still think that France could have taken over in Christendom, - and should have.) The nationalistic rampage of the French finally ended in the early 19th century. Napoleon was defeated at the Battles of Waterloo, (on the continent), and the Battle of Trafalgar at sea. France under this sort of godless state secularism never seemed to get better. The once proud nation slid down into a pit of despair and existential emptiness from which she has yet to recover.
When these things are pointed out to American historians of a man-centered humanistic secularist mindset a certain glazed look comes over their eyes. They just fail to see the connection. They have lived and thought and taught from their self enclosed box. Unable to perceive spiritual realities they cannot think "outside the box". So they have failed to "connect the dots" and see the bigger picture. If they do have secret misgivings about what they are promoting they have packed them away in some Hellenistic "religion compartment" way in the back of their mind. They just don't see the connection between things spiritual and things temporal. They do not see the Judeo-Christian God as having anything whatsoever to do with the destiny and the prosperity of the nations of Christendom. They refuse to observe history and to do their homework properly. They will not 'look and learn'. If they do know about spiritual matters and the role of faith in history then they don't seem to care.
It is our children who are being shortchanged here. The track record of secular humanism as the foundation and the world view for our academic endeavors has been, and continues to be, abysmally poor. Students are being given an education that has been rendered spiritually and morally bankrupt. Modern educators do not seem to concern themselves with this. And even after the Columbine and other school massacres the various teacher's guilds have not stopped to reflect upon what has happened and to question the wisdom of promoting this godless education. Quite obviously our modern French style state education is bringing America's youth into the same proud neo-pagan decadence we have seen in Europe. The educational elite just don't seem to care. It seems they do not appreciate what this secular mindset is doing to the lives of the children and the young people in their care.
American Puritans today are a peculiar people. To foreign eyes they can appear narcissistic and self serving. And yes, sometimes, they are. There is the specter of the "Ugly American". But many American Christians are now waking up to all this. They are getting an education and a new understanding of the spiritual part of the story. And they are beginning to discern what is really going on in the spirit realm behind the scenes. Many Americans are now able to trace the spiritual dimension to their own American history.
Not surprisingly, today's Puritans are worried about their children and their country. They are concerned about the moral declension in the nation. They also realize that America has many dark forces within it that could tear the nation apart if these are not held in check. This is why American Christians pray for their country with such fervor. This is not just a matter of personal piety. These people are genuinely concerned about the moral downturn in their nation.
This spiritual discernment explains why the Puritans of our modern era are so politically active. They are beginning to appreciate that America as a 'nation under God', has now become the superpower of the West. These are dangerous times and the world needs strong and righteous leadership from somewhere. America can not turn back the clock. She cannot return to the relatively easy and peaceful isolationism of yesteryear. The nation has great responsibilities in world history.
Today's Puritans in America have some serious worries and concerns about this. Many believe that if the Christian consensus in the nation is lost then there will be awful consequences. General disharmony and lawlessness will soon follow. They believe that if America departs from the Judeo-Christian God then the country will go the way of the other countries in Christendom who were superpowers in their time. America too might rise to prominence and prosperity only to corrupt herself and then slip and stagger down the chute into economic ruin and total national disaster.
Historically speaking this is a very real concern. A look back into the history of the previous superpowers in Christendom tells a recurring story. Nations rise to greatness and then achieve great wealth and power. Then comes the compromise and the corruption which brings the nation down. The once proud nation goes into decline and then being invaded from within and from without it falls, never to rise again. It seems that prominent nations in the West have their moment of opportunity in history. They enjoy it for perhaps 50 years or so. And then it is over. The decline and fall of the superpower usually comes by a process of corruption from within and attack by enemies from without.
The lessons of history make one thing abundantly clear, for those who have eyes to see. God is not mocked. - Gal.6:7 Men and nations reap what they sow. And "the fool has said in his heart that there is no God." France, Russia, and Germany all played the fool and were brought to ruin. A rejection of God and God's law by the majority of Americans would lead to a similar national collapse. The American heyday would end in a scenario just as wrenching and disastrous as it was for the French. Their foray into Illuminism and secularism is there in the history books for eyes to see. And the result is well known. It was a national tragedy.
So the Puritan dream of a 'City upon a hill' is still alive and well in America. But today's Puritans believe that if the Christian consensus dies then so will America as we now know it. They fear that the very same sort of anarchy the French experienced during the 'Reign of Terror' could be seen in America. If that should that happen then America, (as we know it), would cease to exist.
Of course if the USA did go into political meltdown that might not be the end. The country might rise from the ashes like the phoenix bird. But it would awaken one morning to find the nation transformed. It would no longer be the country they once loved and enjoyed. It would have turned into a New World Order police state.
America has been very fortunate through the centuries so far. Christians and non Christian secularists have for the most part engaged in courteous dialogue. For the entire period of American history they have generally agreed to disagree agreeably. Most Americans, religious and otherwise share a few vague generic concepts such as the belief in promoting "core values" in the youth. This is good enough for government work. It will suffice to cobble the nation together for this period of history. Those "values", of course, must mean something real and be believed by a significant number of the people of integrity. Some level of faith in the Judeo-Christian God or at least some respect for Him will suffice in governmental matters. As long as people respect each other and agree in general terms with what those "values" are then the great American party can go on.
AMERICA'S FAITH IN THEIR NATIONAL CALLING. IT ISAmerican Christians pursue their quest to bring God into government with great zeal and enthusiasm. They bring their spiritual dreams down from the heavens. Then they seek to bring them to pass in their own nation. Then right here on earth their great collective dream can be "manifest". This is the basis of "manifest destiny". It is a sense that America as a nation has been destined by God for national prosperity and happiness. They believe that these national blessings will come into fullness in America and then overflow into all the nations of the world.
THE BASIS FOR THE DOCTRINE OF "MANIFEST DESTINY".
This painting called 'American Progress' was painted by John Gast, (circa 1872). It is an allegorical representation of 'Manifest Destiny'. Here we see Columbia, a personification of the United States, as she leads civilization westward with the American settlers. She is carrying a book which can be interpreted as the Bible or a schoolbook depending upon ones personal view.
Manifest Destiny is a phrase that expressed the belief that the United States had a mission to expand, spreading its form of democracy and freedom. Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only good, but that it was obvious ("manifest") and inevitable ("destiny"). Originally a political catch phrase of the 19th century, "Manifest Destiny" eventually became a standard historical term, often used as a synonym for the territorial expansion of the United States across North America towards the Pacific Ocean.The phrase "Manifest Destiny" was first used primarily by the Jacksonian era in the 1840s. It was used to promote the annexation of much of what is now the Western United States. The United States expanded into the Oregon Territory, annexed Texas, and also gained land in the southwest by the Mexican Cession. Manifest Destiny was the dream, the ideology, and the motivation for this national expansion and the westward movement. It gave its name to the political doctrine which attended this expansion. In the 1840's the term 'Manifest Destiny' became a part of the American national lore. At that time it embodied the desire to occupy the entire continent from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans. The term was revived in the 1890s among Republican Party supporters to justify United States overseas expansion outside of North America.
After World War 2 the American multinationals led the world in international business. International trade is now controlled from New York by the World Trade Organization. And the American military now occupies the cradle of civilization over in Iraq. The dream of Manifest Destiny has quite clearly taken the wings of an eagle and gone global. Whether it is spoken of or not, Manifest Destiny now suggests that America is ordained for a grand future in world history.
The term Manifest Destiny has not been used much in the 20th century. But there seems no doubt that the reality of American dominion is now well established. Because the Pax Americana is installing itself both economically and militarily around the world. Many in the Republican Party believe that it is America's "mission" to promote and defend democracy internationally. It seems quite clear that while many may not like the way they are going about doing this they are right in many ways about this being a necessity. America is the last bastion of Western Christendom left. The European nations have had their time in the sun and are now exhausted. Only America has the energy and the will to even attempt this daunting task of being a global peacemaker. It is enormously costly in money and blood to seek to bring peace in a world of raging nations. Liberals and isolationists say that America has no business doing this. But they have their heads in the sand. They do not understand business. Nor do they understand the realities of world history. One cannot suddenly decide to sit on the sidelines when they have been projected into the middle of a monopoly game. And we need to think of this as well. These are dangerous times. If America fails to maintain peace in the world who will? The French? The Germans? The Brits? All thse once dominant nations are now exhausted and spent. If America decides to shirk the responsibilities of keeping the peace then it will not be a pretty picture. This earth will then fall into the hands of a Chinese directed fate. And that might not be a pretty sight. The Dragon, the main principality of Lucifer, would be calling the shots. And we should have no illusions here. The shots would be directed against us!
The term 'Manifest Destiny' has taken on some negative connotations. Some are inclined to characterize it as a form of "American Colonialism" or the American Empire through their Rhodes scholars taking over where the British Empire left off. Many freethinkers of the liberal variety can see nothing else beyond this. But they are wrong. This national calling embodies some high ideals. Many of those who believe in 'Manifest Destiny' have some altruism in this outlook. They actually want to see the world blessed just as they have been. For them the American dream has become a vision for the world abroad. Of course the American global involvement is not just based on altruism, nationalism, imperialism, or even a crusading Dominion Theology. This global peacemaking role has been forced upon them by their superpower status. These are the unfolding realities of our present day world history. America has been conscripted for the job of world peacemaker. And why? It is because no other nation in Christendom is capable of doing it.
Economic power is the key to America's superpower status. Here is how this happens. America is the head of the multinationals. She is also the Chairman of the Board of global oil suppliers. All oil customers must pay for their oil in U.S. dollars. This is the American Oil Bourse which few Americans know about. America taxes the world through this financial system. The resulting global demand for dollars has made America the main marketplace for the world to sell its goods. This offsets the cost of its huge military budget to protect the free world.
America naturally wants this status quo to continue. It now finds itself committed to maintaining its dominance in world trade and the continuing prosperity of the global markets. Towards that end it is now mobilizing its military to police troublemakers around the world to see that goods continue to cross borders and through the sea-lanes and thus keep the peace.
There is no denying the reality of this expanding reality of 'Manifest Destiny". Manifest Destiny is now quite evident in America's economic expansionism and the military expansionism into the Middle East.
It was the Puritans who were among the first to settle this country were actually the first to speak of these things. These people of the yellow ribbons saw the hand of God at work in their establishment of a free land for individual faith, opportunity, and enterprise. This was back in 1613. At that time Alexander Whittaker made this statement."God hath opened this passage unto us,
and led us by the hand unto this work."
What lies ahead for the American superpower? There is no doubt that America is setting the agenda in international affairs. What will be the ultimate fulfillment of America's 'manifest destiny' Could it be just up ahead?
Given the powerful Puritan spiritual dynamics at work here there is every reason to believe that this future history will be spectacular. American armies are occupying Islamic and Arab lands. The Islamic world is furious. Then too the American government is attempting to broker a peace agreement in the Middle East between Israel and so called "Palestine". This endeavor has led to problems and will continue to lead to problems. So we can be sure that we are headed for 'interesting times'. Future history will be awesome beyond anything we have ever seen before.
Puritan Christians are powerful social and political activists in America. They are also a mixed group. They differ among themselves as to how their goals are to be achieved. They may pursue their dreams along different spiritual, cultural, and political avenues. But no matter what their religious or political allegiance might be, these are totally committed Christian citizens on a mission. They are all working towards the fulfillment of the same basic dream. And it is a lofty one. It can be summed up in one phrase and sentiment. It is to see the establishment of 'one nation under God'.
Strange to say, we have seen this very same heart desire, mindset and motivation before. We saw it exemplified in the English and American Puritans of centuries past. It was clearly laid out by John Winthrop in his memorable exhortation to the Puritans as they set sail on their voyage to the New World in 1630. At that time he charged the early colonists with these words,
"....we must consider that we shall beThis "City upon a hill" was not the 'Holy City' the children of Abraham and the Pilgrims were seeking. It was not the future New Jerusalem John saw coming down from heaven and fully revealed in its ultimate glory. (Rev.21) But the American Dream was certainly tapping into the holy energy of that sublime vision. Their "City on a hill" was very definitely an earthly reflection of the Holy City. This was their dream and their passion.
as a City upon a Hill,
the eyes of all people are upon us.."
For Pilgrim Christians the New World in America was a nice resting place. While it was not their final destination it was at least a comfortable waypoint on the journey home. But for the Puritans the "city upon a hill" they see in their mind's eye is something glorious and holy. It is a city which they believe that they can bring down from heaven to earth. Christians of a Puritan mindset believed, (and believe today), that with some good motivation and good planning the establishment of a Christian nation, and a Christian world, is entirely possible. Their dream was, and remains today, something that is being fashioned by them in the 'here and now'.
This is where the Puritans differed with their Pilgrim friends. Evangelicals of the more pious sort are dubious about what they would call "Utopian" dreams and aspirations. But today's Puritans would disagree. They are tired of hearing about "that City in the sweet by and by". They want action now, and in the areas of opportunity that God has opened up for them. Some of them have even gone to the extreme. The specter of Dominion Theology is now going mainline on the American religious scene. Some Christians are praying for and want to see under the current "apostolic" religious leadership the establishment of God's 'Kingdom Now'.
An appeal to Puritan dreams and Puritan values has always rewarded American leaders in their political campaigns. Former presidents sought to bring in a 'New Deal' or to establish a 'Great Society'. Even Bill Clinton appealed to Puritan aspirations. His administration attempted to bring in something that he touted as the "New Covenant". Today's Puritans believe that with enough effort they themselves can be the people who take the leading role. This is clear evidence that the expanding American dream is still very much alive. And so is the doctrine of 'manifest destiny'.
The Puritans have always believed that they were destined to be a great and glorious "nation under God". As such they would enjoy God's divine favor, His protection, and the great prosperity that came along with that. This was, (and remains to this day), the Puritan dream for America. That vision is still out there amongst the American people. In fact it is now taking on eagle's wings and flying out across the sun.
As we proceed on in this study I believe we shall discover that the Puritans, those Christian Utopians of yesteryear, have not disappeared from the world scene. They are still with us. In fact they have not yet finished their run through history. In fact their greatest days may be up ahead.
Nowadays they do not go by the name 'Puritans'. But nevertheless, the politically and socially active Christians we see in action in America today are in fact a continuing stream of the very same Puritan people who came out from England in the 1600's. The thesis of this article is that the Puritans are still with us. They are particularly well represented in what is currently termed the 'Christian Right'. And they are the movers and the shakers of the 'Pax Americana'. They are still out there. And they are making their mark in holy history.
The northern Caucasus area takes in what is now Southern Russia and Georgia. It is interesting to note that the word "Caucasus" is derived from "Gog-hasan", or "Gog’s Fort." (A Commentary on the Old Testament, Dr. John Gill, 1748). The nations of the Caucasus region include: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirghiz, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmen, Moldavia, Georgia, and the Ukraine.
It is interesting that the European people are named for this Caucasus region. If Caucasus means "stronghold of Gog" then what could be the meaning of this? Does it somehow relate to the passage of European peoples westward and away from this area back in time? The Caucasus Mountains are that great "wall of bronze" Alexander the Great, (according to legend), was supposed to have built. As the story goes he built it to keep out the barbarian hordes of the steppes of Russia and Mongolia and ensure that these people were safely locked up and kept away from the civilized western nations. He built the wall of bronze to keep the people of Gog contained beyond the Caucasus Mountains and out in the vast grasslands of the Russian steppes. Behind this wall of protection westerners could be safe, (or so they thought). This is the same barrier Winston Churchill alluded to in his famous post World War 2 speech. It was at that time as the first chill winds of the cold war began to blow that Churchill referred to an "Iron Curtain" separating the Soviet Union from the western nations. This "Iron Curtain" became America's burden as World War 2 ended and gave way to the "Cold War".
This recent intrusion of western interests into the Caucasus region is highly significant. Yet it is given scant attention by the liberal western media. Western oil companies and their well paid private armies are now on the other side of those Caucasus Mountains. The Russians are not happy about this at all. In fact they are furious. Is this the hook in the jaw of Gog? (Ezek.38-39)
This new enterprise undertaken by American oil companies in the former lands of the U.S.S.R. rarely makes the news. But western powers have again crossed the line here. They have transgressed beyond the gates of Gog. This has not happened since the German Panzer divisions entered Russia back in 1941.
Will there be consequences? Oh yes. Eventually there will be. Hopefully it will be late in the 70th Week of Daniel. The prophet Ezekiel tells the story of this great future war. (Ezek. ch 38-39). See also this literary article on the specter of Gog and Magog by Canadian writer Sylvia Volk.
American soldiers right now are on patrol by the Rivers of Babylon. Occasionally they pause and try to find some rest. But such moments are rare. In the quiet times some of them pull out their Bibles and read. And they remember the former times.
PSALM 137They also realize that they are at the very place where the Apostle John saw the four angels at the Euphrates River. Those four angels are still stationed there. And they are holding back forces more awesome than we can presently imagine. - Revelation 7:1 & 9:14.
1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down,
yes, we wept When we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it.
3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying,
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How shall we sing the Lord's song In a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!
6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
-- If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
This is a highly significant dot on the map of Iraq. This is the place where our patriarch Abraham began his epic journey. This was the place where he made his first move of faith. It was 4,000 years ago that Abraham walked out of the city of Ur, a city of idols. The scriptural record of this is in Genesis chapter 12. Abraham would be the first of a family of people who by faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would journey on towards their glorious destiny. They were pilgrims on their way toward a city. Their spiritual eyes were fixed on this place out their in their future. It was a destination they would arrive at in a future time. The city they sought, and still seek today, is the Holy City. It is
"A city which has (eternal) foundations,
whose builder and maker is God." - Heb.11:10, Rev.21
Here is the NEXT ARTICLE in our series of articles focusing on the Puritans, then and now.