My devotional reading this morning was in 1 Samuel 15. That’s the chapter with the well-known passage in verse 22: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
But later in that chapter come verses 28 and 29, which were what caught my attention. In verse 28, God refers to Himself as the LORD (Yahweh). In verse 29, He refers to Himself as The Strength of Israel.
Having recently read Judges, I referenced back to Samson. God gave Samson his strength through his hair: as long as Samson grew his hair, he retained his strength. The hair was Samson’s outward reflection of God with him. When the hair was cut, Samson lost his strength.
God was the Strength of Israel. When that nation cut off God, they lost their strength.
This Memorial Day weekend, I am reminded that God was the foundation of America. He was our Strength. As we continue to chop away at our Christian foundation, we lose our strength.
Jeremiah has some comprehension of where we stand with God: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.” – Jeremiah 10.23, 24. He knows that it is possible for God to bring us to nothing, and that He would be completely justified in doing so. He also knows God is a God of mercy and love – and perfection. In God’s perfect design, He created us and leads us. As long as we follow, we have the perfect unity of obedience and peace.
That works for individuals, as well, as it did with Samson. All us peoples make up our nation. We either walk in obedience or not. God always blesses obedience. (Look it up in the Bible. I did. I had a big, long study with a concordance on obedience. God ALWAYS blesses obedience; even stiff-necked obedience.) As the people walk, so walks the nation.
Understand that God is the Strength of America, the Strength of Each Nation. Will we walk with the LORD, or away from Him? Because, if I read God’s Word correctly, it’s up to me and you.