I love celebrating July 4th. OK, I don’t love the random sleepless nights before and after Independence Day when our neighbors (legally in PA) set off fireworks unexpectedly… but Independence Day itself is a fun and exciting time.
I do enjoy grilling out, watermelon, fireworks, and pondering the great cost of liberty.
Fireworks are beautiful, but they never cease to ignite my imagination about the soldiers who lay in trenches through long nights watching lights overhead with courage, fear, resolve, and exhaustion. I think about men who suffered the terrors and agonies of war to defend our declaration of and right to independence from the rule of Great Britain.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t read the Declaration of Independence very often, but I had a student taking Government a couple of years ago, and he had to memorize excerpts from several historic documents.
As I listened to his recitation of things like the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thanksgiving Proclamation (among others), I was somehow aware for the first time of the utter dependence declared in all these documents.
Declaring independence from Great Britain was a result of dependence on God and they pledged their lives, fortunes and honor to obtain it. It becomes obvious when you hear the names to which these great men appealed for their right to do so: Nature’s God, Creator, Supreme Judge, and divine Providence.
“We, therefore, … appealing to the Supreme Judge… solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states… with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence…
Do you hear it?
When the authors of the Declaration of Independence declared independence it was a declaration of their utter dependence upon God.
Are you ready to commit everything to God along with our Founding Fathers? As we celebrate Independence Day this year, perhaps we need to pray about where we need to pledge our lives, fortune, and honor to declare and defend such great dependence.
Happy (In)Dependence Day!
Declaration of Independence
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.