by Roger Thomas

A Nation Blessed
Roger Thomas
Psalm 33

It had been a warm summer day in the palace. The bright orange sun was just setting over the distant horizon when His Royal Highness dismissed his gentleman servant and retired to his private chamber. King George III reached for a leather-bound volume on his desk, as he did every evening. Dipping the feather quill in the nearby ink pot, he carefully wrote the day's entry in his personal journal. ''July 4, 1776-Nothing of importance happened today.''

George, have we got a surprise for you! The English King would eventually discover that something very important happened on that day. The events would change his empire and in many respects the history of the globe. On that day thousands of miles to the west, unknown to King George at the time, the delegates of the Continental Congress of the British colonies in North America met and ratified a Declaration of Independence. The document formally announced the founding of a new and independent nation.

The founding fathers immediately published and circulated the historic decision. Militia officers read it to their soldiers. Heads of councils and assemblies proclaimed it to eager crowds. Drums rattled, fifes shrilled, bells rang, and cannon boomed-always thirteen times, while excited patriots celebrated. Years of war and hardship lay ahead, but a new nation was born.

Today as we approach the anniversary of that historic day I want to review the events that led to that July 4th decision. And I want to set those events against the background of the 33rd Psalm. The writer of this ancient Hebrew song clearly never had the events of July 4, 1776 in mind when he wrote these words. But many of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence were committed to the sentiments of this Psalm. Faith and freedom were forever intertwined in the hearts and minds of our founding fathers.

First, the background to July 4th, 1776. When the First Continental Congress ended late ...

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