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The United States was born in 1776. Since then America has been involved in over 40 wars and other military operations from the American Revolution, Iraq and Afghanistan wars to lesser known operations like the Banana Wars and Utah War. Over 1.3 million U.S. soldiers have died through all these engagements.
The brutality of war is seen at Arlington National Cemetery and other military cemeteries. If Americans explore their family linage they will likely discover relatives who died while taking up arms in defense of our country. In the midst of these cemeteries we might ask, “How can our nation truly be protected? When war takes life after life, who is left to defend when all is gone?”
America has always had two lines of defense. Our heroic soldiers and Almighty God. Our first President, George Washington, was also General Washington who led our nation’s first army in the Revolutionary War. In a letter he once wrote, “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho’ death was leveling my companions on every side.” Washington knew if America was to succeed it required skilled soldiers and a military that trusted in God’s divine protection. He was so committed to this he took steps to create a military chaplaincy so America’s soldiers would walk in a manner worthy of God’s protection.
Centuries before Washington there was another great military leader who rose to lead his nation, King David. He also sought not just the skill of a soldier and effective weapons but of God Himself. He once said, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. O Lord, save the king! (Psalm 20:7, 9).
Our history is rich, lined with stories about the providence of God in battle. What will our future look like? Is God’s protection always guaranteed? He is not beholden to one race, ethnic group, nation or tribe. Therefore, may our nation’s leaders and military personnel be a people who are worthy of God’s guidance and divine protection. May Jesus be our nation’s hope for today and generations to come.