Raymond Arthur Waugh, Sr.
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Biblical Call For Patriotism
Ray Waugh, Sr.
When we think of patriotism, many of us doubtless think in terms of some young man or some young woman in the uniform of one of the branches of our military service. Such, of course, should be evidence of patriotism, and all of us should be agreeable to such service. Having been through W.W.II in the 1940s and in Korea in 1950 and 1951, I can appreciate such evidences of patriotism. However, patriotism has a much larger emphasis, and all of us can be patriotic regardless of who we are and regardless of where we are.
For some decades in our American history, some have supposed that one had to be anti-communistic in order to be patriotic, and some of our greatest patriots have been abused and misused. Today, there are some who are of the opinion that if one is not indulging in some sort of revolutionary efforts, one is not really patriotic. Perhaps we can note that being patriotic is much more than battling what we suppose are the enemies without and battling what we suppose are the enemies within.
If we are going to understand the true nature of patriotism and the highest form of patriotism, we shall have to look to Gods Holy Word. In the Scriptures we find many evidences of Godly patriots, and we shall make it a point to reference two or three of them.
As a result of our Church training as youngsters, most of us doubtless remember the boy Joseph as a shepherd-lad who did a lot of dreaming. We may also recall that he later was pretty good at interpreting the dreams of some Egyptian prisoners. A more complete look at the life of Joseph may enable us to see that he was also a great patriot, though he lived in a foreign land.
If Josephs attitude had been one of rebellion against the duly constituted authority in Egypt, he could never have been brought to the place of service. If Joseph had developed an intense hatred for the godless Pharaohs under whom he experienced injustices and imprisonment, he doubtless would never have been so fully and mightily used of God. On the contrary, in part because Joseph was able to be patriotic in the land of Egypt, God used him to save millions of people.
There is another man in the Word of God whose Godly patriotism may be somewhat overshadowed by our desire to concentrate on his human greatness. That man was David. It is true that David was mighty as a shepherd lad who was able to destroy Goliath. It is true that David was a great soldier. It is true, even more, that David was a great man both in his confidence in God and in his ready confession of his sinfulness against both God and man.
There is, however, another side to Davids life during those years when he was in the service of King Saul. It is quite probable that though King Saul may have stood head and shoulders above all other men of his time, his physical prowess and his military abilities were not the things that really impressed David. The thing that impressed David about Saul was the fact that he was THE KING OF ISRAEL, and that he had been anointed so by Almighty God.
Therefore, whether King Saul was experiencing one of his more noble accomplishments or manifesting the evidences of violent madness, Davids respect for Saul never wavered; his patriotism in Israel remained intact. Even when Saul became a wicked backslider and sought Davids mortal life, Davids patriotism for Israel, and his respect for Saul who was King continued unabated.
Even in that hour when Saul was upon the heels of David, so close that David was able to cut off a portion of Sauls skirt, the Godly David remained fully patriotic. David refused to harm Saul because he was Gods appointed leader in Israel. With the life of King Saul obviously in his hands, David raised not a finger or a word against him. Because David loved God and because David walked closely with God, David knew that King Saul was Gods ordained minister. Davids godliness and his relationship with God in his daily life precluded any animosity against Saul.
We never want to forget that godliness is the first necessity in each of our lives. Further, that godliness is absolutely essential to our true patriotism. The thing that many of the revolutionaries and the anarchists of our time fail to realize is a truth of which the Apostle John spoke very clearly. John said, "He that sayeth he loveth God and hatest his brother is a liar" (I John 4:20). Whether in the days of Joseph or in the days of David or in the days of any of the Godly patriots such as Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or even in our day, a man who truly loves God will not set himself the task of undermining his nation or bringing railing accusations against the duly constituted and appointed authority in our land.
If we in this land of America ever get to the place where we are dedicated to Godly patriotism, the confusing voices that are raised in despicable carnage against our leaders will be heard no more. When we in this nation come to the place of Godly patriotism, we shall be concerned about our nation, we shall be concerned about our Constitution, we shall be concerned about our Bill of Rights. Even more, however, we shall manifest a respect for our leaders that is practically unknown at this present moment in our history.
In that hour, we shall realize, as did Joseph and David of old, that patriotism begins with the truth that Daniel expressed so well, "The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17). Contrary to the tragic bable that is abroad in our land, on the authority of the Word of God we can say that we are not being patriotic if we as a people democratically elect our leaders and then turn around to condemn them from every housetop by means of every available media.
If we, are truly Godly patriots in this "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, " we shall read with new understanding the words of Peter,
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well . . ." (I Peter 2:13-14).
Those who are truly Godly patriots today may feel the need to question some of the things that are being done contrary to the Holy Word of God. Nevertheless, along with those elements of criticism, all Godly patriots will honestly and faithfully pray for our leaders in accord with Pauls commendation,
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Timothy 2:1-2).
Godly patriots today are respectfully subject unto the powers that be, just as long as those decrees are not contrary to the established truth in Gods Holy Word. At such a time, we should still respect the authorities, and submit ourselves to them as Joseph, as David, and as Daniel and some others. Truly patriotic people today remain true to the Holy Word of God, tell others about His blessed Son, and continue to help our America to live and to grow.
Pseudo-patriots may snap and snarl as mad dogs at the very vitals of our Constitutional form of government. In the process, they may show little or no respect for our leaders who have been assigned by God with their places of great responsibility. Each one of us must make some choices as we continue to live in this land of America.
What will it be with you? How is it with you today, and what will it be with you tomorrow? Upon our decision today will rest the good or the ill of our nation and our children tomorrow.
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