English people may have struggled contemplating the new world order created by the loss of the American Colonies. How would commerce, social and political arrangements be affected? It was a bumpy path, with additional skirmishes to follow.
But we were excited. As Benjamin Franklin optimistically observed at the First Continental Congress, which was frequently a divided body even back then, the sun carved on the back of the Chairman’s chair was rising, not setting.
So the sun rose on our new nation. The providential occurrences that were a part of that age, including George Washington’s evident divine protection at the battle at the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania during the French and Indian Wars, made it evident that this nation had a divine place in history. At that battle, while many holes were put in Washington’s uniform, no holes were put in Washington! This led the Indian leader to instruct his warriors to stop trying to shoot him off his horse because he was being divinely protected.
So the sun rose on our new nation. With our many flaws we have remained here with our ever changing place in history. So whereto from here? We celebrate our freedom but we stumble over our freedom. “Freedom” itself gets constantly redefined – and compromised. Hopefully that sun has not run its course across the sky of our existence.
But there is one celebration of freedom that will last at least another 1000 years. We have Providential promise of that. Found in Leviticus 23:34 and in Zechariah 14:16, it is the Jewish “Feast of Booths”. It commemorates the escape of the Hebrew nation from Egyptian slavery. The whole millennial world will celebrate!
God has His hand on history, and He has his hand on our nation – our extent and our duration. May we celebrate His blessings for many years to come!