“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance.” Psalm 133:12
Who could forget a day like this one? It was hot and humid on July 15, 2016 and I was standing in line at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. with my two friends Jenene Stafford and Sue Overholser. I knew that going on this trip would be like a spiritual treasure hunt, and it turned out to be exactly that and so much more.
Earlier that morning in our hotel before we headed out the three of us had prayed that God would help us be open and show His love to people wherever we went. During our prayer time I began to hum a melody. It grew stronger until the words of a spontaneous worship song broke out – “Come and heal our land, O Lord we pray; heal our hearts and souls we pray; forgive our sins and make us whole; lead us to Your grace; we pray for those who do not know, they have not heard Your voice; but speak Your Word and move through us along this narrow way; let Your glory shine, let Your glory shine, let Your love pour through us; take our hands and feet and everything will light Your kingdom’s way; Holy Spirit come and lead us to the everlasting stream. Amen!” Jenene asked if I had just made the song up, and I said that I had. It actually took me by surprise because it was melodic and sounded like a hymn. It stirred us so much that we thanked the Lord for singing over us – an anthem of hope and healing for our nation. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The line at the National Archives slowly inched forward and we commented to each other how much we craved to be inside the large stone building where we would be much cooler. As we entered through the doors our eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room. Now we were just a few feet away from what we were waiting to see: The Constitution of the United States of America. We moved towards the glass where the documents were held. “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Reading these powerful words to establish the law of the land and the four pillars of freedom for our nation was a profoundly moving experience. (If you’ve never had the chance to visit Washington, D.C. I really hope you will get the chance some day!)
Visiting the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial ignited my mind and heart in several new ways. God revealed to me more about His providence and plan for our nation through revealing the devout faith of our founding fathers. As I read what the great leaders of our nation wrote – now etched in stone pillars and monuments all over Washington, D.C. – it reminded me of Joshua and how by faith he led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. “And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God and took a great stone and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, “Behold the stone” this shall be a witness unto us for it has heard all the words of the Lord which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness unto you lest you deny your God.” (Joshua 24:25) When I thought about this “witness stone” it called to mind what the prophet Isaiah foretold about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. “So this is what the Lord GOD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will never be shaken. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level.” (Isaiah 28:16-17) It’s incredible to realize that the new covenant put into place by the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ means that we are “living stones” that God is building into his spiritual temple. (1 Peter 2:5) Later as Jenene and I went to the Jefferson Memorial and read the prayers and petitions on the prayer scroll written by friends and leaders from Sacramento we proclaimed freedom, healing and revival for our region and our nation. From the seeds of prayer in the Sacramento Peace Garden to 24-7 worship at David’s tent in Washington, D.C. we see the Bride of Christ rising up and shining brilliantly in these times and it’s a thrill to witness it!
Part of my “treasure hunt” on the trip to Washington, D.C. was allowing the Holy Spirit to shine some spiritual light on some of the symbols created at the time our nation was born. For example, the Great Seal of the United States, which is used on thousands of documents every year, has the majestic bald eagle holding a banner and says, “E Pluribus Unum”. From start to finish the seal was carefully and strategically designed. The phrase in Latin means “Out of many, ONE” and it not only correlates to the governmental vision that the thirteen colonies be united, but also corresponds to Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is ONE.” When you add up the thirteen radiant stars in the Great Seal symbolizing Divine providence and thirteen red and white stripes on the shield representing their reliance on the protection of God you have the number twenty-six. (13+13=26) The number twenty-six (26) is the Tetragrammaton – the Hebrew name of God transliterated in four letters as YHWH. (If by chance you doubt the connection between the symbols on the Great Seal and the Hebrew, just take a look at the cloud of stars on the seal and notice that they form the Star of David!) Coming to this realization made me so thankful for the heritage of FAITH we have been given in the United States of America. I hope and pray God will continue to lead and guide us, and that His banner over us will be LOVE. As the Psalmist David sang, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!”