Constitution Day – Celebrating One of America’s Two Sacred Texts

Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

On September 17th, America celebrated the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia, PA. There were 39 singers of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Only 11 years earlier, on August 2, 1776, 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence that began the process of creating the longest-running free society in the history of mankind. By signing it, these men committed treason against England. As Stephan Hopkins, delegate from Rhode Island, signed, he declared to the men around him that “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.” Everyone knew they were signing their death sentence.

These weren’t the same caliber of many protestors you see today, who scream down police in the streets, vandalize private property, and beat up innocent bystanders. Of the 56 signers, most were husbands with families. There were 24 judges and lawyers, 11 merchants, 9 farmers and 12 doctors, ministers, or politicians. They had a great deal to lose in protesting against England’s refusal to allow them to govern themselves. Only 11 years later, many of these same men crafted the greatest document ever written to govern mankind – the Constitution. So one would think Constitution Day would be a big deal.

There is actually a federal law requiring any public school receiving federal funds to observe September 17th as “Constitution and Citizenship Day”. Studies show that about 90% of public schools ignore the law. What a shame and disgrace. We are robbing our kids of the sacred document that made America possible.

Sacred? Yes, in the sense of being set apart, venerated, or consecrated to a unique status that transcends any individual. These are fighting words in today’s culture, where nothing is sacred except each individual’s feelings. But when it comes to American history, there are two texts woven together that are sacred to our very founding as a nation: the Bible and the Constitution. And in today’s America, both are under attack.

Did our founding fathers view the Constitution this way? Benjamin Rush, one of the Founders, was a physician, politician, social reformer and humanitarian. He put it this way: “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the States in its form and adoption is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.” James Madison, who is called the Father of the Constitution, the co-author of the Federalist Papers, and our fourth President of the United States, expressed the same sentiment as Rush: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.”

Why are these two sacred texts so devalued in America today? Dennis Prager, in his January 2011 article entitled ‘For the Left, There are No Sacred Texts’, offers an explanation: “For the left, what is right and wrong is determined by every individual’s feelings, not by anything above the individual. This is a major reason why the left, since Karl Marx, has been so opposed to Judeo-Christian religion. For Judaism and Christianity, God and the Bible are above the self. Indeed, Western civilization was built on the idea that the individual and society are morally accountable to God and to the moral demands of that book. That was the view of every one of the Founders including deists such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. This is unacceptable to the left. As Marx and Engels said, ‘Man is God, and God is man.’ Therefore, society must rid itself of the sacred, i.e., God and the Bible. Then each of us takes the place of God and the Bible.”

In our verse this week, Jesus Christ gives His first of three responses to His first encounter with Satan. Verses 2- 3 say that Satan approached Jesus after He had fasted 40 days and nights in the wilderness, telling Him to turn the stones around Him into bread so He can eat. Sounds simple enough. What’s the problem? Satan is given the title ‘the tempter’. His temptation wasn’t to get Christ to satisfy His hunger. The point of this first temptation was to get Christ to distrust His Father. That’s the point of any temptation.

How does the Lord Jesus Christ respond? In verse 4, Jesus rebukes Satan by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 from the Old Testament, which explained how God cared for Israel during their wilderness journey. While in the wilderness, they were reminded to trust God and not themselves for their care and protection. It’s the same situation with Christ. That’s the principle that must rule our lives. Trust in God. God will not fail Me,

You see, history just keeps repeating itself. The Constitution was written on the foundation of God’s Word, to create a society whose survival depends on trusting in Jesus Christ as ruling over us. It is our sacred duty to teach our youth that life is not about satisfying self – it’s about trusting Him who will not fail us.

“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance”, Article #262

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