Last Friday was a historic moment for our nation – the Inauguration of the new President of the United States. A powerful element in the ceremony was the Bible (actually, two Bibles) that our new President placed his hand on as he took his oath of office. One of the Bibles he chose was that of Abraham Lincoln and the other was the Bible given to him by his mother. Our new Vice-President chose the Bible of Ronald Regan.
While other symbols and sayings of God in our country come under attack – “In God we Trust” on our money; prayer in schools; or “One Nation Under God” in our pledge of allegiance for example – you do not hear many people taking issue with our Presidents taking their oath on the Bible. Why is this? I believe it’s because in the depths of their being, every person knows that there has to be a foundation from which one can govern our country. There must be a moral and ethical standard. Even people who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ – which is the entire crux of the Bible (also, interesting how the word “crux” means “the decisive and most important point” and comes from the Latin word “cross,” and how the cross of Christ is the decisive and most important point in all of human history – but I digress) know that there must be a foundation on which to build a nation, a family and a life. The crux of the inauguration is this moment of the President taking the oath of the office on a Bible…or two as the case may be.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five.” Our country was founded on Biblical principles, and we continue to take oaths to uphold this truth. For a country, a marriage or a life to work, it must have a solid foundation. If the foundation becomes shaky, it will fall with a great crash. The math won’t add up and the nation will crumble.
It was Hitler who adopted Nietzche’s teaching that “God is dead;” and therefore, man could be left to create his own moral code and ethical standard. This led to a belief in a “superhuman race” that had no regard for people they deemed “unworthy” and “unnecessary.” In one of the evilest and saddest moments in all of human history, 11 million Jews, children, elderly, handicapped and other qualities deemed “unworthy” by a certain man’s own standards were killed in the Holocaust. This is what results when there is no foundation – everyone determines what is right for themselves and everything spirals downward to decay and destruction.
But, God’s Word teaches that all people matter to Him. This becomes a foundational truth of which the Declaration states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” To love God and to love others becomes the Biblical foundation of a nation and all men are valued. Abraham Lincoln stood for this principle as he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Where did this come from? The oath he swore on a Bible to uphold. The foundation.
We must have a foundation for our life. For many, it is pleasure – “what makes me feel good” – regardless of what it does to others. For some it is money – “more for me” – regardless of how it impacts others. And then, for some it is others’ opinions about them – the reason they spend so much time looking to Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets to see how they measure up. But, all of these are shaky foundations. So, for our nation and for a godly life, the foundation must be the Bible, God’s Word. It is knowing what God says about how to live this life that will serve us well – whether it be for here or for eternity.
Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers”. Our nation has prospered, and I pray your life will as well. God wants you to have an incredible life. God wants you to experience immeasurably more. The call for us is to build our lives on the foundation of His Word. He will bless and allow us to prosper.
What is the foundation for your life? If you were to take an oath today, what would you place your hand on? If you are honest is it the Bible or has it quietly become something else? Is it your desires that drive you or is it God’s Word that grounds you? And, what Bible would you use – someone else’s or your own? This is the crux of the entire matter – build your life on the foundation of God’s Word and you will prosper. Know and do what the Bible says, and you will build a solid foundation that will impact generations.