Two Nations Under God with Liberty and Justice for All

Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

There are two nations in the history of the world that have been founded upon God and His word. The first you know by reading the Bible, was the nation of Israel. Israel came out of Egypt by the power of God and at Sinai received the Torah (instruction) of Moses, i.e., the word of God. Whenever Israel followed God and His teachings they were blessed. Whenever they did not, they were cursed.

The other nation, of course, is the United States. Contrary to popular belief, the American Founders and Framers established this country based on the word of God. While Israel was the “Chosen Nation” of God, the USA was the “Choosing Nation” for God. Out of all the possibilities for establishing a government, we CHOSE to base it on God and His word out of their relationship with Him. They had a “biblical worldview” and their lives literally exuded the Bible.

In this article I want to observe that America’s foundation was the Bible. Americans practiced their religion (that is, Christianity) and displayed faith by their very lives. We weren’t always perfect, but who among us is? Remember Romans 3:23 (ESV), “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”?

While America has not been perfect, for many years we were faithful to God. In our faithfulness, we were blessed. When we became unfaithful, we were cursed. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited in America in 1831 he was struck with the faith of Americans. He said:

“Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion – for who can search the human heart? – But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”[i]

Consider with me a few of the biblical bases for America as practiced by Israel.

Israel and America were educated. The inhabitants were taught to read and write. One of the reasons was so that people could read the word of God.

When the Jews returned from captivity the Law was read to the assembly. Nehemiah 8:8 (ESV) states:

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

Every person was responsible for knowing and doing the word of God. Priests taught people how to read so that they could know the words of God and meditate on them.

Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the most influential of our Founders. He had an avid interest in Education. He relates the importance of faith in Jesus to a proper education.

The First remark that I shall make upon this subject is that an education in our own is to be preferred to an education in a foreign country. The principle of patriotism stands in need of the reinforcement…. I proceed, in the next place, to inquire what mode of education we shall adopt so as to secure to the state all of the advantages that are to be derived from the proper instruction of the youth; and here I beg leave to remark that the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid on the foundation of religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Such is my veneration for every religion that reveals the attributes of the Deity, or a future state of rewards and punishments, that I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohamed inculcated upon our youth than to see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament.[ii]

Earl Taylor, Jr. points out that there is a biblical basis even to the Preamble to the Constitution[iii]:

Israel and America emphasized the role of the people in their nation. For instance, the preamble to the Constitution states, “We the people. . .” The word of God states in Exodus 24:3 (ESV)

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

Over and over the Bible and American documents such as the Declaration of Independence speak of the “consent of the governed” and the “will of the people.” Notice Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration:

“to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; [and] that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.”

It is important to notice that in Exodus 19 God did not coerce Israel to follow Him or to obey His words. He invited them. It follows that we the people are governed by our choices. We elect our officials, we are not compelled by them.

Israel and America have a sense of justice. The Preamble says, “. . . establish justice. . .” The word of God declares the need for all men to have just ice in verses like Proverbs 21:3 (ESV):

To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Israel and America believed in a sense of self-defense. The Preamble says, “. . . provide for the common defense. . .” This was a personal responsibility (second amendment) as well as a national one. Israel certainly defended itself from time to time as Hebrews 11:32-34 (ESV) bears out by recounting the conquests of their leaders.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

Israel and America carried a concern for future generations. The Preamble states, “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” The Bible declares in Genesis 45:7 (ESV):

And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.

We could go on and talk about things like:

  • Our three branches of government found in Isaiah 33:22 (ESV)

For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver;
    the Lord is our king; he will save us.

  • Thirst for Liberty – Leviticus 25:10a (ESV)

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.

2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

  • A Passion for Property –While Karl Marx urged the end of private property, America’s Founders and the Bible authorize and encourage it.

Leviticus 25:10b (ESV) It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.

The Declaration of Independence speaks of, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (actually, “property” originally)

What would happen if Americans embraced the scriptures in all aspects of life, including the political? Perhaps it would be as John Adams stated in his diary on February 22, 1756:

Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God…What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.

Such a place would be a paradise! That is what happens when we follow God’s words. We lose paradise when we don’t. Just ask Adam and Eve!


Keep The Light Burning by Telling His Story in Our History!

Dr. Perry Greene


[i] Alexis de Tocqueville, The Republic of the United States of America and Its Political Institutions, Reviewed and Examined, Henry Reeves, trans., (Garden City, NY: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1851), Vol. I, p. 334. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (New York: Vintage Books, 1945), Vol. I, p. 316.

[ii] Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Thomas and Samuel F. Bradford, 1798), p. 8, “Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic.” The Annals of America, 20 vols. (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968), Vol. 4, pp. 28-29.

[iii] see