Patriotic Hymns of Faith Day 3 – “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin
I believe that the very best years of our beautiful country are behind us, sadly. The America I grew up in was starkly different from the one my future grandchildren will be raised in. Biblical morals were the backbone of a society that revered the God of heaven. But not so today. And this is reason for us to be concerned for the future of the United States—morally, socially and spiritually.
God indeed has blessed America, giving us worldwide power, respect and prosperity. This was largely in part because our forefathers embraced the one true God and He had a purpose for our nation in His greater plan. But as we have turned from Him as a nation, I suspect the prosperity and respect we once enjoyed will crumble. Just as previous empires have risen to power and then fallen, it’s likely to be a part of our story, too.
As I read over the lyrics to this poignant hymn, I feel sad. America is still a land I deeply love, and it’s hard to see things that are clearly against the Bible being embraced inside its borders. While we may be trying our best to insert Christian values into our communities, our voices are being drowned out by those with agendas who mock us and the God we serve. May God give us the courage to stand up for the truth of His Word, and may we boldly seek to be a light in the darkness that seems to prevail all around us.
Berlin wrote a version of this song in 1918, but in 1938 he revised it as a “song of peace.” He tweaked his earlier lyrics for Kate Smith to perform on Armistice Day, which is when the song was introduced officially. And what American today hasn’t heard this beautiful hymn of our country! It’s been sung at many patriotic events over the years, and it’s a well-known staple among our fellow Americans.
“God Bless America”
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above,
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam.
God bless America, my home sweet home;
God bless America, my home sweet home.