Only known photograph of President Abraham Lincoln giving Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
~ Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
President Lincoln gave the above address right after the pivotal battle of the Civil War. It was a historical event, and so there is a lot of folklore and urban legend material surrounding it like many such events. For example, I learned in school that Lincoln wrote “The Gettysburg Address” while on the train to Gettysburg, but it turns out that that isn’t very likely. Not only would it have been out of habit for him, but analysis of each of the known manuscripts show careful and even strokes that would have been impossible on a train.
As we have been examining, making up things about such events is nothing new. People have a tendency to make up things about the Bible and its recorded events in spite of the plain reading of the majority of the text. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some hard to understand passages, but rather that most of it certainly is not, yet people persist in confusing various issues to salve their consciences rather than humbly submit to God’s will in their lives.
It is things like this that have caused wars to continue since Gettysburg. Human strife continues because mankind will not face up to the truth that we are unable to adequately govern ourselves. Some want to claim that we don’t need God, but history shows otherwise. Prophecy indicates we will come to the brink of destruction because of our arrogance.
Submission requires the proper evaluation of who is in control and who and what has the right authority. In a few days, we will be reminded of another bloody event, the anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy. At least one man could not submit to the proper authority placed over us at the time. Was he alone? Probably. Was he part of a larger conspiracy? Maybe. There are unanswered questions, after all, and the Kennedys, JFK in particular, had created some enemies along the way.
Perhaps it is more striking because both of these presidents were assassinated, after all. Peace in our time? It just isn’t possible!
And, of course, wars, assassinations and murders continue. It isn’t even safe to walk the streets any longer. Disenchanted youths now roam the streets and play the “knockout game” by knocking complete strangers senseless and posting the videos on YouTube, mostly for no reason at all. Some of it seems to be racially motivated. Some have died in these assaults.
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
~ Isa 59:8
Isaiah was sent to a rebellious nation, yet it was a nation that claimed to be obeying God. Sound familiar? Perhaps it sounds like a nation that claimed to be “under God”? If Lincoln’s words are to remain true, that America would know freedom and not perish from the earth, then it must turn back to God. However, like ancient Judah and ancient Israel before it, that is not very likely to happen. Both of those nations went into captivity, and that is the likely fate for the United States as well. All we have to do is collectively repent, but what we find going on instead is a systematic removal of God from our public view.
How far down and how long America will slide downward before the end remains to be seen. However, regardless, it will leave a vacuum. You know the saying, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” A worldwide power will arise that will seize the opportunity and, for a very short time, make some very prosperous.
Of course, there will also be war. There will be strife. There will be institutional slavery.
What the world needs even more than for America to repent is for the return of the Prince of Peace. He will return not just the nation but the entire world to God. It will be one earth under God!