“The fear of man brings a snare; but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
On the morning of September 14, 1814, a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key penned a poem called, “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” After witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, Key was inspired by the large American flag flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory. Key’s poem was set to the tune of a popular British song and it soon became a well-known American patriotic song. The Star Spangled Banner was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.
Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today. The final lines of this famous poem remind us of the foundation of our great Nation:
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
There is much debate today about whether or not the United States of America is a “Christian nation,” or ever truly was. American history demonstrates repeatedly that the nation was founded on Christian principles. Our founding fathers clearly wanted to acknowledge this fact all over Washington D.C. buildings, monuments, in official documents, and in historical speeches. Less than 100 years after the Declaration of Independence, one of Key’s popular lines, “In God is our trust,” was adapted and became the official slogan of the United States of America: In God We Trust.
President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” Jefferson went on to ask, “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are of God?” May we as citizens never forget that our liberties are of God. And may we turn to God in repentance and in faith, for He is worthy of all of our praise.
Application: Is your trust in man, or in God?