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Veterans Day

Monday is Veterans Day, a day in which we are to show our gratitude for the sacrifice of our veterans. A day of parades and speeches and flags and.... in recent years, indifference or rebellion from many quarters. Where did Veterans Day come from? How did it become a national holiday? Why do we call it Veterans Day? Where does God come into all this - or does He? David addressed God's part in wars in the book of Psalms. Let's read about it:

Psa 33:13-19 (NKJV) The LORD [YHVH] looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. {14} From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; {15} He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. {16} No king <is> saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. {17} A horse <is> a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver <any> by its great strength. {18} Behold, the eye of the LORD [YHVH] <is> on those who fear [Stand in awe of] Him, On those who hope in His mercy, {19} To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

Again, today I want to discuss some thoughts on the meaning of Veterans Day.

The First World War (which was called the war to end all wars) ended at 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. After the war ended, Congress declared November 11th an annual holiday and called it Armistice Day. Canada observes the same holiday, calling it Remembrance Day. About 1953, after the Second World War, the name was changed to Veterans Day but the holiday was kept on the same date, except for a brief period from 1971-1977.

The holiday is intended as a tribute to veterans, both alive and dead. The President usually attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington Cemetery; various cities and towns have Veterans Day parades by Veterans Organizations, patriotic citizens, and schools. Until about 1960 respect and appreciation toward veterans has been demonstrated by virtually all Americans. Since 1960 Americans have shown a declining interest in veterans and the positive side of American history, particularly American military history. Why this decline in patriotism? Why do more and more cities discontinue their Veterans Day parades? Why do more and more citizens look at our national holidays as just another day off work, another day to watch the ball game or go to the beach or some other form of recreation? Why do most cities have Veterans Memorial buildings which were built years ago but few are built today? In fact, why have so many memorial buildings been torn down and not replaced?

I want to review the course of U.S. military history. We could start as far back as Columbus, a man who pictured himself as fulfilling a great purpose of God. But this sermon does have a time limit so I would like to talk about events in the lifetime of you listeners, so I'm going to limit it to events after about 1930.

World War II was destined to affect more nations, damage more property, cost more money, and kill more people than any past war. Some estimate total military and civilian deaths to have been about fifty-five million.

In the 1920s and 1930s (and again now) serious economic depression stalked the world. In an effort to solve the depression, nations installed strong leaders who promised corrective measures at any cost. The cost in Germany and Italy was dictatorial, nationalistic government. Japan already had a militaristic government carried over from her conquests of Manchuria and China. The U.S. strengthened her industries. Britain's Winston Churchill described Hitler's rise to power thus:

"Into that void strode a maniac of ferocious genius, the expression of the most virulent hatred that has ever corroded the human breast ... Corporal Hitler."

Of all the people on earth, Hitler believed the Jews were the worst (although Slavics were considered almost as bad) - and should be exterminated from this planet. On January 30th, 1933, Hitler was named chancellor of Germany. Dr. Joseph Goebbels was named Minister of Propaganda. "Like a servant of God," Goebbels wrote in his diary, "Hitler fulfills the task which was given to him and he does justice in its brightest and best sense to his historical mission." In his newspaper, Der Angriff, he wrote: "What diligence and knowledge and school learning cannot solve, God announces through the mouths of those whom He has chosen. Genius in all fields of human endeavor means - to have been called. When Hitler speaks all resistance breaks down before the magical effect of his words." It was true that when Hitler spoke, many Germans became transfixed under what amounted to his hypnotic spell.

By 1936, Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland to see what Britain and France would do about it. Britain and France were preoccupied with Mussolini's aggression in Ethiopia. France's 100 divisions could have destroyed Hitler's feeble forces but France did nothing.

Hitler's next act was to take over Austria through intimidation. This added 7 million to the Third Reich and put it in a very good strategic position in Europe.

Hitler's next goal was to take over half of Czechoslovakia. His excuse was that he wished to liberate the three and a quarter million Germans who lived in Sudetenland. Czechoslovakia began mobilizing for war. Hitler feared that England and France might side with Czechoslovakia and begin a general war. The Czechs' defiance put Hitler into a rage. He stated: "How dare they accuse Germany of being about to commit aggression." The French and British, however, wanted peace at any price. They sent Edouard Daladier and Nevill Chamberlain to meet the German dictator and offer a deal - they would allow Hitler to take half of Czechoslovakia. Hitler's response? "I have fallen from Heaven." Sound familiar? Hitler, of course, took all of Czechoslovakia.

But France and Britain and Russia were at last alerted. To remove the threat of Russia, Hitler secretly offered her half of Poland. The offer was too good to ignore. Russia and Germany signed a nonaggression pact on August 23rd, 1939. Hitler was troubled by reports England and France might go to war if he attacked Poland. On the 26th of August the following was reported:

"Hitler suddenly got up and, becoming very excited and nervous, walked up and down saying, as though to himself, that Germany was irresistible. Suddenly he stopped in the middle of the room and stood staring. His voice was blurred and his behavior that of a completely abnormal person. If there should be war, then I shall build U-boats, build U-boats, U-boats, U-boats."

Five days later Germany attacked Poland. Hitler's orders to his troops: "Close your eyes to pity. Act brutally!" Germany's armored vehicles made quick work of Poland's horse cavalry. Britain and France declared war on Germany the same day, September 1st. On the 17th, Russia attacked Poland from the east.

Next, Germany invaded Denmark, Norway, and The Netherlands to protect herself from Britain. By May 14th, 1940, they had taken Belgium and were attacking France. It took them six days to cross France and reach the channel. 400,000 British, French and Belgian troops were surrounded on the coast at Dunkirk. At this point in history, Hitler issued one of his strangest orders: "Dunkirk is to be left to the Luftwaffe (the German Air Force)." Then another strange incident occurred - a suffocating fog closed in. The English channel became calm. Every civilian boat in the area was ordered to Dunkirk. Over 340,000 were evacuated from May 26th until June 4th. This evacuation has been named the "Miracle of Dunkirk." In Churchill's words "a Guiding Hand interfered to make sure the Allied forces were not annihilated at Dunkirk."

On June 14th, France surrendered to Germany. Britain was then all alone but didn't have long to wait. On July 10th, Germany began bombing British airfields, aircraft factories and radar stations. From July until September 7th, Germany continued this attack. Then on September 7th, Germany switched targets to British cities. This change came just in the nick of time because the British Air Force Fighter Command had been severely damaged and could not continue much longer. The British felt they could sacrifice cities if they could remain in control of their skies. Germany needed to destroy the Royal Air Force because it alone could destroy the planned German sea invasion. By October 12th, Hitler realized he could not destroy the Royal Air Force and canceled the sea invasion until the following spring. He later postponed the invasion again until he could destroy Russia. Another interference from the Guiding Hand.

The British needed military supplies from the U.S. in a desperate way so the U.S. sent its convoys to Britain under U.S. military escort. Many of these convoys were decimated by German submarines. In May 1941, the Germans sent their biggest and newest battleship, the Bismarck, into the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy pulled out all the stops to find and sink her. But the Bismarck was in such a hurry to slip into the Atlantic that she failed to top off her fuel tanks in Norway and so, when the British caught up with her, she had to return to France for more fuel. Nearly the entire British Atlantic fleet was after her. The British had to attack her by air because the Bismarck's guns had longer range than the British. About 400 miles off France, one plane managed to hit the Bismarck's rudder with a torpedo. The Bismarck's fate was doomed. Regarding the Bismarck, the British commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir John Tovey commented:

One is very diffident about these things, but for a long time I have been a great believer in prayer. In the last few weeks I have prayed as I have never prayed before in my life. If anyone had said that we could meet the Bismarck, that great ship with her main armament of 9 inch and 15 inch guns unimpaired, and come out of the action without loss of a single British life, no one would have believed him. It is incredible. It can only be attributed to one thing. I firmly believe that the result of this action was due to Divine Guidance and Intervention.

Hitler had hoped to knock Russia out of the war before America joined her European Allies. But Japan spoiled that plan when she attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Now the mighty U.S. would immediately gear up for all-out war production. At that time America was self-sufficient and did not depend upon other countries for oil or steel or electronics or shipbuilding or very much of anything. America's industrial strength was unsurpassed in the world. The words "Made in USA", found on nearly everything, indicated quality. America's president, President Roosevelt, and Britain's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, were the two great leaders the free world needed at that time.

One of Germany's major goals was the middle east oil fields. To capture them Field Marshall Rommel, one of the most brilliant of all World War II generals, was about to attack Alexandria Egypt. In mid-August 1942, Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery was put in charge of the British Eighth Army in Egypt. What kind of a man was "Monty"? He was known as the "Spartan General". He neither smoked nor drank, and he didn't swear. He rose at 6 AM and went to bed at 9 PM. He had a fanatical belief in physical fitness. Monty's recipe for physical fitness was that each man should run a long course before breakfast (regardless of the weather) and read the Bible daily. At the Battle of El Alamein, the British Eighth Army decisively defeated Rommel and sent them fleeing westward. In north-west Africa, the Americans defeated Rommel in Operation Torch.

The next very major military operation in Europe was the landing at Normandy. The Germans knew it was coming. They had fortified the entire Atlantic coast from Norway to Spain. Rommel had warned Hitler that the first 24 hours of the landing would be critical for both the Allies and the Germans. The Allies had to be stopped on the beaches. They could not be allowed to penetrate inland. The Supreme Allied Commander was General Eisenhower. The project was called Operation Overlord. General Eisenhower would later describe the massive military build-up as "a mighty engine of righteous destruction."

The landing on June 6th, 1944 was inserted in a lull of an Atlantic storm that had been plaguing the French coast. As a result of the storm many top German generals were away from their commands, believing that the weather would prevent a landing. Rommel himself was visiting his wife in Germany on her birthday, June 6th. Operation Overlord achieved a complete surprise. A few hours after the landing, President Roosevelt included the following in a statement to the American public:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set out upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.....

King George VI told the peoples of Britain:

Four years ago our nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God's providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those Unseen Fires which nothing can quench.
Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause....
That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication.
We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God; and we dare to believe that God has used our nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose.

Germany surrendered a year later, but 9,387 Americans are buried at Normandy alone.

Let me now turn to the war in the Pacific. As I mentioned earlier, Japan attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. They followed up the attack with invasions of the Philippines, Guam, and Wake. Half of America's Pacific fleet was destroyed or severely damaged in the surprise attack. 347 of the 394 planes on Oahu were destroyed. 2403 lives were lost and 1178 were injured. Singapore and the Philippines were soon occupied by the Japanese.

But there was good news too. On June 4th, 1942, the Japanese attempt to occupy Midway Island, at the western end of the 1000 mile Hawaiian Island group, was thwarted. Japan lost four aircraft carriers in the attempt. The action left Japan short of aircraft carriers and, more importantly, their best air crews.

In August 1942, the U.S. landed forces on Guadalcanal to stem the expansion of Japanese forces toward Australia. Thereafter began the island hopping campaign toward Japan's home islands. As the U.S. captured island after island, its ability to begin bombing Japan's factories and cities increased. American submarines decimated Japanese merchant ships bringing raw materials to Japan for their war effort.

In October of 1943 General MacArthur returned to the Philippines. As soon as the landing was made, the Japanese navy made an all-out attempt to destroy the landing by sea power. They sent nearly every ship they had to the landing area. In the process they decoyed the U.S. Third Fleet north and away from the landings. The Japanese were nearly within gun range of the beaches, when, for some unknown reason, they turned and ran. When the battle ended, Japan had lost four carriers, three battleships, nine destroyers, and ten cruisers. America's Admiral Sprague later summed up that decisive battle as follows:

The failure of the enemy main body and encircling light forces to completely wipe out all vessels of this Task Unit can be attributed to our successful smoke screen, our torpedo counterattack, continuous harassment of the enemy by bomb, torpedo and strafing air attacks, timely maneuvers, and the definite partiality of Almighty God.

Prime Minister Churchill had made a similar statement in 1942 when he said:

I have a feeling sometimes that some Guiding Hand has interfered. I have a feeling that we have a Guardian because we have a great Cause, and we shall have that Guardian so long as we serve that Cause faithfully. And what a Cause it is.

Shortly after the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri, General MacArthur made the following historic broadcast to the American nation:

Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death - the seas bear only commerce - men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way. I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.
As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that He has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.
A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concept of war.
Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start, workable methods were found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful.
Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.
We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commander Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement.
Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. It is my purpose to implement this commitment just as rapidly as the armed forces are demobilized and other essential steps taken to neutralize the war potential.
The energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are turned into constructive channels, the country can lift itself from its present deplorable state into a position of dignity.
To the Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march. Today, in Asia as well as in Europe, unshackled peoples are tasting the full sweetness of liberty, the relief from fear.
In the Philippines, America has evolved a model for the new free world of Asia. In the Philippines, America has demonstrated that peoples of the East and peoples of the West may walk side by side in mutual respect and with mutual benefit. The history of our sovereignty there has now the full confidence of the East.
And so, my fellow countrymen, today I report to you that your sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully with the calm, deliberate, determined fighting spirit of the American soldier and sailor, based upon a tradition of historical truth as against the fanaticism of an enemy supported only by mythological fiction. Their spiritual strength and power had brought us through to victory. They are homeward bound - take care of them.

Following World War II came other wars. Korea and Vietnam were the major ones. The Korean war ended in a stalemate. The Vietnam war in defeat. But the loss of these wars was not the direct result of defeat of the American fighting man. They were the result of indecision by America's leaders. "Once war is forced upon us," said General MacArthur, "there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory - not prolonged indecision. In war, indeed, there can be no substitute for victory." But, alas, it was General MacArthur's all-out victory approach to the Korean War which caused him to be relieved of his command in the Pacific. General MacArthur and General Lee were probably the best generals America has ever had but both ended their careers having their principles criticized and just fading away without being able to teach the reasons for their successes to others.

Indecision with no victory has been the hallmark of the U.S. military policy since World War II. Korea was followed by the Cuban missile crises where we left the Cuban freedom fighters on the beach to die after promising them air cover. Then we made an agreement with Russia not to ever invade Cuba if they would just take out their missiles.

The Vietnam war actually started in 1950 while the U.S. was involved in Korea. Here again, MacArthur's admonition that there is no substitute for victory was ignored by President Johnson and his military advisors. It is my belief that President Truman, President Kennedy and President Johnson lacked the faith to face Russia nose to nose and so backed down to a no-win position. The protracted Vietnam war, however, resulted in public resentment against the government and the individual GI. Distrust of government is still with us. MacArthur said that one would have to be insane to become involved in a land war in Asia, but even if it were unavoidable, and it wasn't, we should have pursued victory, not indecision and compromise and ultimate defeat - the first war the U.S. ever lost. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Arthur Goldberg stated in February 1967: "We are not engaged in a 'holy war' against Communism." The next month he added: "We're ready for unconditional negotiations!" These leaders, lacking faith in God, sold out our soldiers.

General Curtis LeMay, who led the bombing of Japan and later headed the Strategic Air Command, said:

The popular philosophy that we can, by cautious and timid military tactics, keep the war from escalating into a larger conflict is the ultimate in military blindness. The only way to win a war is to escalate it in one way or another above what the enemy can take. If we feel that we can't win without unacceptable risk, we have no business fighting in the first place ... Thus, whenever we commit our young men to mortal combat, we should be equally prepared to commit our leaders, our cities, our families and civilians - our own or the enemy's. Modern war is that serious, and we should not forget it.

One bright spot in this dark story of indecision without victory occurred in 1975 off the coast of Cambodia. The Communists in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were looking for excuses to further humiliate the U.S. giant. On May 12, the Cambodians fired on the container ship Mayaguez, boarded her and forced it into the port of Sihanoukville. President Ford called this seizure "an act of piracy." Diplomatic initiatives produced no results. President Ford ordered the Marines to retake the ship and crew. Punitive air strikes were carried out on military targets and an oil depot while Marines captured a strategic island. The Cambodians released the ship and crew with the statement, "our weak country cannot have a confrontation with the U.S.." What did the rescue operation accomplish other than the recovery of the ship and its 39 man crew? An editorial entitled "The Eagle Still Has Claws" in the Toronto Star gives us the answer: "The free-world alliance will be greatly reassured and heartened that its leading power ... still has the will and capacity to act decisively against unprovoked aggression."

The Gulf War of the 1990s and Afghan war are only the latest evidence of the policy of indecision without victory. Yes, we destroyed the invading armies of Iraq, but our military and civilian leaders in Washington chose not to pursue complete victory. Each time we choose indecision over victory, we only postpone the inevitable. Like Hitler's unchallenged invasion of the Rhineland in 1936, when the U.S. is too busy to police these unfinished wars, the enemy will conclude his treachery.

During the Iraqi war we lost about 38 hundred men and women. While any losses are regrettable, those losses do not compare with World War II losses. For example, on Iwo Jima, in less than a month of fighting, the U.S. lost over 6800 men. But the real threat to the ultimate winning of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was the politicalization of the war by the liberal news media and government officials. They are the same groups who criticized the Viet Nam war to the extent that the U.S. public ceased to support it.

So where are we today? Our government has allowed our nuclear weapon technology to be released to our enemies. We have released our strategic and commercial choke-point, the Panama Canal, to Red Chinese control, an avowed enemy. We seem to be under the curse of Deut 28:52 instead of the blessings of Gen 22:17. Let's read these two verses.

Deut 28:52 (NKJV) "They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you.
Gen 22:16-17 [NKJV] . . . . ."By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; 17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies."

North Korea threatens South Korea, Guam and Japan. Chinese generals now threaten Los Angeles and will soon have the ability to threaten at least 100 US cities from former US bases in Panama. China economically threatens world oil supplies. Russia, Islamic States, and China all seem to be lining up to attack Israel (Rev 9:16). Our military has been drastically reduced in bases and manpower, as well as morally during some liberal Administrations. Huge pressures are being applied to our citizens to give up personal guns. Individual freedoms and privacy are under constant attack by our government, even to an attempt to monitor our bank accounts, telephone calls, medical records without court order. We seem to be well along on the path to national captivity, possibly even captivity by the Beast power described in the book of Revelation. The only thing we lack is the national awareness of how close we are to disaster. Most citizens are blinded to our dangers by apathy, lack of knowledge of Biblical prophesy, and desire for more pleasure and wealth and power.

What happened after World War II to change our government's attitude of successful warfare and respect for individual freedoms to one of compromise instead of victory and shame for our military power? Have you considered the millions of abortions, the court decisions banning Christian prayers and Bibles from our schools, the removal of the ten commandments from courtrooms, the drive to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency, the drive to remove "one nation under God" from our pledge of allegiance, the homosexual parades in our cities, gay marriage, the celebrating of Islamic Ramadan in the White House and throughout Washington DC, the praising and acceptance of Islam by our President - Islam, another superstition as General MacArthur described non-Judea-Christian religions, the government pressure on Israel to give up God-given covenant land to the so-called "Palestinians"? Presidential admission that he thinks our one Creator God is the god of all religions. These are all post-World War II events. God and His laws and the education of our youth about our true history are being intentionally removed from our nation. We were reading from Deut 28. Let's turn to verse 15 of Deut 28.

15 "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

If you read through the remainder of Deut 28, you will see why this country is having the problems it is having. The last verses of Deut 28 describe the final days of a nation that does not repent and turn around and respect God's laws.

But there may be more to the decline of the U.S. than its national sins. God determines the course of nations. God determines their life and destiny, yes, even the U.S. and yes, even the present day country of Israel. How often have you asked yourself, "Why has God blessed the little country of Israel when most of its people are secular, reject Jesus (Yeshua) as their Messiah, and do not even obey God's commandments? Most seem proud that they are Jews but leave God almost completely out of their lives." The answer is that God is working out His purpose because He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the end of proud, prosperous, God-rejecting nations. We can know it too if we'll just consider what happened to the Roman Empire. Perhaps we can get a glimmer of understanding of this from Romans 9:6. I am going to read this from the Jewish New Testament.

Romans 9:6-8 (JNT) But the present condition of Israel does not mean that the Word of God has failed. For not everyone from Israel is truly part of Israel; {7} indeed, not all of the descendants are seed of Abraham; rather , "What is to be called your 'seed' will be in Yitzchak (Isaac)." {8} In other words, it is not the physical children who are children of God, but the children the promise refers to who are considered seed.

Verses 11 and 12 goes on to say, "so that God's plan might remain a matter of His sovereign choice, not dependent on what they did, but on God, who does the calling."

The children of God are from those people who God has called. These verses are discussing who the children of God really are, but I think they also show us very clearly that God determines the destiny of all nations and peoples. I believe that the rise and decline of a God-rejecting U.S. may be part of God's plan for these end days. God is sifting out His people regardless of what country they are living in.

Now what can we learn from all these post-World War II military events? In each event we find a common thread: The government, a traitorous media, and certain boot-licking military leaders have shown a tendency of indecisiveness and lack of faith since World War II. All too many Presidents and other leaders of the U.S., since the end of World War II, has had a reputation of profanity, temper, deceitfulness, immorality, disloyalty, mutiny, and indifference to God's laws. Some are just foolish and made unwise policy. But typically, when moral, principled Presidents were in office, military position and respect improved. During other administrations, military position and respect declined. A fear of God (a fear of breaking God's laws) generates faith and decisiveness because leaders know God is behind them. Those who strive after political gain and do not care if they please God have to depend on their own judgment and God is often not behind them.

Psalms 26 describes what values (principles)we should be looking for in our leaders and ourselves.

(Psa 26 NKJV) Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip. {2} Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. {3} For Your loving kindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. {4} I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. {5} I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. {6} I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LORD, {7} That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. {8} LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells. {9} Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men, {10} In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. {11} But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me. {12} My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the LORD.

What does all this have to do with Veterans Day? Through it all, the serviceman who has to risk his life and limb has continually been willing to do so in support of his country. It is to the dedication and sacrifice of the servicemen of all U.S. wars that Veterans Day is dedicated.

As we observe Veterans Day, offer up prayers of thanks to our Creator for His miracles and His support in our military affairs in the past which have preserved the freedoms we enjoy today. Unprincipled government leaders take our freedoms away.

As you evaluate politicians with Presidential and other aspirations, judge them not by their looks, their race, their promises of more public money from the publically provided government feed trough (i.e. the taxpayers), or their eloquence, but by their character , their integrity, their principles, their commitment to nation rather than political party, and by their acknowledged respect, loyalty, and appreciation for the true God, His laws, and His miracles. This is the God which has protected and stood by this nation so well in the past. He is not some ecumenical god who is accepted by main-steam religious organizations of any belief. This nation must return to its motto In God We Trust but to do that we must heed the words of David, which we read at the beginning of this sermon, "The eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him....", those who fear to disobey him; not on our strength or our wealth or our greed, but on our trust in and respect for our God and His Word.

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell
November 09, 2013
Copyright 2013, Wayne Bedwell

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