28 Principles That Helped Build America – Chapter 24 – Principle #24

A Free People Will Not Survive Unless They Stay Strong


Proverbs 2:20-22 “Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”


Proverbs 24:5-6 “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.”


In ancient times the way that nations became prosperous was by conquering other nations and taking their wealth. What has made America different was the principles laid down by the Founding Fathers: they learned to create wealth which was something new. They discovered that a free people in a civilized society always tend toward prosperity. It is only when government interferes with the free market economy that prosperity is inhibited.


Founding Fathers knew that the wealth being created would always attract predatory nations and so they wanted to remain strong. For the Founding Fathers ‘peace’ was always the goal, but ‘strength’ was the means to maintain that peace. Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of the nation to remain strong and said: “One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.” In other words, to secure peace a nation needs to be prepared for war.


According to Scripture one of the main jobs of government is security of its citizens from any foreign entity. However, we see today the government is involved in just about every aspect of our life both public as well as private and security seems to have taken a backseat.


Franklin knew that our security would lie in our growing strength in numbers as well as wealth. His thought was, “Create an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more respectable, and our enmity feared.” Franklin, as well as the other Founding Fathers had a low opinion of people who would wave the flag but were unwilling to defend or provide the means to defend it.


George Washington was known as “first in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He basically did risk “his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor,” for the cause of freedom. He fought the Revolutionary war with no navy of any consequence, no real trained professional army and to a great degree no outpouring of genuine support of the very states he was trying to save. He said: “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”


Washington also saw the need of a free people to not only be armed and disciplined, but also to have a plan for any known attack that might occur. He also saw the fallacy of being dependent upon other nations especially in times of war. He was against complacency and knew that vigilance was the price of freedom. One needs to keep in mind that during this time the monarchs of Europe were planning to slice up the United States and to divide it among themselves. At that time the British had troops along the northern border of the US, and Spain had aspirations for the Mississippi heartland.


Our Founding Fathers emphasized the moral responsibility to preserve the heritage of freedom and the unalienable rights which the Creator had given them. Samuel Adams felt it was wicked to allow these great truths to languish by neglect or apathy. We see that what the Founding Fathers passed onto posterity was the policy of peace through strength.


The questions we must ask ourselves today is: Are we losing our freedom because of neglect, complacency and apathy? Are we losing our prosperity because of government intervention? Are we losing our country because of moral decline? Our Founding Fathers knew that a Republic like ours can only be maintained by moral people.


We need to heed the prophet’s words: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)


What a responsibility lies in the hands of God’s people!


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