What makes a great nation? Is it material conveniences, inspiring leaders, a powerful military, or a strong economy? What if a nation has all of those things and yet lacks in morality and religion? Is that nation great? In Deuteronomy 4, Moses addresses Israel and gives some characteristics of a great nation.
A great nation values and obeys the Bible. Israel had been given the Law, and God required them to obey it. Today we have the Bible, and it is something that nations must follow if they are to be great in the eyes of God. As Christians we must listen to, learn from, and apply the Bible in our daily lives.
A great nation understands the importance of prayer. Prayer acknowledges dependence on God. Hezekiah was a great example of a leader who prayed to God when crisis entered the nation (2 Kings 19), and Christians ought to pray for the leaders in their country (I Tim. 2).
A great nation models its laws after Biblical principles. This would include the concept of freedom. The God of the Bible never forced anyone to believe on Him. He has given us a choice in the matter. We need to make right choices in our lives and be followers of Christ.
A great nation remembers what has taken place in the past, learns from it in the present, and tries to pass on these lessons to future generations. Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
What about our nation? Unfortunately, the facts do not paint a nice picture. Many in our country do not know or follow the Bible as past generation knew it. Prayer has been dismissed from the public school system. Certain laws in our land are diametrically opposed to Biblical principles, including abortion and gay marriage. We may remember events like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, but we have forgotten that Rome fell in large part because of the deterioration of morality and the family unit. It is a fearful thing to think about what future generations may face in our country.
However, not all has been lost. There have been good decisions that have been made, and steps taken in the right direction. Individuals make up a nation. We must do our part to be godly citizens who seek to influence and impact the culture that we find ourselves in. May God help us to be faithful to Him, and may God help our country.