It would probably be a good idea to start off this post, since the title seems to raise some questions as to why God has chosen to divinely and uniquely bless and protect the United States of America, by saying that I have no doubt, nor have I ever doubted, that He has intently and purposely done just that. I am not suggesting that we have always deserved His blessing, as a nation. We certainly have given Him plenty of good reasons, over the two and a half centuries since our inception, to withdraw his hand of blessing and protection from us and leave us to our own recourses (especially in the last fifty or sixty years or so if you ask me). But He never has, at least not completely, and I can’t help but wonder why.
Have we done something noble to gain His favor? Have we been more righteous or compassionate than other nations and therefore we’re more worthy of special treatment? I think I could rightly say both “yes and no” to those questions. I would say we have done plenty of good things, as a people, but we certainly have been far from sinless, in other areas. But all of that is for another post, I guess.
We have all heard the stories, I’m sure, of the effect “people of faith” such as the Pilgrims, the Puritans, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards and many others like John and Samuel Adams had on the forming of this great country (“a city upon a hill”, as it was called by John Winthrop in a sermon in 1630) and then, no less, how they influenced the penning of our founding documents which provided the structure for a free and fair government that has stood the test of time and has overcome many serious threats and challenges along the way. And to be sure, the threats and challenges persist to this day.
While I do believe that America’s faith and reliance upon “our Creator” (as He was referred to in the Declaration of Independence) may be one reason He has watched over us all these years, there may have been another significant factor that is often overlooked and rarely talked about. I would suggest that the relationship between America and the Jewish people, which can be traced all the way back to Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Inquisition, might have played a fairly large part in it, as well.
In the Book of Genesis, we see that God made a pretty big promise to Abraham and I have found no reason to believe that He has failed to keep it, even today, here in the 21st century.
“And I will make you a great nation; And I will bless you and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” [Genesis 12:2-3]
Let’s take a look at how one expert on Jewish history framed the argument:
[From] “Columbus And The Jews” (by Dr. Gerhard Falk)
Dr. Falk begins his article this way: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue; and his interpreter was a Jew whose name was Lou and that is true.” Indeed it is true. But Luis de Torres, whose original name was Yosef ben Levi Ha-Ivri, (“Joseph, Son of Levi, the Hebrew”), was not the only Jew who sailed with them at that time. Columbus’ navigator and his doctor were also Jews. All three and two more were Jews who underwent formal “conversion” to Christianity one day before the voyage began but were nevertheless viewed as Jews both by other Jews and by the Spanish Christians, who called Jews converted to Christianity “marranos”, meaning swine.
There is a good deal of speculation based on evidence that Columbus may himself have been the grandson of Jews. He wrote a great deal about Zion. He often used two little markings on the top of every letter he wrote. These marks resemble the two marks orthodox Jews still use in their letters. The two abbreviations come from the Hebrew words besiyata d’ishmaya, meaning “with God’s help” in Aramaic.
While it is pretty certain that Columbus was not Jewish, it is however entirely likely that the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition led many “marranos” to make every effort to find a place where the Spanish empire had no power and Christianity was unknown. When, on August 3, 1492, the three ships of Columbus’ fleet left the harbor of Palos they saw the ships on which the Jews were leaving the country in which they had lived a thousand years. None could have known that Columbus’ great voyage would lead to the establishment of the present American Jewish community, the most blessed of all Jewish communities ever to exist in the Galut (outside of Israel itself).
Here are just a few of the major ways the US has blessed Israel:
1) US “acquiesces” the Balfour Declaration (1917) that called for a permanent home for the Jewish people in the region known Palestine.
2) US Congress passes the Lodge-Fish resolution (1922) in support of Balfour.
3) US leads the charge to get the UN to officially declare Israel a nation again (1948)
4) 42 out of the 83 times that the US has used it’s “veto power” at the UN…it was in support of Israel.
5) US has provided hundreds of billions of dollars in financial and military support.
In addition to all of that, no nation on Earth has been more open and welcoming towards the Jewish people, especially back when they had no homeland to call their own. As early as 1654, even before we were a sovereign nation ourselves, descendants of Abraham came to our shores and found a home. They settled in New Asterdam first (which later became known as New York) and over the next three centuries, the number of Jewish immigrants greatly increased as they settled mainly in large East Coast cities, worked hard, overcame resistance and became an intricate part of the fabric of America we know and love today.
The bottom line is now there are basically as many Jews living in America as there are living in Israel (approx. 6 million in each) and it seems pretty obvious that we have been a blessing and a friend to Israel, and there is little doubt that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has been a friend and a blessing to the good ol’ US of A.
So to answer the original question here, “Why did God Bless America?”, and why does He continue to bless and protect our great nation, even though we have given him plenty of good reasons not to? For starters, I believe that there were a great many influential “God-fearing men and women” who had a hand in laying the foundation stones upon which our society was built. I think it is also true that “Natural Law”, which is the basic perceptions of right and wrong inherent to all humans (Cicero, and many of our Founders, believed they came from God Himself), played a big role in the writing of our Constitution and inspired many of our early laws, as well.
But, I think if we overlook the impact that God and His chosen people have had on our ability to grow, prosper and prevail as a nation, overcoming many great trials and tribulations along the way, we just may be ignoring the cornerstone that holds it all together. And that is why I believe it is imperative that our leaders put a high priority on dealing fairly and kindly with our greatest ally, Israel. We are undeniably “joined at the hip” with our Jewish brothers and sisters. And if we turn our backs on them, we only injure ourselves.
That is why I “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” [Psalm 122:6]. I believe these are critical times we live in, not only for Israel, but right here in America and around the world.
If we are approaching the “end of the age” that Jesus taught about in Matthew 24 and in many other places in Scripture, Israel will undoubtedly be “Ground Zero” and I believe it will be up to us to stand with her, while most of the world comes against her.