“There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence” (Daniel Webster; 1782-1852).
Why didn’t someone do something? Those five words still haunt my thoughts today. Sometime ago, I sat speechless as I listened to a man recount his trip to a holocaust museum with his young daughter. As they walked by photos of the death camps, gas chambers, and countless bodies piled one upon another, his daughter silently contemplated the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes.
When the tour ended, they drove home without saying a word. The father wondered if she truly understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to view such depravity? Was she too fragile to cope with the truth of the holocaust? Would it make a negative impact on her life? Would it leave her fearful and wounded? Would she begin to doubt God?
His questions were answered nearly two hours later when his daughter finally spoke. She looked at her father and asked, “Daddy, why didn’t someone do something?”
Will we hear those same haunting words from our children and grandchildren? Yes! If we fail to contend for what is right, we may see a time in our history when our children will ask, “Why didn’t someone do something?” Sadly, we may not be able to answer.
What can I do? What can we do? People are often willing to help, but they lack motivation; they also don’t know where to begin. How can we honor God and preserve our values? Here are just a few ways:
1. Lead a life of integrity regardless of what society promotes. Although only a select few can change government policy, all of us can build a life of moral integrity while staying committed to God’s Word. Certain “rights” and “wrongs” called absolutes are given by God to save man from himself. One of the best ways to make a difference is to live a life based on moral absolutes, and by letting honesty and integrity guide our decisions. Society changes as individuals change.
M.H. McKee states it well, “Integrity is one of several paths. It distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost.” Proverbs 11:3 adds, “The integrity of the upright will guide them.”
Combine integrity, wisdom, Scripture study, counsel, and prayer, and you’ll have a better grasp on what God is calling you to do. Unfortunately, we want to hear from God first and work on character later, but God wants us to work on character first—we’ll then be better able to hear. A life of moral excellence and integrity leads to a growing relationship with God. (See 2 Peter 1:5.)
2. Pray and fast for our nation. Prayer is more powerful than protest! We should not rely on political power, but on the power of God through prayer. The great preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, once said, “I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.”
For those who doubt the power of prayer in America’s history, consider this excerpt from the book, One Nation Under God—The History of Prayer in America: “Prayer stands as one of the most critical and indisputable factors to have influenced the course of American history.” Many of those who study history understand the connection.
3. Vote for principles, not a particular party. “He who rules over men must be just” (2 Samuel 23:3). We need more humble, God-fearing leaders. The Lord hates pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness. Without humility and a teachable spirit, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to govern properly. Humility does not mean that leaders become passive pawns, but that they live in total surrender to God; they’re more concerned with God’s opinion than opinion polls.
It’s been said that the quality of our government depends more upon the character of our leaders than upon our laws. But be careful—many use “religious talk” and twist the Scriptures to support un-biblical initiatives. For example, in one setting leaders will express their religious convictions and quote the Bible, but in another setting they’ll vote for partial-birth abortion and against protecting babies who survive late-term abortions. Judge what they “do” more than what they “say.”
We can no longer hide behind the excuse, “I don’t want to get involved.” As citizens, we are given the privilege, for now, to place people in positions of leadership. Whether we like it or not, we are involved. Millions are not registered to vote; and millions of registered voters stay at home. We’ll stand in line to see a movie, but we won’t stand in line to vote and elect leaders who will affect the direction of our country. This makes a statement about what we value…and isn’t it sad. God help us—He is our only hope.