Anthems of Praise

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, July 5, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“From the heavens the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. The river Kishon swept them away, the age-old river, the river Kishon. March on, my soul; be strong!”
~Judges 5:20-21

Songs often commemorate great acts of courage. Deborah and Barak were full of joy after defeating their enemies, and the song they composed commemorated the event. Against overwhelming odds, Israel defeated the foreign armies and restored peace to their nation.

Two hundred years ago, a man named Francis Scott Key stood outside of Baltimore Harbor and watched the British shell Fort McHenry with their artillery. For 24 hours, the British bombarded the military installment that was manned by 1,000 soldiers who were unable to retaliate due to the British navy’s overwhelmingly powerful artillery. At the end of the day and the beginning of the next, it was expected that there would be a pile of corpses and a white flag waving in the air. As the story goes, the British were disheartened to see that they had only killed four American soldiers and that the American flag still stood flying over Fort McHenry.

Francis Scott Key was inspired by the sight and recalled the events he had witnessed. He wrote a poem called “Defence of Fort McHenry.” The poem was set to music and it was then renamed “The Star Spangled Banner.” Although it is our national anthem here in the United States, it does contain some religiously inspired lyrics that are not included in the one verse (the first verse) that is typically sung at events.

Verse four reads:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

When we are faced with impossible odds, we can only give glory to God when we pull through. 1 Samuel 2:9 reads, “It is not by strength that one prevails.” Human understanding cannot explain the military victories that were claimed either in the ancient times of Israel or at the founding of this nation.

When we place our trust in God, we need not fear boasting because he makes it clear that we have nothing to boast about except for him. God has strength when we do not. God is bigger than all of our enemies. And it is he who decides the outcome of wars, whether we are comfortable with that or not. When a nation turns to him, it will write its own anthems to praise God for his awesome works.

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