There are 4 references to God in the Declaration of Independence. However, if you research it’s evolution, you will discover that in Jefferson’s “rough draft” and in the edited version containing a few additions from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, you will discover that 3 of those references to God come up missing.
The Second Continental Congress appointed a 5 person committee to draft a “declaration of independence.” Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.
Jefferson’s original had 1 reference to God- “Nature’s God.” The version which contained a few additions and subtractions mainly from Adams and Franklin, also had 1 reference- “nature’s God.” However, in the final version of The Declaration Of Independence, we find 4 references to God: 1- “Nature’s God”, 2- “their Creator”, 3- “the Supreme Judge of the world”, 4- “divine Providence”. So who added God?
Answer? We have no idea. The members of the Second Continental Congress obviously didn’t have digital recorders, so we don’t really know how it happened that during their discussing, debating and loud/fiery words as they hashed out their differences, somehow God showed up 3 extra times. Kind of funny, huh.
Point? It isn’t really important that we know for sure who or how, in the earthly realm, that happened. It is, however, critically important that we believe that God was behind the beginning of our nation. Without Him, there would be no America. Americans who miss that truth, miss the most important detail of American history.
Without “divine Providence”, Great Britain would have crushed the revolutionary army. Without the “Supreme Judge of the world” on our side, we might all be singing to the glory of the Queen of England. Without “their Creator” we might all believe that we came from monkeys, instead of Adam and Eve.
So the next time you see a picture of that glorious document or hear someone reading from it, remember that it is no accident that God shows up 4 times. We may not know how it happened or who God used to bring it about, but we do know that 4 times in the Declaration of Independence, there is a heavenly reminder of Who made and continues to make America great – GOD.
“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with a light from above.”
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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