Psalm 33:12-16 (NIV) — “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind: From His dwelling place He watches all who live on Earth — He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.”
“Pro deo et patria” is Latin for “God and country.”
The wording of the current oath of enlistment for commissioned officers are as follows: “I _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice, so help me God.”
I don’t know about you but if I were to simplify that oath, “God and Country” would easily sum it up.
During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army. The enlistee’s first oath, voted on June 14, 1775, was part of the act of creating the Continental Army.
The original wording was effectively replaced by section 3, article 1 of the Articles of War, approved by Congress on Sept. 20, 1776. There was another revised version voted for in 1778. The oath for the enlisted remained unchanged until 1950.
The officer’s oath had modifications in 1789 and 1830, and again on July 2, 1862. Then there was the simplified version May 13, 1884, which remained until 1959. These changes continue even to the present time. This represents that we have a history of change.
Two millennia ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only constant is change.”
Our nation as a player on the world stage or even within our own borders are going through some awkward and what seems like drastic changes. Perhaps they’re growing pains. Some changes are part of growth. Reality warns not all change is good but constant.
Romans 14:13 — “Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”
I say all that to set the stage to share these things.
Romans 14:19 — “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
The other day I read an article that said as an update to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible — with 20,000 changes — was released digitally in December and is to be in print next May. It represents more than four years’ work of the National Council of Churches and a large group of scholars in the Society of Biblical Literature.
20,000 changes! It’s not a paraphrase, its actually changing what’s being said. For example: Leviticus 4:8 says, “He shall remove all the fat from the bull of sin offering.”
The new version will say, “He shall remove all the fat from the bull of purification offering.”
I started this article with Scripture saying, “Blessed is the nation who’s God is the Lord” followed by the motto, “God and country.”
Sin separates us from God. It is not a religious issue. It’s a life and death issue. If we take sin out of the vocabulary, then we’re merely cloaking it not removing it.
Here’s clarity in Scripture.
Isaiah 59:2 — “But your inequities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear you.”
1 Corinthians 15:17 — “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
So, if there’s a separation between God and us, what is it? Sin. We need to know and see that and not cloak or cover it with cleaver speech.
Change is inevitable. Whether expected or unexpected. It’s a part of life. Some changes we initiate, other change is thrust upon us.
Have you heard this next sayings?
“Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.”
“Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean wiser.”
As an example the U.S. Army’s Oath of Enlistment has changed and been reformed through the years. Translating Scripture isn’t the same or equivalent to changing what Scripture is saying. Knowing the difference is critical. There’s a distinct difference between an oath and a vow. A vow is merely a personal promise. An oath is a promise made before an institutional authority.
In the Gospels, a covenant means a sacred agreement, or mutual promise between God and a person or a group of people. In making a covenant, God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments.
Hebrews 10:16 — This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
My friend, don’t be fearful, be aware of the changes the world brings upon us. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
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