United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon/The Dalles Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Why America Should Be Thankful

Nearly four centuries have elapsed since Pilgrims and Puritans first called their "New England" the Promised Land. On a continent of limitless space and abundant potential they planted, built, and worshipped.

Their Puritan theology sustained their faith that the grace of God would be with them. They looked upon the Bible as a source of truth and strength. With an undying commitment to plant their dream of a better way of life on an undeveloped continent, they and their descendents shaped and cultivated more than the land they settled.

They created a nation of freedom and opportunity as was never before experienced in human history. In each successive generation their ever growing confidence and abundance spread their ideals and fueled their dreams.

Why has history shined so much more bountifully on America than on any other single nation in history? Americans traditionally credit God for those blessings. They give Him thanks and sing of His goodness and grace. Even their presidents pray and proclaim: "May God bless America." And indeed, America has been blessed!

Yet not all Americans acknowledge that their blessings are from God, that the United States of America could never have achieved its present greatness without supernatural blessing and protection from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

A biblical prophecy in Genesis 49, spoken by Abraham's grandson Jacob concerning the distant descendants of his own sons, aptly describes America as it is now. This prophecy speaks of the present day heritage of Jacob's son Joseph.

From Joseph's descendants, in the last days, a nation was prophesied to become the most blessed and powerful people on the earth. "And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days" (Genesis 49:1, emphasis added throughout). Then Jacob explained what God would ultimately bring to pass for each tribe that would develop from his 12 sons.

Joseph, who had once been sold by his brothers into Egyptian slavery, was promised blessing for his descendants that would greatly exceed those of his 11 brothers. Notice the blessings these descendants of Joseph are prophetically promised in the last days.

"Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.

"But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.

"Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers"

Genesis 49:22-26, NIV

It is America that possesses those very blessings today.

No conquering empire ever acquired in conquest what God has dumped into the laps of the United States and—a century earlier—her sister nations of the former British Empire. Their lands, prosperity and might were acquired not by conquering armies but mostly by settlers and merchants.

The statistics about America's blessings are staggering. It has more arable land under cultivation than any other nation, but has only 1/5 the population of China or India. Its economy is 30% of the world's total, and its stock markets are worth half of the total of all stock markets in the world. With only 4% of the world's population, its $400 billion a year defense budget equals that of all the rest of the world combined.

Americans also enjoy the world's highest standard of living. And America's freedom and prosperity is the envy of the world.

Celebrating a day of thanksgiving for its blessings is an American tradition. But have more than half of all Americans today forgotten the original purpose for Thanksgiving Day? Is it now only " turkey day"—a day on which feasting and football reign supreme?

Thanksgiving Day should be one of America's most celebrated, cherished and respected national occasions. It should be a time when all Americans stop, consider and give thanks to the God of Abraham and Jacob for giving them the very blessings He promised to Joseph's descendants.

You can learn a great deal more about those remarkable promises—along with why and how America received them—by requesting or downloading now your free copy of our booklet, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy (click the Read or Order button in the right column).

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