Bible Reading: Psalm 82:1-8
Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you. Psalm 82:8
IT MAY BE the middle of summer, but it’s time for a quiz. Don’t panic! We’ll make it a multiple choice quiz. There’s only one question—and it’s really easy:
1. Today is July 4. If you live in the United States, what are you celebrating?
a. A day to wear all the red, white, and blue you want without anyone saying you look silly
b. A day of parades, picnics, and pyrotechnics (OK, OK, fireworks!)
c. A day of national pride
d. A day to remember where the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness really came from—God
OK, time’s up. What’s your answer?
While none of those answers is wrong, the last answer reminds us of something we too often forget. While the government may honor our basic rights as human beings, it doesn’t grant us those rights. God does.
The very basis of the idea of personal rights is the fact that there is a God and he is the one who by his nature defines what is right and wrong. Your rights to live, to be free, and to be treated with respect are not gifts from any government or court; they are gifts from the righteous God, the one from whom all moral judgments—including human rights—are derived. That’s true not only for Americans but for all people everywhere.
So in between all those firecrackers and noisemakers, take a few moments to honor God, who has given you rights that no government can give and no government can take away.
REFLECT: Many documents all over the world have been based on the Declaration of Independence, which refers to our “inalienable rights” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Inalienable means those rights can’t be rightfully canceled or surrendered. Have you ever thanked God for your life? Have you ever thanked him for your freedom or for the other rights you enjoy?
PRAY: “Lord, thank you for the rights you have given me. Thank you for my life and freedom.”