“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and from to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” (Amos 8:1-3)
This scripture describes what America is like, now that she is God’s prodigal daughter. When she was godly and righteous, her people were happy and prosperous. Now, as we go from one crisis to the next, there is always something to worry about.
But America still belongs to God. We are still his people and he loves us. We have an alliance with him. The United States of America was founded by Christians. Our government is built on God’s principles as they are revealed in the Bible. The original purpose of public schools was to teach children to read so that they could read the Bible for themselves. The original purpose of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton was to train ministers of the Gospel. The Bible was America’s textbook, and the knowledge of God was readily available throughout the land.
Fifty years ago, we heard God’s word everywhere we went—at home, in Sunday School and church, and even in school. I am part of the last generation of Americans to have been taught the Bible in public school, the Baby Boomers.
Schoolteachers used to be free to express their religious beliefs. They loved us, and they even prayed with us. They treated us like their own dear children. They didn’t just teach us how to read and write, they taught us how to live. They were not imposing their personality morality on us. There is no true morality apart from God and the Bible.
The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Psalm 22:6) That is what American educators were doing fifty years ago. They had perfected the art of educating children. Thy gave us an excellent education, and the Bible is the foundation on which it was built. It is the foundation on which excellent lives are built and excellent nations are built.
When God gave us the Ten Commandments, he gave us these instructions to go along with them:
Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:3-6)
What are these words that the Lord wants us to know? And what are we supposed to teach our children? The answers to these questions can be found in Part Two of The Bible Believer’s Handbook, “Things God Expects Us To Do.”