On the evening following the Islamic attacks upon the United States on September 11, 2001, members of Congress assembled on the steps of the Capitol building to sing a rousing rendition of God Bless America.
The lyrics of this beloved song are as follows:
God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
By singing this song following the 9/11 attacks, our nation’s politicians for a short time set aside their political differences to show unity and strength, and particularly by saying they would seek that unity and strength from God. Although the attacks brought about a dark time, the United States would make it “through the night with a light from above.”
Once again, the U.S.A. is facing dark times. However, this time there is little unity to be found among our nation’s leaders or populace. We are at a verbal and ideological war with ourselves. There seems to be little “light” to be found to guide America “through the night.”
However, the “light” of which Irving Berlin wrote shines as bright as ever. The problem is, our nation largely fails to see it. Why? If we look for guidance at all, we look to the wrong places. We look to “experts” who have been indoctrinated in secularism and Marxism. We look to whomever can throw the biggest temper tantrum, and assume that their anger proves the justness of their cause. We look to Washington, D.C.; we look to Seattle; we look to Harvard; we look to Minneapolis; we look to San Francisco.
But notice from where the light comes—“from above.” There is a Divine source of light and guidance to all who will look, and it is God’s word (Psa. 119:105, 130; 2 Pet. 1:19). Irving Berlin’s original lyrics had read, “Stand beside her and guide her to the right with a light from above.” “Through the night” and “to the right” are virtually synonymous—we will never make it through the night if we fail to move to the Right—as in, that which is right and true, God’s perfect standard. Too many Americans simply fail to lift up their eyes to find that light from above.
The Psalmist warns, “The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, Even all the nations that forget God” (Psa. 9:17, ASV). May America, indeed, be guided “through the night with a light from above.”