Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer

Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer
They sent me here just to watch...

Monday, September 12, 2011

In God is our Trust--straight from the National Anthem

We often learn theology from our music.  Perhaps that’s not the best way, but it is the way that sticks with us.  Who among us cannot call upon a verse or two from Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, When Peace Like a River, or Just As I Am in a moment of need.
Biblical reading and exegesis might be the better tools, but it is our music that we carry with us.
So too is the case for our patriotic music.  There isn’t too much new on the patriotic scene lately.  An occasional country and western artist will take a shot at it.  Nothing really compares to The Star Spangled Banner. 
We normally just sing the first verse of this at official gatherings and sporting events, but we would be well served to invest a full five minutes and sing or at least listen to all 4 verses.
The first verse begins and ends with a question. 
The first question is to those engaged in the battle for freedom in the American Colonies.  Can you see our flag on this new morning after the night long battle?
The second question is asked to each succeeding generation.  Does that Star Spangled Banner still wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?  Have we preserved what was so nobly fought for?
The remaining verses offer no greater question.  Instead they include affirmations of patriots who have trusted their grand experiment to an almighty God.

By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!