The Grace of Almighty God and the United States Military - Soapbox Jr.
“I learned at a very early age that to things and two things alone protect America from those who seek to destroy it - the grace of Almighty God and the United States military. - Charlie Daniels
That quote of Dad’s has been shortened by him on several occasions. In fact, the one we have included on our T-shirts is “Only two things protect America, the grace of Almighty God and the United States military.” So, it has existed in various forms for many years, but it is a sentiment he stood by for years and has resonated with many people.
I don’t know of many people – at least not the ones who follow Dad’s social media – who would have a problem with that statement, in either form.
However, an old friend recently sent me a page from a daily devotional that included the quote, but not in the way I expected.
The writer - who I won’t name because he didn’t name Dad - but suffice it to say he’s a big name in the governing body of the Church of Christ and a senior fellow with Lipscomb University in Nashville.
He begins with “According to a famous country singer, only two things protect America. “The grace of Almighty God and the United States Military.”
He then jumped in to say that the musician (Dad) must not have read Psalm 33:16-17 where it says “The best equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory – for all its strength it cannot save you.”
I can assure you, sir, he read those words many times.
He then pointed to the story of Gideon where God kept instructing Gideon to let more and more of his people go so that God and God alone could defeat the Midianites and not allow Israel to feel that they were able to defeat their foes on their own without God’s help.
He also referenced that David was punished by God for counting Israel’s soldiers. King Jehoshaphat led his armies in prayer which protected his kingdom of Judah from the enemies that gathered against them - Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir – by forcing them to turn against each other and destroy one another without Judah even raising a sword.
The devotional writer then hammers home that God’s people are to rely on Him alone and to respect those who serve, but not to count on them for “ultimate protection” by pointing out that God alone can save.
I think this gentleman needs to re-think what Dad is saying here. Is he saying that our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard – and now – Space Force are combined the equivalent to the power of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
The order of the words should give a clue as to the importance of the subjects mentioned. Just like with ingredients on a box of cereal, the most important or the most abundant ingredients are listed first, with the lesser ingredients listed in descending order.
At no time did Dad ever equate our U.S. Military power with all the power of heaven above, he merely listed the two things that are essential for protecting our nation, stating that both are essential to our safety, albeit in different measures.
If the author of the devotional had learned more about Dad rather than assuming that his knowledge of the scriptures was lacking in order for him to craft a pithy daily reading about trusting God, I think it would have gone better for him.
As I pointed out recently, Dad was extremely well-read and read his Bible every day.
He knew the stories about trusting military might alone, and I would also point out that God’s involvement with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had the benefit of His prophets who relayed God’s will to the kings, or spoke directly to individuals as was the case with Gideon and others.
Am I nitpicking a bit?
Did the distinguished author mean to undermine Dad’s grasp of the scriptures?
I don’t know, but I do know that if Dad was alive, he would have written something along the lines of what you just read, although I can assure you, his response would have been much more eloquent than mine.
But, he’s not here, so you’re stuck with me, and I’m always going to stand up for Dad and defend him tooth and nail, and it’s an honor to do so.
I love you Dad. I’ve got your back, always.
What do you think?
Let’s all make the day count!
Pray for our troops, our police, the Peace of Jerusalem and our nation.
God Bless America!
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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