“America is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill. ‘ – Ronald Reagan
On November 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave a speech on the eve of his election entitled, “A Vision for America”. Regardless of your political affiliation, Reagan’s point of the speech was to draw attention to American exceptionalism.
American, in the eyes of Reagan, is the greatest example of freedom and prosperity this world has ever seen. He said this, “I believe that Americans in 1980 are every bit as committed to that vision of a shining "city on a hill," as were those long ago settlers ... These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.”
By 1989, Reagan departed office with this farewell speech. “I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.”
I love America, but my intention in quoting these speeches is not to bolster American pride or exalt Reagan. Instead, I hope to draw our attention to a nation created by God that truly was supposed to be a shining city on a hill.
God’s purpose has always been to reach the world, and God has great love for every human on this terrestrial ball. God selected a man, a nation, to be His great beacon to the world. Through the nation of Israel, the whole world would see the beauty and blessings of serving Jehovah, the One True God. Israel was to magnify the Lord, and make Him look big to everyone. It is not that they embellished Him… no, they simply brought Him into focus! Israel was to act like a giant magnifying glass, pointing everyone and every nation to the Lord.
Deuteronomy presents a great reminder to the people of Israel to be this shining city… this magnifying glass that points everyone to God. For the most part this generation accomplished this mission, but sadly Israel’s history is rife with examples of failure. Instead of pointing others to the LORD, they often were tempted with the gods of the world around them.
May I encourage you today to be a life that points others to the One True God? Make a decision that your life will be a beacon of holiness, love and truth that shows others a better way. Be the person that everyone secretly thinks, “what is their secret? Who do they have in their life that gives them such peace? I wish I knew their God!” It is not that you have anything special, but that you know the Lord God Almighty.
Be a person who “lets your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Daily Scripture Reading
Deuteronomy 28 - 29
“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.”