The Bounty of America

The United States is the richest nation on earth. It contains 12% of the world's arable land, giving it more tillable soil than any other nation. It produces half of the world's corn, 90% of its soybeans, and 16% of its wheat. It is also the top producer of meat. It is a leader in other assets, too. Some have estimated that it contains three-quarters of the world's resources. Combining these assets with industry has made America wealthy. The Encyclopedia Britannica reported, "According to the best available estimates, U. S. industrial productivity at mid-20th century was nearly two and one-half times that of any European nation. In agriculture the discrepancy was greater." Its Gross National Product is the largest in the world and its citizens have the greatest average income per person.

In his proclamation of April 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln described America's vast resources. He said. "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown." Elsewhere, he added, "We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards fertility of  soil, extent of territory, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or the establishment of them."

Some suppose that America's bounty is a product of circumstance. The right factors of location, climate, geology and evolution combined to create our fortune. Others reason that it is a result of our late development. The generations had overrun the Old World and depleted its resources. We simply have the best that is now available. Both assertions imply that wealth results from chance or luck. Experience teaches us that even in the best  circumstances it comes from hard work. Effort makes a fortune and without it people cannot prosper, even if they are surrounded with the best potential.

God told Adam, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Gen 3:19). Since only work can produce and maintain an abundance, some believe our wealth is the consequence of our effort. They believe that the American work-ethic provided the prosperity we now enjoy. Others think it is the inevitable reward of a proper philosophy. The ideals undergirding our society fostered the right environment to produce our affluence. Like before, these conclusions are not supported by experience. Europeans who colonized other lands earned the same work ethic, philosophies and ideals prevalent in America. They even established similar democratic governments. Despite common background and standards, none of them have not achieved the wealth America has.

The major difference between the colonization of America and the European colonization of other lands is that people came to America for religious refuge. They wanted to purify the church of Jesus Christ and build up the kingdom of God. If there is any cause for America's bounty, it must be related to the unique purpose for which America was founded. It must be tied to America's Christian devotion.

Abraham Lincoln believed that America's bounty was a blessing of the Lord. In his proclamation previously cited, he said, "But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and strengthened us." President Lincoln understood that the blessings America has received are from God. God has graced our land with fertility. He has scattered rich treasures in our forests, streams, and mountains. He has inspired our ingenuity so we could use His resources to our benefit. It is God who has endowed Americans with peace, prosperity and possessions until we have become the envy of the world.

Americans are not the only devoted Christians on earth. Believers in other lands faithfully serve God without receiving the rich benefits common to us. All Americans are not even faithful. Among our population are infidels and scalawags. Some infected with lust and greed have polluted our resources and corrupted our people in their pursuit of wealth. Our combined affluence has led us to contemplate and condone activities naturally abhorrent, yet God continues to shower His blessings on our people. His gifts were not withdrawn at the first sign of individual or national transgression. Their persistence testifies that God has other reasons for blessing our country than just rewarding our past devotion.

Before dying, Moses blessed each tribe of Israel. In it he described the land Jacob had bequeathed to Joseph. He said, "Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph" (Deut 33:13-16). Jacob had received more lands than what God gave Abraham and Isaac. He called those additional lands "the utmost bound of the everlasting hills" (Gen 49:26). We would call them the 
coasts of the continent, including the isles of the sea. Jacob gave those lands to Joseph. Moses' portrayal of the blessings attendant to the lands Joseph received describes America.

Jewish scholarship now concludes that a remnant of the tribes exiled by the Assyrians eventually settled in northwestern Europe. While they mixed between themselves and certainly among other races, they retained the characteristics of the prominent tribe from which they descended. Jewish scholars have gone on to say that Ephraim migrated to England. England means "land of the Angles." Angles means "bullcalf," having descended from the Scythian word "angli," also meaning "bull-calf." The bull-calf was the symbol for Joseph and, more particularly, Ephraim. England colonized North America. America literally means "land of Machir."

Machir was a son of Manasseh, grandson of Joseph. Since America was colonized by descendants of Ephraim and carries the name of Manasseh, it is the land given Joseph by Jacob and blessed by Moses.

The blessings gracing America are part of the inheritance anciently given to Joseph and passed to his seed. His descendants were unworthy of such rich blessings when they lived in Canaan. There they worshiped false gods and practiced abominations. Their exile and subsequent wanderings led them to places where they heard the gospel. Its summons caused them to shelter the Reformation and seek a purified church. Renewing their faith, they came to the New World, the depository of the temporal blessings bequeathed to them so long ago and for which God had prepared them over the centuries, to use its riches for the establishment of God's kingdom.

God does not bless a people so they will fail. He does not hide a land of bounty from His elect and spend generations preparing them to receive it, only to have them pervert His purpose when He gives them their inheritance. The wickedness infecting the land and corrupting the divine blessings in it will be swept away. Then the faithful can use its abundance to build up the kingdom of God and invite both enduring believers and scattered 
Israelites to share in its wealth and enjoy its bounty.