Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law."
This verse should make us all shudder to some degree or the other. As we observe recent history (1700's to present), we have two very poignant, and yet contrasting, examples of this verse being played out in civilization. The first of these examples is the outworking of the first part of today's verse - "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint..." The French Revolution (1789-1799) is the perfect example of this passage.
In the years preceding the French Revolution, the French culture had rejected the authority of God's Written Word, and had "exchanged the Truth for the lie," the lie being than mankind can determine what truth is by themselves (See Romans 1:25 and surrounding verses). By doing such, they "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (Romans 1:25). The French people had rejected our Creator God's special Revelation, and therefore, in the face of a tyrannical elite, the common person had no foundation upon which to build their reasons for overthrowing the tyrants, and thus, total chaos and devastation enveloped the whole struggle. And the end result of the French Revolution was? Tyranny. Why? After all the death, murder, and mayhem, why would the French people allow another tyrant to come and rule them? Simply, because they had rejected the Word of God, had cast off restraint, and therefore had no solid foundation upon which to build after the French Revolution was over.
Storming the Bastille
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...."
And, contrary to the common misconception that Benjamin Franklin was a Deist, he was recorded as saying the following in a speech delivered on Thursday, June 28, 1787 in Philadelphia:
In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service."1 [Emphasis my own.]
I find it very strange for a Deist - one who is supposed to believe in an impersonal God, and God who is in no way involved with His creation, who does not answer prayer - to implore God to intervene in the United States' early history.
This is but one of many of the Founders that could be cited.
In conclusion, the outcomes of the two Revolutions were drastically different from each other. One founded upon man determining truth ended in chaos, murder, mayhem, and ultimately tyranny. The other based upon God deciding truth ended in peace, and ultimately the ability for each person to live out their God-given freedoms.
Thanks for reading,