May the nations praise you, O God… Then the earth will yield its harvest, and God, our God will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him. – Psalm 67:5-7 (NLT)
In the last fiscal year, the United States spent some 801 billion dollars on national defense. Our nation spends more on military defense than China, India, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea combined.
In addition to our exorbitantly high defense spending, there are those who contend that more robust investment in border security is vital to our national well-being. They contend that porous borders foster domestic weakness.
But according to the Psalmist, national arms and fortified borders are not the key determinants of a nation’s greatness. Rather, it is the national values that transcend the nation itself.
When our foreign policies are aimed at producing harvests of peace and prosperity in every country; When we connect the plight of our people with the plight of those in South America who grow the coffee beans for our lattes; When we highlight the human dignity shared between those of us who purchase smartphones with those in Southeast Asia who manufacture smartphones—then our obsessions with military might and border bastions may become less consuming.
It’s not the intricacies of American military might and advanced technology that make us respected. Instead, the concept of “liberty and justice for all” is a guiding light for people around the globe.
Citizens of the world will honor a city set on a hill. And most will have no motivation to direct their ire towards that city if it uses its high influence to light the way for the economic and social well-being of all who dwell in the valleys.
Lord, help us to see our might in how you have blessed us to bless the world. Amen.