A Remarkable 4th of July

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A Remarkable 4th of July

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It is among the most remarkable coincidences in history. It was called a “visible and palpable” manifestation of “Divine favor.” Fifty years to the day from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the two most intimately connected with this document of freedom, died within hours of each other.
In Quincy, Massachusetts, Adams’ heart stopped at just past six in the evening. A thunderstorm had sprung up, and as the second U.S. president drew his last breath, “There was a final clap of thunder that shook the house, the rain stopped and the last sun of the day broke through dark, low hanging clouds—’bursting forth…with uncommon splendor at the moment of his exit’” (David McCullough, John Adams, 2001, p. 647). Through the prophet Daniel, God said He places and removes rulers of nations. We might wonder if God orchestrated the exit from life of these two giants of American history.
Thomas Jefferson authored the Declaration and Adams was its prime advocate on the floor of Congress. Its words speak a fundamental message of human freedom. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Those words continue to stir powerful emotions among people who are yet to experience freedom from fear, from injustice and the tyranny of evil.
What is often overlooked in the details of today’s world events is the desire of people to be free. Freedom is indeed a gift from God. We humans are “hard-wired” with the desire. But when freedom comes it carries great opportunity and responsibility. God, the author of true freedom, also shows us the obligations and responsibilities that come with freedom.
As America celebrates the Fourth of July this year, it is good to recall the divine reasons for the emergence of America from the mists of history. And even though America has not restored freedom to the entire earth—only God’s Kingdom will do that—it may well be a type of the time to come when we’ll see the restoration of all things.