10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”(Acts 21:10-14, New International Version 1984)
The signers of the Declaration of Independence had the same attitude that Paul had. They were willing to die for their cause. Both causes are basically the same, Jesus. Paul did die for Jesus, a martyrs death. The signers of the declaration wanted freedom from England to establish their own nation. By establishing their own nation, they would have the freedom of religion, freedom speech, freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Most of the signers were Christians, and the bottom line was, they understood that someday God would use this nation to spread the gospel, make a safe haven for Jewish people to come and make a nation strengthened by God to take on evil.
Abraham Clark was one of the signers. He was born in New Jersey, an only son of a farmer. Abraham studied math and law and became a surveyor and did help people with legal documents, but never became a lawyer. He worked and held several offices in the royal government, including sheriff of Essex County. But, when it came time for America to have freedom, he voted for and signed the declaration. Abraham probably knew that he could face imprisonment, death, torture, his assets confiscated, a number of things the British could and did to many of the patriots.
While Abraham was helping fight the political fight against England, his sons took up arms and fought against the British. They were captured and became prisoners. In the book, “Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence” it is stated that they were for a time incarcerated in the Jersey prison-ship, and suffered all the horrors of that confinement, until released by a final exchange of prisoners.
Abraham was one example of what our founding fathers found to be important and was willing to risk. A Christian man, put what he believed was God’s will in front of his own wants and needs. He lost property value, was involved in working for a new government for free, and all the while his sons were imprisoned and he knew it. He and his sons knew that this freedom would be for the best for all, including generations to come. Without sacrifices like this, where would this nation have gone? What would have become of Christianity? Who would have stepped in to help stop the most evil person of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler?
God, help us to appreciate each day the sacrifices made by the signers and founders of this nation. They believed that you would bless this nation and were right. Let us, the ones that inherited what you have blessed continue to fight for you Jesus, by continuing to spread the gospel and fight for freedom.
In Jesus name.