More Than Conquerors
Savior of a Nation: Abraham Lincoln
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
– Abraham Lincoln
There are a lot of things to say about the life of Abraham Lincoln – one devotional wouldn’t be enough to give justice to the kind of life he lived. However, here’s a snippet of what we can learn from his life.
Never before was such an unusual man been elected as President of the United States. He was tall, extremely thin and bony, strange-looking, with arms and legs totally out of proportion to his torso, a face that resembled a rutabaga, shriveled skin, hair that was absolutely rebellious and ears that seemed to “flap in the wind.” Yet in 1861, he became the president of a nation hopelessly torn by bitter disunity. Who was this weird person that was destined to become one of America’s greatest presidents?
Abraham Lincoln was born to parents Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. His mother, Nancy, created an ethos in their home and often spent Sunday afternoons with Abe on her knees reading Scriptures to him and impressing upon him the Ten Commandments. However, she died when Abe was only 9 years old. Her last words to him were, “Abe, I’m going to leave you now and I shall not return. I want you to be kind to your father and live as I have taught you. Love your heavenly Father and keep His commandments.”
This had a profound effect on his life and character. It made such an impact in his life that he earned the nickname “Honest Abe.” When asked about his honesty, he said he would reminisce occasionally to his mother’s voice, “You shall not steal… You shall not bear false witness,” and to her last words, “Love your heavenly Father and keep His commandments.”
After being elected as president, Abraham Lincoln had to go through Civil War – the North vs the South. During the Civil War, Abe Lincoln’s primary objective was to save the Union. He felt that in preserving the nation, slavery would be contained and would ultimately die a natural death.
This proved to be a very wise decision because on Palm Sunday in 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered and all intents and purposes of the Civil War was over. President Abraham Lincoln’s wisdom came out again – he gave thanks to God, and without a triumphal word, directed the attention of the nation to the task of reconstructing the South and to the healing of their Southern “brothers and sisters.”
What was the secret of his wisdom? You can find it within the context of his spiritual life, for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10
On Good Friday, 1865, church bells pealed in Washington, then in Philadelphia, then in New York City and across the nation; the president was dead. And up to today in America, Abraham Lincoln’s name is linked with George Washington’s. “Washington the father of the nation… Lincoln the savior of the nation!”
Abraham Lincoln would have been very uncomfortable with the idea of “savior” being attached to his name. However, the Union had been preserved, and God had used a very unusual man to accomplish His eternal purposes.
Source: More than Conquerors by John Woodbridge