God's Word inspires lives

As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we remember the speeches Dr. King gave as he promoted nonviolent activism for civil rights in the United States.

In nearly all of those speeches, Dr. King used phrases and imagery from the Bible.

For example, in his famous “I Have A Dream Speech,” he talked about Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, and said, “It came as joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.”  He was probably thinking of Psalm 30:5, which says about God, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  This is a comforting verse for any person who is suffering.

Dr. King liked to quote Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”  This verse in context is a fine reminder for every Christian that our faith is shown not only in corporate worship but also in the way we treat people in our everyday lives.

To express his hope that things would be better in the future, Dr. King would say, “I have been to the mountaintop.”  The reference is to Moses in Deuteronomy 34, where God showed him the Promised Land but did not allow him to enter it. 

As citizens of the United States know, Dr. King tragically did not live to see the goals of his movement accomplished.

As Christians know, Moses entered the Promised Land of heaven, and is still alive.  He talked with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17), and shortly afterward, Jesus accomplished his goal, our salvation.

Today, through faith, we follow Jesus on the way to our Promised Land of heaven, and while we are still here on earth, we ask Him to bless our country and give us strength and wisdom to live as good citizens.

By Rev. Paul Prange