The God of Jacob? The God of Jacob is not Allah or Buddha or the Hindu Monkey God. He is the God of Jews and Christians. The first commandment he gave to Moses was not about adultery, theft or murder. It was “You shall have no other gods before me.” When Moses asked what name for God he could utter as he delivered those commandments, God identified himself as “I am that I am…I cause to be what is.” “I Am” sent Moses.
President Obama has told us on more than one occasion,we're no longer a Christian nation. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
He even instructed his staff to cover a cross at Catholic Georgetown, so it wouldn’t hang behind him as he spoke. But in a strong voice at Ground Zero, he assured the bereaved audience,” The God of Jacob is our fortress.” It’s a good thing Feisal Abdul Rauf was not on the platform.
“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
How he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.” (ESV)
Barack Obama surely knew Mayor Bloomberg had banned expressions of faith. Did he read this Biblical passage to fill a necessary void? Did he read it out of strong personal conviction that the God of Jacob should be exalted above all Gods? Or did he do it because it was a perfect twist at an opportune time to get his slumping poll numbers up in a huge constituency from which he needs support?
We can’t possibly know, but one thing we can be sure of; The words he spoke inflicted a powerful rebuke to him, to Bloomberg and to all those who have spent years distancing themselves in embarrassment from the God of our Fathers, that same god millions of Americans sought refuge and blessing from just ten years ago.
Whatever Obama’s reason, it was the God of Jacob’s voice and only His voice we heard powerfully at Ground Zero. It just came in a way we weren’t expecting.