THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
Francis Scott Key, 1779–1843
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: Whether it be to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (1 Peter 2:13, 14 KJV)
During the War of 1812, while on the deck of a truce ship, Francis Key paced nervously as a fierce battle raged nearby during the British attack on the harbor of Baltimore. As District Attorney of Georgetown and a spiritual lay leader of his church, Key had been sent by President James Madison to negotiate with the British for a physician who had been taken prisoner. All night Key and his party were detained as the heavy bombardment continued. When the firing suddenly stopped just before morning, Key was fearful of the outcome; but as he looked hesitantly across the water, he saw the American flag still triumphantly flying with the assurance of our nation’s freedom!
With joyful relief, Key wrote his poem hastily on the back of an envelope and put finishing touches on it after being released later that evening. One month later the song was published, accompanied by an old hunting tune, “Anacron in Heaven,” attributed to John Stafford Smith of England. Although enthusiastically received by the people, the song was not officially adopted by Congress as our national anthem until March 3, 1931.
O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight, o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
For Today: Proverbs 14:34; Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1–7; 1 Timothy 2:1, 2; 1 Peter 2:13–21
Write a letter of commendation to a public official for some worthy contribution he has made to the moral and spiritual betterment of our country. May this musical question from our national anthem be a continuing challenge and concern.
Osbeck, K. W.
- Justice exalteth a nation, but sin is a shame to the people. Proverbs 14:34
- They said unto him, Ceasar’s. Then said he unto them, Give therefore to Caesar, the things which are Caesar’s, and give unto God, those things which are God’s. Matthew 22:21
- Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for there is no power but of God: and the powers that be, are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinace of God: and they that resist, shall receive to themselves condemnation. For Magistrates are not to be feared for good works, but for evil. Wilt thou then be without fear of the power? do well: so shalt thou have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God for thy wealth but if thou do evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword for nought: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must be subject, not because of wrath only, but also for conscience sake. For, for this cause ye pay also tribute: for they are God’s ministers, applying themselves for the same thing. Give to all men therefore their duty: tribute, to whom ye owe tribute: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honor, to whom ye owe honor. Romans 13:1–7
- Exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, For Kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life, in all godliness, and honesty. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
- Therefore submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be unto the King, as unto the superior. Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that by well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of the foolish men. As free, and not as haing the liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: love brotherly fellowship: fear God: honor the King. Servants, be subect to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and courteous, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your fauts, ye take it patiently? but and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, thi sis aceptable to God. For hereunto ye are called: for Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that ye should follow his steps, 1 Peter 2:13–21