The Decision

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

James Russell Lowell was a respected poet. Although he graduated from Harvard with a degree in law, he ultimately pursued a career as a writer, frequently speaking out against slavery. As the son of a pastor, he also was inspired by Biblical ideas.

In 1845 as the country faced war with Mexico, Lowell wrote a poem called, “Once to Every Man and Nation.” Later his words became the basis for an oft-sung hymn.

Lowell described the key moment for individuals and nations. The moment “to decide” and to realize that a decision was needed about their direction and what they really believe.

Lowell argued the importance of siding with truth, regardless of the outcome or opinions of others. It always was proper and brave “to be just” and to do what was “right.”

Looking back at history, Lowell reflected on the “light of burning martyrs.” He considered the example of Jesus who went to the cross and never turned back. Following His example, we face “new occasions,” times when we need to make life-changing decisions.

It may appear that evil will prosper, but we need to be confident that “the truth alone is strong.” God is with us, “keeping watch above His own.”

Lowell echoed the stand taken by Joshua, reminding us that we all have choices. These are moments to take a stand. We need to make a commitment to serve the Lord and to trust Him.