The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial was built about a mile from the Washington Monument. The walkway to it is beautiful. A long, rectangular pool, called the reflecting pool, covers the several hundred yards directly in front of the monument. Other historic monuments have been constructed on the various sides of the pool such as the Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the World War II Memorial.
A large set of marble steps leads up to the open-faced building of the Lincoln Memorial. Directly in the center of the building, facing out of the monument toward the pool and the Washington Monument, a beautiful, huge marble statue of Abraham Lincoln has been sculpted. Abraham Lincoln is sitting down, and his large marble feet and hands tower many feet above the visitors to the site. When I was there, hundreds of students in school groups and other tourists were coming in and going out, walking up and down the steps. This monument is one of D.C.’s most visited attractions. On either side of Lincoln’s statue, writings and statements he made are engraved in huge letters on the walls.
In these speeches and writings, Lincoln repeatedly quoted Scripture, mentioned God, and talked about things in the Bible. For instance, he said: “As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ ” Lincoln was quoting Psalm 19:9. He wanted his listeners (and readers) to understand that God’s ways are right, regardless of what people may think about them. Sadly, today many people in politics don’t even know what the Bible says, and they certainly are not using it to make decisions about the laws they are making. They have forgotten the judgments of God. Lincoln and many of the Founding Fathers would be sad to see how little most politicians today know about the Bible or care about God.
Lincoln also made many other references to God and the Bible. He said such things as “the Almighty has His own purposes,” “let us judge not that we be not judged” (Matthew 7:1), and he quoted the entire verse of Matthew 18:7. The Lincoln Monument reminds us that many of the most influential Americans knew what the Bible says and used the principles of the Bible to help them guide the nation. It is time we demand that modern-day leaders use the principles of the Bible to make their decisions as well.