"Article II, Sec. 3, of the U.S. Constitution requires that, "The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
Since January 8, 1790, when George Washington personally delivered the first annual message to Congress, presidents have "from time to time," been doing just that in what has become known as the State of the Union Address.
While the Constitution specifies no time, date, place, or frequency for the address, president's have typically delivered the State of the Union Address in late January, soon after Congress has re-convened. Since Washington's first address to Congress, the date, frequency, method of delivery and content have varied greatly from president to president.
In modern times, the State of the Union Address serves as both a conversation between the president and Congress and, thanks to television, an opportunity for the president to promote his party's political agenda for the future. From time to time, the address has actually contained historically important information.
- In 1823, James Monroe explained what became known as the Monroe Doctrine, calling on powerful European nations to end their practice of western colonization.
- Abraham Lincoln told the nation he wanted to end slavery in 1862.
- In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of the "four freedoms."
- Just four months after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush shared his plans for a war on terror in 2002.
Moses gave the children of Israel three State of the Nation addresses that is recorded in the book of Deuteronomy. The first address reminded them of the forty years of wandering because they did not have faith in God (Deut 1-4). The second address Moses told the people who to follow God, the blessings of obeying Him and the curses of disobeying (Deut 4-28). The final address Moses gave to the people was a reminder of the covenant God made with them (Deut 29-30).
President Obama share the strengths and challenges our nation faces this coming year. It is important for our nation to love the Lord our God and walk in obedience to Him.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.