Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Rocks of Ages

    During any war there are countless unknown heroes.  These are men and women who because of their courage and determination stood firm even in hopeless situations.  Two such examples are recorded in history during the Civil War.  On July 21, 1861, during the First Battle of Bull Run, the Confederate lines were beginning to crumble under an intense Union Army assault.  With the Rebels being pushed back, and it looked like as if the battle would be lost, Brigadier General Barnard Bee, pointed up to General T. J. Jackson and shouted out to his demoralized troops, "There is Jackson, like a stone wall... Rally behind the Virginians."  Jackson's determined stand and refusal to retreat, even in the the midst of certain defeat, inspired and rallied the fleeing men.  What was surely going to be certain defeat, turned into a Confederate victory.  Thenceforth, Jackson's Brigade became known as the Stonewall Brigade.  Another such exploit comes from the Union side of the conflict.  On September 19, 1863 in what would be called the Battle of Chickamauga, General George Henry Thomas found himself in a hopeless situation.  The right flank of the Union line had collapsed, and rebel soldiers were pouring through.  The entire Union Army was in mad retreat and running toward the Tennessee River at their backs.  What had begun as a retreat was fast becoming a disorganized rout.  Thomas refused to give up his key position on the field, knowing if he did it was certain to be a bloodbath.  Rallying scattered and broken units, he made a stand on what was called Horseshoe Ridge.  Against overwhelming odds he stemmed the rebel onslaught, this allowed time for the other retreating units to reform and stabilize the situation.  The survival that day of those units, led to Union victory at the Battles for Chattanooga one month later.  Thomas earned himself the nickname 'The Rock of Chickamauga', because it was said of him, "He stood like a rock" that day.
    The Bible is filled with heroes who stood firm at key moments:  Moses, Joshua and Caleb, David, Esther, Paul and the list goes on in Scripture.  But, let it be known that the list still continues to go on.  In your life and mine, we will be faced with numerous opportunities to make a stand for righteousness and your Faith.  The day will come and is now here when we will be challenged, and sometimes outnumbered by the anti-christian culture of our generation.  We at times will be tempted to retreat from our Christian beliefs and Biblical values.  The pressure is not only felt by us personally, but by other believers around us.  Sometimes it takes seeing another brother or sister in Christ 'standing firm like a rock' to help us recover our commitment and renew our zeal for the work of the Lord, and push back.  When Peter made his bold profession that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, our Lord said this of him, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."  Matt. 16:18
     The Lord is looking for more 'Stonewalls' that will say to the Enemy's forces, "This is God's possession!  You cannot have it."  We will not easily give up our country, its universities, our children, or our churches to the flanking maneuvers of the Enemy.  Rally the retreating troops my Christian brethren, and say along with Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh. 24:15

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