Thursday, October 31, 2019

Blood and Treasure


     It is a well known fact by those who study the main characters of the Civil War, how brilliant an academic scholar Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was.  History also tells of his military brilliance during the war.    We can read of his bravery and leadership on the battlefield, which are well documented, especially at Gettysburg.  But what can be over-looked, are some of the personal sacrifices he made before his first taste of combat.  Before Colonel Chamberlain was inspiring young soldiers in his regiment to remember their duty to their Army, Professor Chamberlain was inspiring young students to remember their duty to their Country.    He spoke freely and often of his patriotic convictions to his class, and even wrote to the Governor of Maine these strong words, "I fear this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions, and sacrifice the dearest of personal interests, to rescue our country from desolation, and defend the national interest against treachery."

What an incredible paragraph of prose. Chamberlain with a few short lines, could sum up what it would take to win that terrible war.  He chose words like: "Until" "Willing" "Leave" "Sacrifice."  These are the words used when an action is required or a decision must be made.  They are words normally used when a person is not compelled by another, but decides of their own free will.  Chamberlain goes even further in his letter to qualify what is needed, "Willing to leave good positions" and "Sacrifice the dearest personal interests."  To win this unprecedented war, on our own soil, with brother against brother, fighting to save an enslaved people whom they had never met, would be costly.  To win it would mean a willingness to love others, more than themselves, a willing sacrifice of position, property, peacefulness and personal protection.  Our mission for the Kingdom of God requires the same commitment.

The examples of men and women recorded in Scripture who willingly left all and sacrificed positions of power, privilege, and possessions to follow God would fill bookshelves.
       Moses- "Choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God then enjoy the passing pleasures of sin for a season."  Hebrews 11:25
       Ruth- "Where you go, I will go, where you live, I will live, and your people will be my people, your God will be my God."  Ruth 1:16
       Daniel- "But Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself with the king's choice food."  
Daniel 1:8
       Matthew- "And Jesus said to him, 'Follow me' and he left everything behind, and began to follow Him."  Luke 5:27
       Peter- "Behold we have left everything and followed You." " We have left our homes and followed You." Mark. 10:28  Luke 18:28
       Paul- "What ever I once thought very worthwhile, I now have thrown away, so I can put my hope and trust in Christ alone."  Philippians 3:7

What are you and I, willing to sacrifice for His Cause?  The Bible exhorts Christians, "Count the Cost," of our commitment to follow Christ.  This urgent call to for us to fulfill our duty, comes not from a patriotic college professor, but the Commander in Chief of Heaven Himself.

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