Saturday, November 23, 2019

Forced to Surrender

  General of the Entire Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant earned a reputation as a tenacious and determined leader.  Although he had his ups and downs on the battlefield, and struggled with alcohol throughout his military career, it was his doggedness in the face of the enemy that won him the support of his Commander in Chief.  When his critics suggested to Lincoln that he be removed from command, Lincoln responded, "I can't spare this man, he fights."  Grant led a series of brilliant, but costly campaigns against the South that ultimately wore down the Confederate Army, and helped bring the bloody Civil War to a close.

This important leader was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, on April 27, 1822. However, when he was enrolled at West Point Military Academy at age 17, he was incorrectly recorded as Ulysses S. Grant.  He never bothered to correct them.  His fellow cadets called him Sam, taken from the initials U.S.  They saw it as a humorous reference to Uncle Sam.  Soon, those initials would take on an entirely new and historic meaning.

On February 6, 1862, Brigadier General, Ulysses S. Grant poised for an attack on a key Confederate position in Tennessee named Fort Donelson situated along the Cumberland River.  By the 13th, Grant had surrounded the fort with over 25,000 men.  By the 16th, the Rebel Commander, General Simon Buckner, (a pre-war friend of Grant's) realized the defense of the fort was untenable. Therefore, the Rebel General asked for conditions for surrender, hoping to get favorable terms from Grant.  Grant replied that there would be no terms "except unconditional and immediate surrender."   More than 12,000 Confederate soldiers were captured that day.  This earned him a new nickname to go along with his initials, "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.

The Apostle Paul tells us in the Book of Ephesians that the Church does not just battle against natural enemies, but supernatural enemies as well.  They are referred to in Scripture as Spiritual authorities, World rulers, Powers of darkness and Invisible forces working behind the scenes according to Ephesians 6:12.  These enemies do not want to surrender to Jesus.  Nevertheless, just like the Rebels in Fort Donelson did not want to surrender, yet had no choice, so it is with the devil's forces.  They will be forced to unconditionally surrender.  The day is coming when all the forces of darkness and all who refuse to surrender to the love of God offered through Christ, will fulfill this verse,  "As it is written, that at the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2: 10-11

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