The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
May 1940 was a defining moment for the western world. These were the days that opened the 2nd World War. Hitler's Blitzkrieg had destoyed the French lines and were quickly encircling the English army for the purpose of anihilating it. That is why His Majesty King George IV requested that May 26th should be observed as a day of prayer as they committed their cause to God. The scene that Sunday was breath-taking. Churches were full beyond measure - and lines ran outside their buildings and into the streets. Their cries went up to God - and God acted in His power to grant victory to those who honored Him.
Today's proverb has to do with victory in battle. God is sovereign - even over the battles and wars that are fought on this planet. And the evacuation from Dunkirk is an example of God working miraculously to determine just who would win WW2. If the Germans had destroyed the English Expeditionary Force in those days - the battle for Europe would have effectively been over. But God engineered several miracles to determine who would win the battle that day.
Three major miraculous events took place because of the prayer offered that day. First was Hitler's halt of the Panzer divisions that could have crushed the British. They were less than 10 miles from overrunning them and destroying them when Hitler, who had been ruthless in his pursuit and quick "Blitzkrieg" tactics, suddenly had them stop. He would rely on air power to finish the job. The second miracle was that a storm came up over Flanders that was so severe that it effectively grounded the entire German air-force. The Luftwaffe could not opeate in this area - and stayed on the air fields. The third miracle was that an unnatural calm came over the English Channel between England and France - in spite of the storms raging on the French side. This calm enabled the English to bring every boat conceivable to Dunkirk to ferry the Elglish Expeditionary force back to England. These boats along with the rest of the English Navy took British soldiers over the channel for three days - as they were covered in a dense fog that prevented the German Luftwaffe from flying and destroying them as they crossed.
There were other miracles in those days. Some beaches were attacked in thsoe days - yet it was evident to miraculous proportions that the troops were being protected by the providential hand of God. When about 400 men were being machine-gunned and bombed, systematically, by about sixty enemy aircraft, one man who flung himself down with the rest reported that, after the strafing was over, he was amazed to find that there was not a single casualty. Another man, a chaplain, was likewise machine-gunned and bombed as he lay on the beach. After what seemed an eternity, he realized he had not been hit, and rose to his feet to find that the sand all around where he had been lying was pitted with bullet holes, and that his figure was outlined on the ground. Truly astounding things wre happening on every hand - and it was very apparent that God's intervening power was responsible for it. In the writings of Officers and men alike there were a myriad of statements that they were seeing the hand of God, powerful to save, delivering them from an enemy that should have destroyed them.
All England declared June 9th a day of Thanksgiving for God's mercies. On that day the people of England read and sang Psalm 124 which is a Psalm that speaks of God's deliverance. It was thought that it would be amazing if England could save 30,000 to 35,000 soldiers in their retreat. Yet God, by His sovereign power, allowed them to save over 335,000. No one doubted that God had worked miraculously on England's behalf.
This is what God is trying to say to us in Proverbs 21:31. The horse may be prepared for the day of battle, but Jehovah is the One Who will determine who will be victorious. Old Testament law forbid Israel from relying on horses in battle. So, when horses are mentioned here, it can be easily assumed that the armies of the wicked are using them - not Israel. These horses may be prepared for the day of battle - but they do not assure victory. Who is victorious is determined by God Himself. Hitler surely had the superior force - both in army and in air-force. But the British had God - Who answered their prayers when they humbled themselves before Him. Truly it was a Ninavesque day of repentance and prayer on May 26th, and God answered in like fashion to their prayers.
Victory was determined by God in the month of May 1940 - and God is still determining who will win in the end. God has not changed - nor will He - when it comes to the outcome of any and every event. The question is not whether God will work on our behalf. The question is whether we will turn to Him - believing that victory is not determined by how big the army or how awesome the supposed cause. Victory belongs to God - and He will give it to whomever He wishes. May we be wise to always seek His favor in everything we do.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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