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THE AMBUSH OF JOHN WESLEY POWELL


John Wesley Powell, lost his arm in the Civil War. This, however, did not stop him from becoming a hero.


"Back in 1869 conventional wisdom said that passage through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River was impossible. It couldn’t be done. The back country surrounding the Grand Canyon oozed with legends of doomed expeditions. No one had ever dared that stretch of river and come out alive. Out of all expeditions that had given it their best shot, there was not one survivor.


One army lieutenant who has explored the Colorado just on the southern side of the Grand Canyon believed that powerful river so treacherous that 'the Colorado, along the greater part of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed.' (If you saw the River Wild, the rapids shown in the movie were a class nine rapids, which looked like a sprinkler next to these rapids).


But the one-armed explorer thought he could pull it off.

On May 24, 1869, Powell and a party of nine stepped into their four small boats to attempt the thousand-mile journey. Along the way, their party encountered numerous ambushes.


They were ambushed by legion killer rapids.

They were ambushed by waterfalls.

They were ambushed by boulders the size of cabins.

They were ambushed by the loss of boats, critical foodstuffs, and instruments.


Yet one hundred days later, Powell and five men emerged from two boats. All hope for their survival had been given up weeks before. They were suffering from exposure and near starvation. But they made it.


What happened to the other four men? One decided to go back. The other three, after numerous disagreements with Powell, left the expedition. They hiked to the rim of the Canyon...only to be killed by Indians.”

(Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong, pg. 24)


Dr. Robert Clinton discovered while researching various individuals in the Word of God that they all finished one of the following Four Ways:


• CUT OFF EARLY (assassinated, denounced, overthrown)

• FINISH POORLY (on the down side spiritually)

• FINISH "SO-SO" (they weren’t all they could have been)

• FINISH WELL (walked with God)


WHY DIDN’T SOME FINISH WELL?


They were ambushed!


(From a sermon by Rick Finitzer, Watch Out for Ambushes, 10/28/2009)

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