Summary: When threatened by hostile states, how shall a nation respond? And who shall lead the nation to deliverance?

“The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;

he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

The counsel of the LORD stands forever,

the plans of his heart to all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,

the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

The LORD looks down from heaven;

he sees all the children of man;

from where he sits enthroned he looks out

on all the inhabitants of the earth,

he who fashions the hearts of them all

and observes all their deeds.

The king is not saved by his great army;

a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

The war horse is a false hope for salvation,

and by its great might it cannot rescue.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

that he may deliver their soul from death

and keep them alive in famine.” [1]

September 11, 2001 is a day of infamy in the annals of the world. A vicious religion attacked the United States of America on that day. Airliners were turned into missiles to immolate and crush thousands of individuals. The image of bodies falling through space as men and women desperately tried to escape immolation is burned into the psyche of mankind. Though other western nations turned a blind eye to the danger posed by this unprovoked attack, all nations are at risk from these religious zealots. Immediately after the attack, spokesmen representing multiple nations provided the contemporary apologia which was, and continues to be, that this despicable deed had nothing to do with religion. It is impossible to give credence to such a position in light of the clear statements of those plotting and perpetuating the attack. Only if we ignore common sense and bury our heads in the sand can we accept such a position.

The western world is in a war and leaders are incapable of defining the enemy. The enemy is a vicious, dedicated religious movement within one of the major world religions. If Pentecostals flew jets into skyscrapers and shot up nightclubs, we wouldn’t be reticent about saying that Pentecostals needed to renounce the actions of those acting in such abhorrent fashion; nor would we imagine that all Christians were to be condemned because of the actions of these few. No less, when Jihadists from both Sunni and Shi’ite factions declare war on the West, it is proper to conclude that something within the Islamic religion promotes hatred of the West. We do not conclude that all Muslims are terrorists; but terrorists are overwhelmingly Muslims!

There was a day when the nations of the West looked to God as their strength. Though there are believers serving in our armed forces, it seems as if the political leaders are ignorant (deliberately or otherwise) of the Lord God. I confess that I am frightened whenever I hear a national leader speak of the might of the nation. Strategists know that plans for a given battle are no longer valid after the first shot is fired. Though carefully planned, battles are organised chaos—multiple little battles covering the field. The fog of war ensures that battles will quickly degenerate into bedlam when the battle has been joined.


“The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;

he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

The counsel of the LORD stands forever,

the plans of his heart to all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,

the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”

[PSALM 33:10-12]

Massive armies and superior arms do not guarantee a victory. Consider some historical accounts of smaller forces besting superior forces in combat. The Persians suffered devastating losses to a much smaller Greek force at Thermopylae. Ultimately, the ferocity of the Greeks and devastating losses of even the crack Persian troops known as the Immortals convinced the Persians to return home. Rome, the conquering empire that ruled the civilised world of the first century, suffered the loss of three legions in one singular battle against the Germanic tribes in the Teutoburg Forest, turning them for a period from pursuing victory on the fringes of the Empire. English archers won the Battle of Agincourt when the English forces commanded by Henry V faced and defeated overwhelming French forces.

Engagements such as the Battle of Hodów (400 cavalry forces from the Kingdom of Poland repelled 25,000 Crimean forces) and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift (256 British forces repelled between 3,000 and 4,000 Zulu warriors) stand as examples of a determined and disciplined force repelling much greater armies. Canada has to the credit of her armies some such deliverances. Think of the Second Battle of Lacolle Mill, where 500 British and Canadian forces repelled an invading force of 4,000 Americans. This was an early example of Canadian courage, courage displayed yet again in the Battle of Ypres against Germany.

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