November 04, 2008

"But if not"

The Germans cornered the British on the beaches of the English Channel after the collapse of French resistance in 1940 and issued surrender demands. The Tommies trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk flashed this message to London when all seemed lost.

It was instantly understood by those who heard it--a passage from the Book of Daniel---three of the Chosen People are ordered by the Babylonian king to worship the golden image with the alternative being tossed into the furnace. The Hebrews defy him saying:

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The faith of Shadrich and his buddies saved them and they emerged from the furnace unscathed.

In 1940, the "miracle of Dunkirk" followed and the rest is history. It is one of the best expressions of faith, and defiance in the face of evil, in the Old Testament. George Will wrote an article in 1983 on the decline of civilization that began with that quote that hung on the refrigerator at home for years. Whenever things seem hopeless, do the right thing and remember: "but if not."

Posted by LMC at November 4, 2008 08:34 AM | TrackBack


Posted by: Diane at November 4, 2008 08:43 AM