God With Us (2)

November 12, 1997

John 3:16 – God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.

As a young child I have two memories. One was memorizing John 3:16 and the other was a fascination with World War I. Memories of that war were still fresh. We were the "good guys" and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his kind were the "bad guys". Even though my verse told me that God loved the whole world it was never hinted that he loved them. In World War 2, when I joined the army that view remained. God was unquestionably on our side and we had strong evidence to support it. One example is the Battle of Britain. It is now considered to be the crucial turning point in the whole war.

After the fall of France in 1940 Hitler realized this was the time to invade Britain. To do this he had his high command set up Operation Sea Lion; a plan to invade Britain. He boasted that he would be marching into London in two months. At the same time he hoped he could avoid an invasion by all out bombing attacks. They blasted airfields, sea ports, munitions factories and other strategic targets. They unleashed their full fury. In response King George VI issued a call to the free world for a Day of Prayer. That did it.

A much smaller, but well equipped and highly trained Royal Air Force responded with tremendous skill and courage. They literally shot the Luftwaffe out of the skies. So effective was their defence that the Nazis had to stop all daylight attacks. At the height of the battle their losses totalled more than 2,600 planes. Thus ended any hope of Hitler's scheme to defeat Britain with terror tactics.

My conclusion is that the Holy God could in no way support Adolf Hitler and his evil regime in their campaign to conquer the world. He was thwarted at every turn as he schemed to defeat Britain. Later he made an increasing number of foolish decisions that hastened his defeat. God could, however, keep his promise in John 3:16 to love those on both sides of the conflict and care for them individually at all times and in all places. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." For that we can say, Thanks be to God.

Prayer: Most Holy and gracious God, we bow in awe and wonder before the mystery of your ways with us even in the evil and horror of war. Grant us the faith to call upon you even in our worst situations and may we learn what it means to love our enemies even as you do. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Grant Muir

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