A Devotion for 6 June 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide
“I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:1-3 (KJV)
You may wonder at such a title for a devotion but bear with me. I got the idea from a historical message given in Birmingham of my old friend and former roommate at West Point, Niki Sepsas, yesterday. The sleep of the wicked is not a rest of the soul, but merely a delay of the judgment. Just as surely as Adam died finally in when he partook of the forbidden fruit of the Tree, so was Adolph Hitler’s doom sealed during his own sleep that began on the 5th of June 1944.
Both the Allied Forces mobilizing in England as well as the Axis Powers of Fortress Europe were intently studying the weather patterns and potentials for the attempted invasion of the heavily fortified coasts of Europe centered on Normandy. The coastline of France was heavily fortified by months of preparation for the contingency of an Allied Landing largely comprised of American, English, Canadian, Australian and some lesser forces of nations operating in exile.
The weather was a critical concern since the seas were no at all conducive to such a landing except at exceptional periods of breaks in the weather. Early June of 1944 presented little promise of such a break; however, the 5th of June was tentatively chosen by the Allied Commander as the disembarkation date for Operation Overlord, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. But the Royal Air Force chief meteorologists, Group Captain James Martin Stagg, persuaded Eisenhower to delay the landing by one day to 6th of June. The storms pounding Normandy on 5th June could have led to catastrophic results. Captain Stagg had detected a slight one-day break in the weather for the 6th, and he was dead-on right in his computations.
As the Allied forces were massing for the invasion at Portsmouth on the 5th, Hitler, along with his command staff, had decided the weather would be impractical for any invasion attempt. The very excellent German Field Commander, Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox), had taken family leave to visit his family as well as having given passes to a number of his force to do the same and, so, was not present at the beginning of the Allied invasion on the morning of the 6th. Adolph Hitler, too, had gone into his sleeping quarters on the evening of the 5th leaving strict orders with his staff that he not be disturbed ‘under any circumstances.’
While Hitler slept, the largest amphibious landing force in history was preparing to set sail for the beaches of Normandy. The English Channel had seen great naval forces in past years enter its waters such as the so-called Invincible (Spanish) Armada which had met its fate at the hands of a numerically inferior British Navy in 1588; but, again, the horrid weather predominating the channel at that season played a leading role in the British victory. Now, the weather would play a role in a tremendous Allied victory – all while Hitler slept and Rommel was absent. Of course, the weather is in the hands of God, and God had saved England in centuries past from Invasion; and would now play a role in granting another victory in the invasion of such a formidable coastline as Normandy presented with its huge naval shore batteries, concrete bunkers, and sheer cliffs.
As the hundreds of Naval transport craft and warships begin moving toward their objective, along with a covering of hundreds of fighter aircraft and bombers, in the very early hours of 6 June 1944, Hitler continued his sound sleep. In a way, it was the sleep of death. When the great naval bombardment began in advance of the landing, it was too late for the German Army to mobilize sufficiently to meet the threat , and Allied bombers had destroyed strategic targets such as bridges and rail lines in the rear of the German forces – even so, thousands of courageous Allied forces perished in the tangled barbs, booby traps, and withering machine gun and artillery fire concentrated on their landing craft and exposed land forces on the beaches. It was the greatest naval and land invasion of all recorded history.
Hitler awoke to pandemonium on the 6th. He knew just as well as the Allies that once a beach head was established by the Allied forces, that Germany’s doom was sealed. It would just be a matter of time until these gallant forces were knocking at his parlor door in Berlin. In a sense, Hitler died the final death during that sleep. His fate was sealed, and he knew it.
Please consider how the Providence of God directed the hand and actions of the Allies that fateful day. The window of opportunity for the timing had to be perfect – and it was. Even the unpredicted landing of the 4th US Army Division bore the marks of God’s Providence. The 4th US Infantry Division, was blown north of intended landing site at Omaha Beach and experienced few casualties. Others took heavy losses. But mind you, Hitler slept, and General Rommel was not on hand.
Let us consider now the human element of the Allied Landing Force. These were young men whose character was rooted in traditional American and Christian values. They doubtless had recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lord’s Prayer, and sung one verse of ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ in their public school classes (just as I did in the early fifties). It was part of the public school day before Godless judges overruled the US Constitution and forbade it. Churches meekly went along with the judicial compromise and have been compromising ever since.
The average age was in the late teens and early twenties. They were just passed being children. They had everything to lose in the eyes of the world; and everything to gain in the eyes of their Maker. They were mostly draftees and not professional soldiers. They did not fight for a paycheck, but rather for all that America, England, and western values represented in that day. They were sent to behead the dragon of Europe, and that they did!
They may not have wanted to leave the love and security of their homes, but when duty called, they were raised in homes that placed duty ahead of desire, and they responded.
Some of those valiant young men, and even young women of the nurse corps, would never breathe the air of their native lands again; yet, they persevered under dangers and horrors unparalleled in modern combat. Their girlfriends, wives, mothers and fathers prayed that God would speed them to victory and bring them home safely; but many were not so fortunate. Their blood has fertilized the rich soil of liberty for America and many other lands. Today, we experience every day, the benefits of their valor and sacrifice. They have been called the last, great generation; and they certainly were for the commonality of courage, conviction, and faith which so many demonstrated in their service to God and country.
The common virtue of the American nation and the people it has represented has declined sharply since those days – in direct proportion to the loss of faith and trust in God. But doubt it not – we have a generation today just as valorous if not as numerically plentiful as those same who gave their lives and limbs at Normandy. We see them return in body bags today, or with limbs missing, and spirits depressed. They have laid the same bounty of life on the line as those others who boarded the Higgins Boats for the landing at Normandy seventy-five years ago.
Our challenge for America today is to return to the same values that led to the courage, the sacrifice, and the devotion to duty of those who fought and won our liberties in years gone by, and to honor those few who do the same for us today.
A nation who abandons the Word of God and resorts to perversions of all manner in sex; who allows their innocent babies to “Pass through the fire to Molech” by means of the horrifying process of mutilating abortions, and who chooses the briar rather than the Cedars of Lebanon to rule over them, is destined to a greater fall than any heathen nation of the past. It is far more serious in the Mind of God for a people who have known the ways of the Lord, and have turned away from following after Him, than a nation who never knew the Law of the Lord from its beginning. A word to the wise is sufficient; but do we have the wisdom of God now to guide the way and lead into a righteous future? Time will tell. A greater battle than that of Normandy lies ahead for the people of America – and that battle is altogether spiritual.
Heed the words of the prophet: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
Notice, God does not expect all the godless crazies of the land to pray and repent (for He hears not the prayers of the wicked), but only those of a nation who are His people and called by His name, i.e., CHRISTIAN! God does not glory in numbers, but by the power of His hand alone!