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On April 19, 1775, Pastor Jonas Clark in Lexington, Massachusetts had watched his men allow the British to fire first into their ranks, obeying the Biblical principle that only a defensive war is just. One year later Pastor Clark would boldly proclaim about this event:
“From this day will be dated the liberty of the world.”
(America’s Providential History, M. Beliles-S. McDowell, 1989, pg. 141)
What convinced him that civil liberty was being born for the world on that day? For twenty years he had been teaching his congregation the principles of civil liberty from the Bible. He believed Biblical teaching, done for decades before this day, had prepared the American people as no nation had ever been prepared for civil liberty. And indeed this day would seem to “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof…” (Leviticus 25:10)
The story really begins the day before as children, playing in the streets of Boston, but trained to listen, gained key information about a raid that was planned against Concord, a town some 20 miles northwest of Boston, where the British hoped to destroy American stores of guns and ammunition. Late that night, a silversmith, by the name of Paul Revere, mounted his horse and galloped north shouting in every village, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
Men quickly grabbed their arms and ammunition and gathered in Lexington near the Green. At 2 a.m. the Reverend Jonas Clark preached to them Biblical instructions concerning self-defense; about dispersing if they needed to, but not laying down their arms, for it was their God-given right to defend their liberties.
At five in the morning the British arrived — 800 of them! Only some 70 farmers had gathered quickly to the Green from the tavern where they had been waiting. As the British stopped to load their guns, Captain Parker told his men,
“Steady men, steady. Don’t fire unless fired upon; but if they want a war, let it begin here!”
(Dr. Paul Jehle, Stories of America’s Christian Heroes, CD Volume 1, plymrock.org)
But realizing 70 farmers could never be a match for 800 British soldiers, he ordered his men to walk off the field, but refusing to throw down their arms as the British officer commanded them. It was then the British opened fire on them, shooting in the back seven of the eight they killed! The Americans ran for Concord where they believed there would be a much larger American force.
The British followed, but it would be a different story in Concord. There the Americans stood their ground, firing directly into the British at the North Bridge. Two British soldiers were killed, and the rest got so alarmed they began to run back toward Lexington and then on to Boston. But farmers who had gathered all along the road fired into the flanks of the British soldiers and killed many. Indeed at the end of the day some 260 British soldiers had been killed to about 90 for the Americans. It was a clear victory for the Americans, which was no less than a miracle. Only the blessing of God could have brought about such a rout of the greatest army in the world.
This victory would bring hope to oppressed peoples worldwide; ringing forth the message that those who would fight in God’s order could experience Him fighting along with them.
The key to victory? A month before, Governor Jonathan Trumbull had declared April 19th to be a Day of Fasting and Prayer on behalf of the Massachusetts Colony. God showed up in answer to repentance and prayer! (America’s Providential History, pg. 141)
Shouldn’t we be doing the same repentance right now in America?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you – and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.