Psalms 124:1-8 A Song of Ascents. Of David. If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say— if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Studying some remarkable events in the history of World War 2, we find the deliverance of the allied armies at Dunkirk; a true story of Divine providence in modern history. It was on May 10, 1940, that Hitler unleashed his armies against France and Belgium. Within days, the British army found itself outmaneuvered and unprepared for the German blitzkrieg assault led by General Rommel and his 7th Panzer division.
The German high command began boasting of the demise of the allied armies, particularly the 300,000 soldiers of the British army sent by then Prime Minister Winston Churchill to protect France and the low countries of Europe. As the prospect of victory waned Churchill was prepared to announce an unprecedented military defeat of a third of a million soldiers.
But then a miraculous turn took place initiated by King George VI, who ordered the observance of a National Day of Prayer. The British Monarch, along with members of the cabinet, attended Westminster Abbey to pray, while millions of Britons all across the Kingdom in unprecedented unity, attended churches to join the King in prayer. Newspapers throughout the UK reported, “Nothing like it has ever happened before.”
Then the miracles began: First, Hitler ordered his troops to halt their advance for no apparent reason, which angered his generals and continues to baffle historians to this day. Secondly, a massive storm broke out in Flanders which grounded the German Luftwaffe squadrons, allowing the allied armies to travel to the beaches at Dunkirk unhindered by the German air force. A third miracle involving the weather was that simultaneous with the storm which grounded the Luftwaffe, the English Channel was as still as a millpond…an unprecedented calm which allowed ships of every size to evacuate over 338,000 troops including 140,000 French, Belgian, Dutch and Polish soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk.
Winston Churchill addressed the British nation and described the evacuation of Dunkirk as a “miracle of deliverance.”
The following Sunday, the nation in celebration of God’s answer to prayer, sang Psalm 124 throughout churches in the United Kingdom.
Be encouraged knowing that our God responds to prayer and is ready to act upon it at a moment’s notice. The armies of darkness may surround us, in fact, they are sure to sooner or later; but we also know the Lord is standing ready to defend His own. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth” [Psalm 124:8]