Key Word:- PERSEVERE
Title:- Swing Away
2 Samuel 23:9,10
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder.
Some of you will forgive me I hope if I begin legalistically today, for the Battle of Bunker Hill was legally of course, the British fighting the British and in that sense, we the British won the day! Now let us be even more specific, in saying that in 1775, the British from Britain also won the field today in 1775! (I apologize to my American friends for this most sobering of truths). So, why then is the routing of rebellious ‘British Americans’ and such a defeat sustained by them, so remembered and so positively celebrated in America today?
Well remember that after the British victory that day at Bunker Hill, half of the regular British forces had been casualties, while a third of the defending engaging and smaller ‘rebel militia’ had been killed wounded or captured. The attacking British had sustained remarkable losses. I find Bernard Bailyns conclusions to the battle to be most helpful:- “It proved that raw, untrained American troops could fight, and fight well—but only if they had to; that success would come to the British only if they responded flexibly and imaginatively to the unorthodox demands of warfare in Colonial territories 3,000 miles from home; and finally, that if the still disunited, still legally British states of America were to fight with any hope of success, a Continental war against the greatest military power on earth, a leader of great personal force and of great military and political skill would have to be forthcoming” and the rest as they say, is history, and so is that rising General - Washington.
It took three assaults by regular forces to secure Breeds Hill from the militia (where the battle was actually fought, not Bunker Hill folks!). This was chiefly because to preserve ammunition, the militia’s General Prescott, had ordered them "Not to fire until they could see the whites of their eyes.” This had a devastating effect on the advancing scarlet-coated lines. There is probably no doubt, that if ammunition had not run out, Breeds Hill would never have been taken. My question today is, “is there a sign in this historic battle for us today?” I think so.
In the movie ‘Signs’ starring Mel Gibson, his dying wife, ‘prophetically’ passes on a message to the brother of Gibson’s character, Merril Hess. This former slugger baseball player receives the message, which when put into practice at just the right time, defeats the enemy and saves the day. The message is simple. “…Tell Merrill to swing away.”
I have found that in being a writer, really the only difference between being an amateur and a professional is perseverance. In life, often the only difference between defeat and victory is perseverance. So my message to you today then is also simple: Make sure you have enough ammunition, then wait until you see the whites of their eyes, and then swing away dear friends, just keep persevering in swinging away.
Listen:- And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9-10
Pray:- Lord, help me to persevere in resistance, recovery, redemption and doing what is right. Amen