BUNKER HILL - AGAIN

August 6, 2019

Donald Trump’s continued political survival must remain as one of the greatest mysteries of all presidential chronicles.  Never have so many guns of animosity been pointed at one American head of state.  His ability to remain while hatred is spewed daily at him from the media, the Democrats, other sorts of Liberals, and even some from his own party is more than remarkable…in fact, it may even be miraculous.  If that is the case, the preservation deserves investigation.

A fascinating story in II Kings 6 may bear some relevance.  The Syrians were warring against Israel, but the Jews were always one step ahead of the Syrian strategy.  The Syrian king was voicing his frustration, causing one of his servants to suggest the Israelites had a secret weapon in the person of Elisha the prophet who was evidently receiving advanced memos from Heaven.  When it was determined that Elisha was hanging out in the city of Dothan…”therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host:  and they came by night, and compassed the city about.”  When Elisha’s amigo woke up and saw the advancing enemy he panicked, stammering, “Alas, my master! How shall we do?”

“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.  And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw:  and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”  God has the ability of protecting not only His choicest prophets, but even rascals and rogues, if it serves His purpose (see Psalm 38).  “And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.  And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”  Many of the shots being fired at Trump appear to be coming from those who have no perception of reality or where real America lives ---they are blind.  How is this possible?

America has been the beneficiary of prayers more times than the mortal mind can comprehend.  While the Colonists struggled for freedom in Boston, the word leaked out that the British general Gage intended to gain an artillery advantage by securing the adjacent Dorchester Heights. The Americans then decided to beat him to the punch by claiming some high ground of their own.  Bunker Hill was thought to afford a more tactical advantage, as it overlooked both the city and harbor.

On the evening of June 16, 1775, approximately 900 Colonial troops under the command of Colonel William Prescott assembled at Cambridge and were led in solemn prayer by Dr. Samuel Langdon, president of Harvard University.  Afterwards, the soldiers marched by lantern lights to the base of Bunker Hill, only to pass it by for the lower rise, Breed’s Hill. Digging by moonlight, Prescott directed his men in the hasty construction of a primitive fort of earth and timber.  By 3:30 a.m. the redoubt was only partially completed.  At first light Gage was astounded at what he saw. Artillery shells from British ships began careening into the patriot fortress.  Crouched behind inadequate breastworks, a mood of gloom descended on Prescott’s men as they anticipated the imminent assault of the Redcoats.  But lo and behold, the spot where the British chose to ferry their troops was too shallow due to an unexpected and unfavorable tide.  The resulting six-hour delay gave Prescott a providential opportunity to shore up his defenses, encourage the spirits of his apprehensive volunteers, and receive some last minute reinforcements.

By 3:00 p.m. the British were in place and the main frontal assault began.  The redcoats were permitted to march within a hundred feet of Prescott’s fortress.  With the “whites of their eyes” finally in focus, a hundred flintlocks made their deadly appearance.  Ellis describes the immediate aftermath of Prescott’s order to fire.  “As the wind rolled away, the smoke and the blasts of artillery and musketry for a few minutes ceased, the awful spectacle, the agonizing yells and shrieks of the sufferers were distracting…some of the wounded were seen crawling with the last energies of life from the gory heap of the dying and dead.”

The men were so terrified that they broke ranks, literally running for their lives; many even dove headlong into the boats for cover.  Three times the British came, suffering between 70% and 90% dead or wounded of each company.  Only when the Colonists retreated - because they ran out of ammunition - did the redcoats take the hill.  But the day really belonged to the minutemen.

No matter how many history books attempt to clarify the mistake (Breeds Hill, not Bunker Hill), the moniker of Bunker remains.  Could it be the real battle did take place on Bunker Hill?  During the entire conflict a young preacher named David Avery stood on the higher rise in full sight of the conflict, and as Moses, who stood on the hill and held up his hanks that Joshua might smite the Amalekites, so he, lifted up his hands and prayed that God would give victory to the Americans.  Is that why Bunker Hill still gets the press?  Our desperate need exceeds political activism---it is more prayer warriors like David Avery.

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