“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” (Deut. 7:9)
“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isaiah. 25:1)
This past weekend I went to see the new movie Dunkirk with a friend of mine. I thought it was very good and showed three different events of the struggle the soldiers were facing during this battle. What it really missed though, was the “miracle of Dunkirk”. It did not show how God in His mercy to His people intervened in this battle to save His people from what looked like an inevitable defeat and slaughter.
In May of 1940 the French defenses were broken and the German army was advancing quickly across the country. The only option appeared to be the withdrawal of the British and Allied forces as they were being surrounded. The only available open port was Dunkirk and the German army was quickly advancing on it as well. The outlook was grim and it did not look like many would survive the evacuation.
In his book “The Trumpet Sounds for Britain” by David E. Gardner, which in it I found an extraction from on the website: christianstogether.net he wrote that Britain had a Godly Sovereign and so, seeing what was happening, His Majesty King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer for Sunday, May 26. He says that the King made a stirring broadcast asking all people in Britain and the Empire to “commit their cause to God”. Millions responded and churches that day were filled with people from all over Britain, the Empire and the Commonwealth. It was a remarkable sight to see a flood of people outside Westminster Abbey praying along with their King and millions of others. Gardener wrote in his book that there were three miracles. (1) Hitler halted the advance at a time that he could have absolutely destroyed the troops. (2) An unprecedented storm came up over Flanders on Tuesday, May 28th that grounded the German Luftwaffe, which allowed many of the British army to go on foot to the coast in the darkness and the rain from the storm. (3) There was the unprecedented great calm that came over the sea of the English Channel for days, despite the storm in Flanders. This allowed many little ships, big ships and any type of sea worthy vessel to go back and forth across the Channel rescuing as many soldiers as possible. This then, was the miracle of Dunkirk!
“Reporting for the 1941 Britannica Book of the Year, retired U.S. Army officer George Fielding Eliot wrote, No purely military study of the major aspects of the war could do justice to the skill and the heroism of the evacuation from Dunkirk. Suffice to say only that, when it began, members of the British imperial general staff doubted that 25% of the B.E.F. could be saved. When it was completed, some 330,000 French and British troops, together with some Belgian and Dutch forces, who refused to surrender, had reached haven in England.…One of the most motley fleets of history—ships, transports, merchantmen, fishing boats, pleasure craft—took men off from the very few ports left, from the open beaches themselves, for German air attacks had virtually destroyed most port facilities. The Royal Air Force, including planes from the metropolitan force in England, met and asserted at least temporary air superiority over the tremendous German air forces, and the Royal Navy, with daring and precision, assisted by courageous French naval craft, stood close in shore and not only covered the evacuation, but took off thousands of men in overloaded destroyers and other small craft.”
In his book, Gardner said that when services of thanksgiving were given on Sunday, June 9, the choir and congregation sang the words from Psalm 124 with great feeling.
“Now, may Israel say: if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us; they would have swallowed us up quick: when they were so wrathfully displeased at us. Yea, the waters had drowned us: and the stream had gone over our soul. The deep waters of the proud would have gone over our soul. But praised be the Lord: Who has not given us over for a prey unto their teeth. Our soul escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler: the snare is broken, and we are delivered. Our help standeth in the name of the Lord: who hath made heaven and earth.”
We worship a faithful God who longs to help us if we would only cry out to Him. “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.” (2Chron. 7:14)