Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes
For over 150 years, a fascinating story appeared in virtually every student textbook in America but, sadly, it hasn’t been seen for decades. It is the story of George Washington when he was 23 years of age and involved in the French and Indian War, 20 years before the American Revolution. The Colonists sided with the British in this war and most of the Indians sided with the French.
Washington was a colonel in the Virginia militia at the time and when the British troops arrived, he and 100 Virginians joined with General Braddock (a British general). The troops were divided and Braddock, Washington and 1,300 soldiers marched north to drive the French from Fort Duquesne, which is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Then, while marching through a wooded ravine (only seven miles from the fort), they found themselves ambushed with the French and Indians firing at them from tree tops and from behind rocks. The result was a slaughter.
Yet, of the 86 British and American officers involved in that battle, George Washington was the only one who had not been shot down off his horse. Once the battle ended, Washington gathered the remaining troops and retreated back to western Maryland. The next day he wrote a letter to his family explaining that after the battle was over, he had discovered four bullet holes through his jacket; yet not a single bullet had touched him. He said, “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation.” Washington openly acknowledged that God’s protecting hand was on him.
Interestingly, 15 years later during a time of peace, Washington and a friend returned to those same Pennsylvania woods. An old Indian chief, having heard that Washington had come back to that area, traveled a long way just to meet with him. He told him that in that battle 15 years earlier he had instructed his braves to single out all the officers and shoot them. The chief said that he had personally shot at Washington 17 times, but without effect. Finally, the chief told his braves to stop firing at him. He then said to Washington, “I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle… I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”
This is only one example of God’s intervention in the founding of our great country. As we celebrated our nation’s independence in July, let us give thanks for our spiritual heritage – a heritage we must never forget. From Columbus to the Pilgrims to Washington to Lincoln, we have been blessed with leaders who understood the fact that God’s hand has been on this nation. The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12).