Arriving late at Heathrow Airport, after a long flight, taking a long walk and a long bus ride, I finally arrived at Oxford. It’s not easy traveling alone but I’ve somehow gotten used to that. I had to spend the night in the city and prepare to leave for Queen’s College at Oxford University to attend a one-week conference; another item from my bucket list that I drew up years before.
As I looked at picturesque London, my mind brought me back to some historical events that happened many years in this country that few people in ours remember. Steve Farrar in his beautiful book entitled God Built writes about this. Allow me to share it with you.
“‘In God We Trust’ is imprinted on every coin issued in the United States. In 1588 England, the Queen of England Queen Elizabeth ordered that a gold medal be struck with the motto: ‘He blew and they were scattered.’
“Now why in the world would that phrase be put on a gold medal? Here is the story behind the story.
“In May 1588, Spain was the most powerful nation on earth. And riding the crest of that power, the Spanish had set their sights on invading and capturing England. To accomplish that task, King Philip of Spain sent his navy—the most powerful navy on the seas.
“This fleet, made up of over a hundred warships, was knows as the Invincible Armada. No nation on earth could hope to defeat it. Departing Spain, the fleet sailed north toward England. Before they could attack, however, they ran into a monster storm—actually, a massive hurricane with its murderous winds that virtually annihilated the Spanish Armada. This became the end of Spain as a world power.
“The winds have stopped them before they could reach England. And all of England, including Queen Elizabeth knew that God had sent the storm. ‘He blew and they were scattered’ was the phrase of praise that was uttered in every village, pub, and church in all of England.
“Not a word was said about ‘mother nature’ or a chance event. All of the glory went to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”
And then Farrar writes about another similar incident. While God sent the wind to England, He used a fog to turn the tide of history in America.
“It was fog that saved 9,000 American soldiers under the command of George Washington on Friday, April 30, 1776. Trapped in Brooklyn, New York, the soldiers were sitting ducks for the shells of the British navy ships—and were on the verge of being surrounded by British troops. So Washington ordered a radical solution. They would evacuate all 9,000 men and their equipment, including wagons, by boat. They would have to make a mile-wide river crossing in the dark of night without any lights.
“As soon as night fell, the soldiers began to load into the boats. Not a word was spoken aloud and not a light was lit. Throughout the night, crossing after crossing was made. With dawn soon approaching, however, many men remained to be evacuated. But astonishingly, just before the rays of dawn brought light to the scene, a heavy, thick fog descended. It was impossible to see more than six feet. ‘Even with the sun up, the fog remained as dense as ever, while over on the New York side of the river there was no fog at all.’
“A little past seven in the morning, the last soldiers landed on the New York side of the river, and within minutes the thick fog lifted. Nine thousand American troops had been evacuated from the grasp of the enemy—with the aid of darkness and fog. As the fog lifted, the British officers were utterly astonished. They could see Washington’s soldiers waving at them from the New York side.
“The same God who 200 years earlier had saved the British Navy, now confronted the British Navy.
“In 1588, God blew and they were scattered."
“In 1776, God blew and the fog scattered.”
The same God Who gave us the Bible is the God Who reveals Himself to us. He is the same God Who is the God of history, as we see how history reveals Him.
It takes greater faith not to believe in the power and presence of God. Study the Bible; study history as well.
Francis Kong is a columnist, author, international speaker, trainer, and consultant. His radio program, Business Matters, airs daily over 98.7 DZFE-FM.
print ed: 03/11