I have recently read a novel that was based on The Battle of Shiloh (also known as The Battle of Pittsburg Landing) which was a major Civil War battle that took place just a few short miles from my Jackson, Tennessee, birthplace. It DID NOT happen during my youth; rather, it was fought on April 6 & 7, 1862. I visited the battleground on several occasions while growing up but did not understand then the “story” behind the battle. The novel brought to mind some real history I have read since the visits years ago.
Without sides being identified (lest I take the wrong side for my readers), unless you know your history, the Battle of Shiloh holds a couple of lessons that have application nearly 150 years later. It seems one side took great confidence in their numbers and position. They were completely taken by surprise and were on the verge of collapse before the leadership of the attacking force decided to delay the attack that would have no doubt brought a different conclusion to the battle. Because of the delay, the other forces gathered a great number of reinforcements and launched a counterattack the next morning, reversing the gains of the day before and eventually changing the course and length of the war. Do you have it figured out yet? The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War until the Battle of Gettysburg the next year.
Two lessons for today:
- Sometimes, in our over-confident position, we have a false sense of security that we are ready for anything Satan might attack us with. You might want to read what Peter has to say “about the enemy” in 1 Peter 5:8. It’s not a novel. It is fact. Satan is real!
- Being ready to attack and not doing so is akin to “knowing to do good and not doing it,” which James calls to our attention in James 4:17. We are given opportunity almost daily to minister, and serve. Many times we delay thinking there will be a better time. Many times that particular opportunity never comes again; and, unfortunately, it could change the course of eternity for someone. Claim the opportunity not to fight but to win!
Winning the war, one little battle at a time!
Blessings to all,