Story of the Day for Wednesday August 8, 2012
A Robe Dipped in Blood
Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant attitude before a fall.
England did her best when they sent General Edward Braddock to the Colonies during the French and Indian War of 1754 – 1763.
He arrived in his shiny brass buttons as commander-in-chief of North America, and led two brigades through the Pennsylvania wilderness to recapture Fort Duquesne (where Pittsburgh sits today).
Benjamin Franklin met with Braddock beforehand and warned him against Indian ambushes, but the general sniffed at the suggestion that savages could intimidate his highly trained British soldiers. Franklin observed later that Braddock “had too much self-confidence” and too low an opinion of the Indians.
A Virginia militia volunteered to fight with the British, and their young, 23-year-old leader, suggested that his rangers lead the expedition, since they understood Indian tactics and were familiar with the terrain. The 60-year-old Braddock was offended: “What! An American buskin teach a British general how to fight!”
The Virginians were sent to the rear.
The British march was a display of pomp and military precision. One observer said, “General Braddock marched through this wilderness as if he had been in a review in St. James Park.” The general sacrificed speed for ceremony, and, as a result, the Indians easily monitored his every move.
As they neared Fort Duquesne, the Indian ambush caught the British off balance. The young Virginian leader urged Braddock to disperse his troops and hide behind trees — as the Indians fought. Instead, Braddock stubbornly concentrated his men in tight platoons which were decimated as quickly as they were formed.
As Braddock tried vainly to rally his disorganized troops he was shot in the chest. Later, realizing he was mortally wounded, he gave his ceremonial sash to the Virginian officer whose advice he had ignored.
That young Virginian, George Washington, reportedly wore Braddock’s blood-stained sash for the rest of his career as commander of the Colonial Army. After becoming the first president of the United States, Washington continued to wear the sash. He would never forget that the greatest enemy to victory is pride.
Just as pride blinded General Braddock to the strength of his adversary, so pride blinds us to the power of sin. This is not a battle we can win on our own. It is not even a battle we must fight.
Jesus has conquered the Enemy. He rides a white horse with a robe dipped in blood. And only the notion that you don’t need his help can keep him from bringing you the victory you long for.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)