Saturday, December 8, 2012
Pearl Harbor Day 2012 - Rev Deacon Jackson Arnold
In Matthew 24, Christ gives the people of Jerusalem warnings as to the end of their time in the land of Israel, for about 1,500 years (until they return in about 1948, Anno Domini), and he describes the destruction of their temple, which occurred in about 70, Anno Domini by the Roman Empire, due to the Jewish Insurrection. The Jews have always been a hard headed, stubborn people, and they are not ones to listen to a warning that would have saved them from destruction and a longer exodus than their 40 years in the wilderness.
If we do not recognize the signs of trouble and listen to the warnings, then how are we to expect to follow His Word, if we ignore his warnings and do not heed them appropriately? Look at the Jews for an example of this, with Matthew 24. He had said if they had heeded his warnings, this would not have come to pass. If they had followed His Word, then they would not have revolted against the Roman Authorities and caused them grievous heartaches and sufferings, and would have avoided the suicides at Masada.
A more modern version of what the Jews went through can be found in Pearl Harbor, on December 7th, 1941. At the time, America was content to ignore the rising problem of Imperial Japan in the East, while secretly giving aid to Britain against the rising might of Nazi Germany in the West. There were warnings out there, starting with the Japanese aggression in China in 1936, the actual, physical manifestation of World War II.
The isolationists were content to ignore the aggressions committed by the Axis in both theatres of the war, figuring it was no big deal to them; Jews were murdered by the hundreds and thousands in Germany, undesirables murdered in Stalin’s Russia (originally a member of the Axis, a long forgotten and less cared about fact), the rapes of so called “sub-humans” in Japanese held Manchuria (e.g Rape of Nanking, Rape of Fena Reservoir.) They saw only what they wanted to see. They were blind to the truth, to the pure evilness of the Nazis, to the Imperial War Party and to the Communists. The blindness prevails to this day.
As the signs of aggression became more and more obvious, isolationists dug their holes deeper and put their fingers in their ears and shouted how wonderful and sunny a day it was in the world, while millions were being oppressed, murdered and raped in the far corners of Asia and Europe under Japan and Nazi Germany and Russia.
This is just as the Jews ignored growing signs in Jesus’ time, and were resistant to co-operating with the authorities. If they had not disregarded Christ’s warnings, they would have been far better off, and possibly retained their homeland.
Had we acted on those clear signs of aggression, a quadrant of madmen (Stalin, Hitler, Tojo/Emperor, Mussolini) might not have been able to act on their desire to dominate the world for their own purposes.
On December 7th, 1941, all this ignorance of the aggression, the ear plugging by the isolationists came to a sudden and complete stop. The attack upon our soil by the Imperial Forces of Japan at Pearl Harbor changed the tune. Due to the ill-preparedness of our country and the unwillingness to confront the problem of Japan in any form, we lost 2,402 fine men, and 1,247 wounded. They paid the high price to learn the true face of Imperial Japan; greedy, low moral and ethics (though their “culture” professed to have high ethics, (e.g saving face.) country, hell-bent on dominating the world, especially the United States, subjugating it to its will.
We found the problem a little too late, ignoring clear warnings of Japanese aggression. With such forewarning, we should have been prepared tor the eventuality of war with Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
A lesson to be learned from the attack on Pearl Harbor, is that we should not take spiritual or worldly warning lightly. If we do not heed this warnings, as those of us are not now, then how can we expect to have a future, where we can tell our children of those who went before us, who heeded those warnings, to pass on the moral fiber (through Scripture this should be established) necessary to establish a solid generation of Godly, Good and Great American people, (or the Three Gs!).
On the subject of Pearl Harbor itself, and of the men and women who died there, I would like to offer up to you a selection of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Also, he said this, which preceded the above part which is also very appropriate for this occasion:
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”