The Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, Canada, is an area rich in history, for many major battles of the War of 1812 were fought in this region. This was a dark time for residence. They were farmers, most of whom were British Loyalists who had fled to Canada, then known as British North America, at the end of the American war of independence 35 years earlier. They were now living within 30-50 kilometers from the United States, and I can only imagine how they must have felt when the United States once again declared war on Britain. It must have seemed to them like history was repeating itself. Especially on October 9, 1814, when a fierce squarish took place in the tiny settlement known as Cook’s Mills. For about half an hour, American forces out-maneuvered the British, destroying all the wheat and flour in the area.
We, also, live in perilous times. Civil wars are becoming the norm across the world, there continues to be more and more friction among world powers, the world politics and economics are uncertain, homelessness, hunger and famine are on the rise, to say nothing of the COVID-19 world pandemic.
And according to Jesus, this isn’t likely to be the last of dark days, for He warns us that prior to His second coming, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6 NIV). Where do we turn for peace? Where do we find answers?
Psalms 2 gives us a clue: “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (Psalms 2:8-9 NIV).
What God is telling us here is that despite how bad things look right now, all we need to do is ask Him, and He will make the earth our possession, the nations – the same ones who fight against each other and amongst themselves – our inheritance!
How can this be?
Let’s remember that we are the children of our Heavenly Father, and He loves us more tenderly than any earthly father ever could. Can you imagine being in Heaven with Him? The sick will be healed, there will be no more COVID-19, no more hunger, no more homelessness, no more need to worry about economics or world politics and no more civil war or threats of world wars. What rejoicing!
But that’s Heaven, and this is Earth. We may not like what’s going on around here, but we are here and not there. How can this promise be for me today?
Psalms 2 goes on to give us the answer: “Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalms 2:12 NIV). In other words, when we are in love with our Heavenly Father, when we turn to Him with all of the troubles of this world, we can be assured that He will protect us. And in the words of David, we catch a glimpse of what God has in store for the world: “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.” (Psalms 2:10 NIV).
Yes, October 19, 1814 was a dark day for the residence of Cook’s Mills. What they didn’t realize that awful day is that this wasn’t the end of the story. The Battle of Cook’s Mills was, in fact, the last engagement between the U.S. and British armies in Niagara. In addition, it turned out to be the penultimate battle on Canadian soil. Things may have looked bleak, but hope was in sight. British ships were beginning to dominate Lake Erie, and upon hearing this, the commander of the U.S. battalion that was responsible for the Battle of Cook’s Mills retreated from the area completely.
No matter how bleak things may look right now, let’s remember to take refuge in the One who is in charge of all things. When you do, you will certainly be blessed (see vs. 12), the enemy will be warned (see vs. 10), and God’s promises prevail!
“Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (Psalms 2:8-9 NIV).
When things look bleak, who will you follow? What your eyes tell you? Or our Heavenly Father.
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)