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Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)
This is the week we particularly focus on the history of our country.
So this is a great week to share one of the coolest stories from the War of 1812 (often called the Second War of Independence).
Back in 1810, Congress voted to allow a new lighthouse to be built at Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts. The rocky shore could be dangerous for incoming ships and a lighthouse was needed to warn them how close they were to land.
By 1811, the lighthouse was up and shining its beacon.
The keeper was Captain Simeon Bates. He, his wife and nine children lived at the lighthouse. The nearby town of Scituate also kept their drums and fifes in the lighthouse, so we can imagine it was all rather crowded!
One day in 1814 (during the War of 1812), Mr. Bates went hunting and apparently took his wife and younger children with him. We don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that two of his daughters were left alone at the lighthouse. Rebecca was 17 (although some records say 21) and Abigail was 15. One of their little brothers was also left behind.
Suddenly the quietness of the day was interrupted by fear – a British warship was seen near the harbor, with two barges crowded with British soldiers. The British had arrived to attack the town of Scituate.
What could two girls to to guard their home, the lighhouse and their town? Rebecca told Abigail to get one of the drums, and she grabbed a fife. She also instructed her brother to run to town to warn the people. “I was fond of military music and could play four tunes on the fife —Yankee Doodle was my masterpiece,” Rebecca said later.
The girls hid behind some trees and began playing softly, gradually increasing in volume until they were playing as loudly as they could. The British soldiers heard the fife and drums and figured the town’s militia was coming to meet them and they turned the barges around and disappeared out into the ocean.
Rebecca and Abigail were heroes and earned the name “the army of two.” They have gone down in history as two brave girls who guarded the lighthouse and saved the town.
I’ve always thought that was a great illustration of the command we have from the Lord, to put on the armor of God and stand firm. Sometimes we put on the armor, but our stance is a little wobbly and doesn’t hold up to a lot of counterattack.
Rebecca and Abigail could’ve cowered in the woods. They could have panicked and screamed. They could have run to the village.
Instead they stood firm, used the “tools” at their disposal and “fought” the British with their music.
We have the knowledge that God is with us. We have the assurance that He is in control. We have the living Word of God – the sword of the Spirit.
… when others laugh at us because we go to church.
… when others call us haters, not because we hate, but because we don’t agree with them.
… when everyone around us is doing something immoral.
We can withstand the evil and stand firm in Christ.
(Full disclosure – that is NOT the Sciuate Lighthouse and these pipes and drummers are NOT fife and drummers.)