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Angels and Nations

I had my colonoscopy and am able to enjoy solid food again without angering Al Gore, if you take my meaning. I have been doing some reading and some thinking on things theological, and have what I believe is a worthwhile consideration about Paul's vision of the 'third heaven'. But for now I have another thought which mixes politics with religion, always a recipe for lively debate I think.

Over the years I have sometimes been surprised by the way that things take a sudden unexpected turn. In recent days, we have seen President Obama's seemingly unstoppable charisma implode, but that has happened to many Presidents before him as well. After his re-election in 2004, President Bush seemed to have all the control he needed to start fixing the mess in places like Immigration and Social Security, but then he also hit a wall. Bill Clinton also had a lot of personal charisma but he took some nasty shocks, and in the process so did the Republicans, who had full public support for impeaching Clinton, but that support evaporated by the time the Senate actually tried him. Hard to believe, but there was even a time when President Nixon had his mojo working.

I wondered about that. Looking through History, we see the same odd sudden changes in momentum and initiative. Look at World War Two, for example. In 1942, the United States was a clawless eagle, losing battles, bases and men in both the Atlantic and Pacific fronts, but by 1945 the US was unstoppable everywhere it went. What a strange coincidence, that the one thing which could change America from an isolationist nation determined to stay out of the war into an angry populace demanding war, an apparent sneak attack by Japan, was what happened. How odd, that this attack destroyed several ships which appeared to be vital to America, but left untouched the fuel tanks and aircraft carriers and dry docks which were actually key strategic assets? How odd that Hitler changed his strategy on the Eastern Front just short of capturing Moscow, choosing instead to divert to the South and so divide his forces when it was most risky to do so? How odd that despite over a half century of threats and crises, there was never even one nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. This same behavior goes back in history as well. The British, for example, won the battle of Chesapeake Bay in 1781 in terms of tactics, but their inability to win decisively allowed the French to block Cornwallis' support at Yorktown and so the stunning end to the American Revolution was made possible by a simple shift in the wind. How interesting, that Captain Drake was able to have men in his pay infiltrate Spanish shipyards to sabotage the Armada so that the invasion of 1588 would fail. What a coincidence, that just when Japan reached the peak of its geopolitical power, it withdrew from the world for a century. Any one of these pieces, taken by itself, may be explained or considered just an anomoly, but altogether it is not hard to sense a purpose. Arguments can be made either way, but for those who believe in God I now turn to the Bible. Specifically certain verses in the book of Daniel, Chapter 10, verses 5-8 and 10-13:

"I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

"I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless."

"A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

"Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."

That folks, is the prophet Daniel chatting with an angel, specifically the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel mentions that Michael is a "chief prince" among the angels, and that he helped Gabriel get past the opposition of a "prince" of Persia, which tells us that nations have angels. It is unclear from this passage what those angels do, specifically, but there is clearly angelic activity in relation to human affairs.

It might be interesting to discuss what heaven is up to, right about now.


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Comments (23)

Congrats on no longer anger... (Below threshold)
Hamish:

Congrats on no longer angering The Goracle. While irritating him, in general, is a good thing, the price of this particular form of defiance is NOT fun.

And I gotta quibble with you on World War II. Starting in April 1942 in the Pacific, we started hitting back hard against the Japanese. First in the Coral Sea, then the Doolittle raid in May, the Battle of Midway in June, and Guadalcanal in the last part of the year, we started the long, nearly uninterrupted chain of victories over Japan.

Interesting points, nonetheless.

J.

Just watch out if the Jug-E... (Below threshold)
apb:

Just watch out if the Jug-Eared Douche travels to Palestine and declares himself king of the world ...

I think you're making a cla... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

I think you're making a classic mistake: mis-estimating the strength of the two sides in a conflict based on what you want to be true. For example:

* Bush in 2004 was a weak candidate. A strong Democrat candidate would have whipped his ass, just like the Slug did to his daddy in 1992. After the election, he had very little usable political capital, and most of it was wrapped up in keeping the Iraq War going.

* There was never "full public support" for impeaching the Slug. It was a bare majority at best, and much of it was lukewarm. The press did just as effective a job of demonizing the impeachment as they did of demonizing the Iraq War a few years later.

* In WW2, the US never lost bases in the European Theater. The German juggernaut reached its apex before we entered the war. The only serious defeat the US received in the ETO was the devastating U-boat campaign against American coastal shipping -- and that was effectively over by fall 1942.

* In the Pacific, the Japanese achieved as much as they did only because their foes were caught by surprise, because most of the Pacific region that they conquered was jungle islands and coral atolls full of subsistence-level native tribes, and because the Allies were already focused on beating Nazi Germany. Japan never had the manpower or materiel to fight an extended war. Six months after Pearl Harbor, Japan lost the initiative at Midway, and they never regained it. Within a year after Pearl Harbor it was no longer possible for the Japanese Army or Navy to even hold their ground against the American counteroffensive.

I could go on. Hitler changed strategy against the USSR because the oilfields of the Caucasus were a more valuable target than Moscow. The Japanese force that raided Pearl Harbor ignored the fuel tanks and other infrastructure because the Pearl Harbor attack was planned as a tactical raid only. And so on. The only item in your list that you might be able to make a case for is the bizarre timing that turned the Pearl Harbor raid from a surprise attack in time of war into a sneak attack in time of peace.

And I've never before heard that Drake sabotaged the ships of the Armada while they were building. Where did you hear that?

Frank Peretti wrote <a href... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Frank Peretti wrote an interesting novel about this back in the 1980's titled This Present Darkness. They are based upon Daniel Chapter 10.

For the secular audience, this book tells a fascinating revisionist story about the Japanese failure at Pearl Harbor. Not destroying the dry dock was a big deal.

I have no doubt that we are... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I have no doubt that we are in one huge spiritual battle. Islam, against Judeo-Christians. Dress it up all you want but this is a family war. ww

How odd, that this... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
How odd, that this attack destroyed several ships which appeared to be vital to America, but left untouched the fuel tanks and aircraft carriers and dry docks which were actually key strategic assets?

The fuel tanks and other vital installations at Pearl Harbor were very low priority, as were the carriers. The Japanese high command, except perhaps Admiral Yamamoto, were battleship oriented and thought the carrier was an auxiliary ship. The same could be said for the American high command, especially the admirals in DC.

Perhaps the only admiral in the whole United States Navy that totally believed in the power of the aircraft carrier was Admiral Halsey. The reason that the American carrier fleet was spared, was that they were on missions to deliver aircraft to the outlying American possessions at the time.

Another strategic asset that the Japanese neglected to destroy was the American submarine force. For the size of the force and the manpower, this ships virtually won the war in the Pacific, by sinking most of the Japanese merchant navy. The also sunk some very vital ships of the Japanese Navy, namely one of the two remaining carriers that carried out the raid on Pearl Harbor, in the lead up to the invasion of the Marianna's

As interesting as it is to ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

As interesting as it is to contemplate what "heaven" might be up to right now, I als worry about what side the US is on right now.

Very interesting points to ... (Below threshold)
Ken:

Very interesting points to ponder. The arrogance of those in power is sometimes frightening until we remember that God is still in control. Those who achieve the power for which they have lusted and feel they can do as they please fail to realize that there is a God who still intervenes in the affairs of man. The future of the United States and this world will proceed in accordance with God's plan, not man's.

Stan25 wrote: The fuel t... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

Stan25 wrote: The fuel tanks and other vital installations at Pearl Harbor were very low priority, as were the carriers.

Uh, no. Strongly no. No American carriers were sunk at Pearl Harbor for the simple reason that none of them were there. They were all at sea. In fact, carrier Enterprise had a very narrow escape: she was due back in Pearl the night of Dec 6th, but her task force was slowed by a storm, and she was still at sea the morning of Dec 7th.

Which is what Stan said.</p... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Which is what Stan said.

"The reason the carrier fleet was spared, was that they were on missions..."

The reason wasn't angels, that's for sure.

"The reason wasn't angels, ... (Below threshold)
sue:

"The reason wasn't angels, that's for sure."

To use a liberal mantra, "Prove it".

Whether it was angels or no... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Whether it was angels or not, the US was extremely fortunate during the Battle of Midway. Among many other lucky breaks is the fact that a Japanese scout plane apparently flew directly over the US fleet in clear weather early on the morning of the battle, but failed to see it. The launch of a second scout plane directed to the same area was delayed because of a malfunction. The Japanese remained unaware of the US fleet for many more hours, until it was too late to adjust.

Gabe:Call it 'fate... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Gabe:

Call it 'fate', call it "Murphy's Law". It's best discussed over a bottle of Bushmill's with a side of ice and limes.

Take the rest of the day off!

-- The Japanese high comman... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

-- The Japanese high command, except perhaps Admiral Yamamoto, were battleship oriented and thought the carrier was an auxiliary ship. --

That seems like an odd position for the Japanese high command to take when you consider that the attack on Pearl Harbor was launched from japanese aircraft carriers.

As far as midway, the japanese did not lose the initiative at midway. The initiative was taken away from them, in a massive sea battle that the united states very nearly lost.

Thank you, DJ and welcome b... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Thank you, DJ and welcome back.

I too believe that God is in control and can use the worst events to his greater good.

For those who cannot seem to find talk of religion palatable, I offer the analogy of the alcoholic. Sometimes they need to hit rock bottom before they see the error of their ways.

Before 9/11, we had the bombing of Kobar Towers, The Cole, and the WTC building, to name a few. In other words, lots of warning, little action. When we finally as a nation got hit big, we came together to fight the evil of Radical Islam.

This president has finally passed the "lots of warning" phase. The people on the streets, the little people, the fly-over people, are coming together to fight the evil of Big Government.

God help us, and pray to God to guide this president.

Sorry DJ, don't know why I ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Sorry DJ, don't know why I called you Gabe. You don't look like a Gabe.

I Dhimmi Carter was put int... (Below threshold)
Sabba Hillel:

I Dhimmi Carter was put into office in order to ensure that Ronald Reagan could take over and fix things, what is the purpose of Barak Obama. Is he here to make things so bad that we would be willing to ... ?

That seems like an... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
That seems like an odd position for the Japanese high command to take when you consider that the attack on Pearl Harbor was launched from Japanese aircraft carriers.

It was an odd position at time, but one has to remember, the airplane was still a fairly new concept and carrier ops were still in the teething stages. There were people on both sides that wanted to scrap the carrier altogether and build more battleships. Most of the officers that manned these ships were non-pilots for the most part. It was not until the first of the carrier pilots gained enough seniority in the command structure that carrier ops really blossomed.

If it had not been for Yamamoto threatening to resign his commission, the six carriers that were the backbone of the attack on Pearl Harbor, would have been used in other actions that would have wasted their strike capability. As it was, Yamamoto's planning staff made a huge blunder by not striking the fuel dumps, the maintenance facilities, and subs that cost the Japs the war. Admiral Nimitz said that if the Japs has taken these vital pieces out, they would have been operating from the left coast.

Great piece. Really enjoyed... (Below threshold)
mthomas:

Great piece. Really enjoyed it, and I agree completely. Remember this: History is His Story. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob "Fills heaven and earth". He is the sovereign God, and His will will be done on heaven as well as the earth.

Willie: dumb as ever. Is ev... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie: dumb as ever. Is every patriotic Muslim American your enemy? Disconnect the merucry drip from your cerebral cortex and think about it for a few seconds before responding. Bonus points if you acknowledge that you're just as xenophobic as the sub-set of Muslims who hate Christians and Jews. You're such a cartoon.

As for what the folks in heaven are up to right now, I think they're probably working on a draft of an apology note for permitting the Holocaust, Ukrainian genocide, and Great Leap Forward. And if they're not, they should be.

I think God and any angels ... (Below threshold)
jim:

I think God and any angels are up to the same general things they always are:

Shaking their heads in wonder at us, because they've already given us everything we need to make this world a true paradise:

Our eyes, our brains, and our two hands.

As the Russian saying goes, pray to God but row towards the shore.

An interesting but perhaps ... (Below threshold)
jim:

An interesting but perhaps apocryphal story about the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor, and then to *not* continue towards the undefended US West Coast - is that the Japanese military high command actually consulted i Ching.

For those who might not know, I Ching is an Asian divination system based on the outcomes of tossing sticks or coins.

Anyway, the results were favorable for an attack on Pearl Harbor, but according to the divination results a further attack on the US' West Coast would result in eventual utter disaster for the Japanese people.

I take this with a grain of salt, but I think it does have a grain of truth in it. After Japan surrendered, the US had the wisdom to pursue the Marshall Plan and support Japan's rebirth as an ally. The result has been great for both the US and Japan, as Japan has been one our greatest allies in all of Asia for the past 70 years.

Had Japan continued an attack on actual US coastal cities, it seems less likely the US would have pursued such a wise and benevolent policy, out of sheer (and understandable) outrage.

Another thing about the Pea... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

Another thing about the Pearl Harbor attack is that Admiral Nagumo called off the third strike to the utter disdain of air oriented officers, like Genda and Fuchida. Genda and Fuchida tried their damndest to take Nagumo into launching that third wave. Nagumo said no, because the Americans had time to get their defenses up. Which is true. The target of the third was the support areas and the sub base.




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