Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old. ~ Winston Churchill
This speech of Winston Churchill after the Miracle of Dunkirk has also been one that gave me chills, and even at a young age impressed on me the magnitude of what England faced. But they would never surrender.
Yesterday, I went with my family to see Dunkirk. A movie of little dialogue, the press for time is heard by a background ticking clock. As a storyteller, I loved it. I didn’t like the taking of God’s name in vain, but the movie was good overall.
But this isn’t a movie review. I wanted to tell you the true story of the Miracle at Dunkirk.
Mr. Dawson, Peter’s father, simply says, “The call went out.”
But what they didn’t tell you, is what that call was.
What made hundreds of civilian ships as far away as the Isle of Man and Glasgow come to Dunkirk?
Three simple words:
But if not.
That is the call that sent England into action, because they knew their Bible, and they knew that the passage comes from the book of Daniel.
Daniel 3:15-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.[a] But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[b] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Their boys were awaiting rescue. The navy ships were being bombed by the Germans, and they couldn’t come close to the beaches because of the rough seas. All seemed hopeless.
The British army was awaiting rescue, but if not, they were willing to die to defend their island.
That is the Miracle of Dunkirk. God was there, when the Germans for an unknown reason pulled back from their attack. He was there. Always. The God whom they served was able to deliver them.