commentary: The Wise Shall Understand
Given 15-Jun-19; 13 minutes
During a visit to Great Britain in April 2016, in a joint news conference with then-Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama said the following to America’s oldest and most enduring ally:
Maybe at some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but that is not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc - the European Union, to get a trade agreement done. And the UK is going to be in the back of the queue. (Euronews)
It was his threat to push the British to remain in the European Union and vote against Brexit and the withdrawal most British citizens wanted to restore the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Some think that his veiled threat actually put Brexit over the top. Here are some of the typical editorial comments his veiled threat evoked at the time:
» This speech finally convinced me to vote Leave. Others picked up on the fact he said 'queue' instead of 'line'. I picked up that when it comes to trade deals, we're apparently at the back of the queue. And that remark was coming from the president of a country that we send our soldiers to fight and die alongside. There we are indeed at the front of the queue.
» This man had no decency, trashing relations with an ally like that! Enormous bad and disrespectful move from Mr Obama.
» Barack is now seen as an enemy of the United Kingdom. . . . This speech persuaded me 100% to vote LEAVE. How dare a president of the US speak down to our country.
» . . . You have no right to interfere with the politics of this country and you don't know the English at all if you think we will be bullied into staying in the EU. YOUR interference has made my mind up to vote OUT!
» BACK OF THE QUE WHAT A COMMENT TO MAKE . . . HE SHOULD BE MADE TO APOLOGIZE
» What a outrageous statement. That will persuade even more people to vote for OUT.
» Cameron says "Listen to what our friends say" - and you call Obama, threatening when he is a guest, a friend?!
Two months after President Obama’s statement, on June 23, 2016, almost ¾ of the UK citizens went to the polls and voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 51.9% to 49.1%.
Of the four UK countries, England itself voted for Brexit by 53.4% to 46.6%. Wales also voted for Brexit, 52.5% to 47.5%. Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted against leaving the EU. Scotland - 62% to 38%, and Northern Ireland - 55.8% to 44.2%.
Now fast forward to 2019 and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe, as another tyrannical monster had spread its tentacles across national lines to claim European domination over the sovereign rule of nations. On that day in 1944, the only defense lay with the alliance of the United States and the United Kingdom, along with those refugee armed forces from the occupied nations. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they mounted the biggest invasion over sea in history. With a small chance of success against the turbulent Channel, the weather, and Nazi fortified bunkers along the French coast, they moved to liberate and restore national sovereignty.
Together through the years, the UK and the US have stood in a relationship unlike any other. But President Obama threatened the United States’ most loyal ally and their sovereignty, which did not set very well with the British people, as you have seen.
Last week, on the other hand President Trump, in spite of all the drum-pounding in the UK against an enormously unpopular American President, driven by the media at home and abroad, and, of course, his own penchant for battling back with scathing tweets, stood shoulder to shoulder again with the British, declaring the special bond and the most-special trading status for the greatest US ally.
In spite of all the side-show distractions, his message of solidarity within a very special relationship was clearly reinvigorated by Queen Elizabeth and President Trump at the Buckingham Palace state dinner, three days before the allied nations recalled the joint sacrifice that freed a tyrannically seized "huge block." The Queen said,
Mr President, as we look to the future, I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us.
Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come.
President Trump lavished praise on The Queen, saying:
This evening, we thank God for the brave sons of the United Kingdom and the United States who defeated the Nazis and the Nazi regime and liberated millions from tyranny.
The bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade.
As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into future—freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reverence for the rights given to us by almighty God.
From the Second World War to today, Her Majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions.
She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart.
On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long-cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen. Thank you.
The following day, the typically anti-Trump British press was effusive in their praise for the President and the United States’ reaffirmation of the bond that has been between the two as a nation and a commonwealth of nations.
As I watched some of the coverage of the events over the next two days, I was reminded of the blessings God has showered on the whole world through the blessings He had promised that would come through Ephraim and Manasseh. It reminded me of God’s absolute hand in fulfilling His plan and purpose, in spite of what men have done or tried to do.
It reminded me of a trip Nancy and I had made to Ireland a number of years ago and a historical walking tour we took through the town of Kinsale, while listening to the gifted raconteur expound on the worldwide significance of this small port town on the southern coast of Ireland.
Although all the historical anecdotes were fascinating, my thoughts stayed with God’s direct hand in moving His plan and purpose forward, directing the steps of nations. To some they are merely footnotes in history! To us, they should be living proof that God is always there and moving things in the direction He wants them to go and had prophesied from the beginning.
On the tour, we learned that Kinsale was the site of God’s third and final blow to Spanish world domination, and therefore, the oppressive Catholicism of the Inquisition that it brought with them. Thus, setting up Great Britain to rule the seas and expand itself to a company of nations, in which God’s prophetic expansion would flourish.
On the 22nd of September, 1601, 26 Spanish ships entered the deep harbor port of Kinsale. However, this was only a portion of a Spanish Armada sent by Phillip III to invade the British Isles that was pummeled by storms off the Irish coast.
The first great Spanish Armada of 1588 had been sent by his father, Phillip II, in response to the English forces that were in the Netherlands trying to protect Calvinist merchants that were trying to get out from under the boot of Spanish Catholic oppression.
Phillip II was planning on taking over the nation of England and getting rid of the “heretic” Protestant-reformation queen, Elizabeth I, who had been excommunicated by the Pope.
Phillip II was the great driver of the infamous Catholic Inquisition in Spain and was considered the leading Catholic monarch in Europe. At the time, Spain was the greatest sea power in the world, on the brink making Catholicism the world’s religion.
The 1588 Armada turned into a devastating defeat, and mostly, as a result of the weather in the English Channel and beyond, the ships were destroyed or run aground as they fled around the north of Scotland and the rocky coast of Ireland.
Next, following a few successful forays against the British, Phillip II was emboldened and launched another massive expedition of 100 ships under the command of Don Martin da Padilla in 1596, but it too was destroyed. This time, a violent storm off the coast of Cape Finistere destroyed the whole armada.
However, this did not stop Phillip II from mounting another invasion force the following year. Again under the command of Don Martin da Padilla, it too ran into violent weather that forced the remaining ships to return to Spain.
Then in 1601, under the new king, Phillip III, another storm-battered armada limped into the deep harbor at Kinsale with plans to have 3500 troops link up with Irish forces from the north and overwhelm the British.
However, again the weather, the topography of the land, and a poor command decision, lead to annihilation of the troops. An unusually harsh winter prevented the troops from going over the rocky terrain that naturally protected the town of Kinsale on the north, preventing the Spanish from linking up with the Irish, and giving the English time to muster their troops.
To add to the problems, the Spanish General Bochero, the commander of the Naval Armada, left the port of Kinsale 9 days after dropping off the 3500 troops, as was planned, and left the port open to the English moving in behind the troops.
Each and every time, it was the weather that ultimately determined the fate of the Spanish invasion forces and the change of domination of the seas from Spain to England, and put England into the position to become the British Empire and a company of nations.
In a small book on the history of Kinsale, John Thuillier wrote,
While little more than a rout, the Battle of Kinsale had a dramatic effect on the course of history. . . . Government, systems of control, language, customs, and religion, ownership of land all changed as a consequence of the battle. . . . No longer would Spain attempt such a venture or continue to dominate the world to the extent that it had done. It now sought peace with England, negotiating the Treaty of London in 1604. Kinsale was the last Armada!
From this point on, the UK ruled the sea for centuries and the Empire became a company of nations.
On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces of Ephraim and Manasseh landed on the beaches of Normandy under the cover of what was considered disastrous weather conditions.
Four years before, the whole of the British expeditionary force had been rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk under the cover of a thick fog’s protection from the mighty Nazi Luftwaffe! They escaped over a normally unnavigable, but now becalmed, English channel! They were rescued by their fellow countrymen manning a flotilla of anything that would float across the channel to bring them home.
Who really is in charge of climate change?!
As Daniel was told about the end time, ". . .the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10). Do we understand, brethren, what is going on?
As a footnote to this commentary, and as we go through these apparently difficult days ahead, I think maybe it would help if we looked more carefully at what is going on around us and see God’s hand always. And maybe, if you have a copy, go back and consider The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It may help to put world events in their God-purposed perspective.