Self-reliance and independence is required in every area, if we wish to be free. It is always better to take the side of truth. Freedom is dangerous; tyranny is worse. Helpless dependence upon humanity is bondage. Helpless dependence upon Christ is freedom, for He is our source of ability.
Remember the principle “that every man be armed” does not require that every man be armed with any particular tool but that every man be armed with the most effective equipment he can obtain and be trained in its proper and effective use. “Put on the whole armor…, and having done all, to stand,” declared the apostle.
Physical fitness is every bit as important as tools, if not more so. Our health is our most valuable possession. Therefore, we should strive for a lifestyle that will include large amounts of moderate outdoor exercise. Again, use what you have rather than sitting around wishing you were younger, stronger, wiser, or more skilled.
In an open area, such as the parking lot, contact weapons are very effective. On the other hand, when obstacles and barricades are available, projectile weapons offer a huge advantage. In their situation, bows and arrows would have given a valuable advantage over axes and similar tools. Obviously, firearms would be preferred.
Any large weapon that requires space to operate– a spear, bow, or long gun– should be coupled with a side-arm to use if the enemy should get too close. A 5-inch-plus belt knife is good. Instant accessibility is vital. It should be strong enough to withstand its operator’s adrenaline, have an effectively efficient point for penetrating, and an effective finger guard. Hopefully, it will be just as useful for utility purposes as for combat.
Barricades were built across each driveway, including the driveways of the unoccupied homes. “From the road, all our laneways curved up to our homes through stands of hardwoods and cedars… an effective screen in every sense of the word.” When the raid came, staying out of sight was of vast importance. The raiders saw two men and one gun.
Under the unique circumstances, it was a stroke of genius! It was non-injurious but effective.
“Six days after our re-organization,…” How many days did it take to implement the reorganization? I’d guess that they barely had the defenses in place in time.
“Mark heard trucks coming down the road. The baby monitor crackled a warning, and Sue yelled out to John, Peter, myself, and our boys. We all grabbed our gear and went to the barricade.”
“They stopped at our laneway. There was silence for a moment, and then we heard a guy yell, ‘I’m telling you, this is the place! I saw him in town a few days ago with his truck.’”
There was a clue. These guys weren’t lost.
“They pulled apart our barricade.” “The trucks came up the laneway.” “The first truck got stuck between the logs [in the carefully-located truck trap]. Eight men poured from the trucks.”
Why were three trucks and eight men? Why not send one truck with two or three men to each house? Did they expect to harvest three truckloads of loot?
“You guys make fine targets.” That was a fair warning, a wise challenge.
“They looked around but couldn’t see us for the trees.” This is so important. They had only heard one man yell.
“We don’t want any trouble. We need food.”
This sounds as if they were pleading and comes across as disarming and asking for pity. They wanted easy pickings. Plunder will cease only when labor becomes significantly less painful than plunder. This is a law of human nature. These fathers/husbands/brothers were determined to make plunder painful.
“You can’t stop us all!” Nice threat, bullies. Are you sure? These words are anything but peaceable. They betray the venom of violent intent.
Mr. H, again, was the only one who spoke. Yet, he spoke of “we” and “us.”
With regards to food, he said, yes, we’ll help you. “Love your enemies.” Matthew 5:44. “If thine enemy hunger, feed him.” Romans 12:20. However, you could poach your own deer without attacking people and risking getting shot for it. (Survival hunting in a life-threatening food emergency is lawful.) You could come without such a show of force and simply ask for food.
Notice that Mr. H. did not say anything to indicate that they had any food, except what they had just harvested, and they did not show the men how to “unstick” the truck or give them time to figure out how.
Until the men were safely out on public right-of-way, it would not be safe to send anyone to get a haunch of deer, and until the truck was unstuck and down to the hole in the barricade nobody could be tolerated in the laneway. Only when the invitation was given to send ONE MAN up to get the truck, could ONE MAN be allowed to come up the lane. Any violation of orders would be an act of belligerence.
Note that no warning shots were fired. None were needed. They needed every single cartridge that the shotgun could hold to be reserved for real targets, and five choice words were perfectly effective as warning. If he had fired a warning shot, it might have given the attackers grounds for filing legal charges.
A warning shot may betray reluctance to employ force. This reluctance reduces the psychological effect of a verbal warning.
Finally, these desperate, hungry men were probably not normally violent. We see no evidence of illegal weapons in their hands such as what a city gang might have. Neither did we see these items in the hands of the mob at Home Depot. These were simply strangers, neighbors-turned-looters. It is a blessing that they were stopped from committing a crime. Hopefully, they were deterred from harming others and found a better way to feed their families than by robbery.
When land line phones, cell service, and Internet are all out of commission, the violent element feels that “the cat is away,” so “the mice can play.” Nobody can call the police!
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace,” said Jesus. Mr. H and company followed Nehemiah’s example; and like Nehemiah, their efforts were rewarded. They did not suffer loss of life or critical infrastructure, only minor damage to property.
“But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Matthew 11:22.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1.
“Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.” Psalm 44:4-8.
Faith in God requires us to exert all the energy and wisdom He gives. However, if we trust in our own efforts and fail to give credit where credit is due, God will humble us. It is better to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
“I saw the maple leaf on his shoulder. The army was here checking on us to make sure we were safe.”
Excellent. That is what they should do. However, beware. If martial law is declared, the visit of the maple leaf could likely involve confiscation or the commandeering of supplies, vehicles, firearms, livestock, and/or the owners thereof. It would make the visit of the raiders pale into the shadows.
So, not only is it necessary to be prepared to shelter in place and to withstand civil unrest, but plans should be in place to escape the iron talons, on short notice, when the pot boils over. In the example here, would they have had one minute, three minutes, or five minutes, in which to melt into the woodwork? Would they have been aware of such a change in government? Would they have wisdom to relate to a total lockdown of travel, permits for travel, roadblocks everywhere, and unknown other new impositions?
Thank God for a little respite. He is still holding the winds of strife.
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17.
America, including Canada, has been very sheltered, far more sheltered than were the Israelites during their sojourn in Egypt. Today, God wants to lead His people into the heavenly Caanan, but many of us are soft. We have not seen war. Our conflicts have been petty affairs. We enjoy our secure society that insulates us from the harsh realities of nature and the harsher realities of demon-possessed humanity. We have no clue what “the land of the Philistines” is like.
Likewise, Jesus wanted to prepare His disciples for the shock of His agony, capture, torture, and death. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:12, 13.
Thank God that He is patient. He is leading on gently, not allowing us to be over-driven. “If men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.” Genesis 33:13.
Yet, the day of battle is coming. As with Israel, the time to enter Caanan is coming. Here is what they did:
“And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Numbers 14:2-4.
They had not even attempted to obey. They wanted to die, so that they wouldn’t need to try! They refused to believe that God would do all that human power could not, so that they could obey His commands.
“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5.
Faith would have enabled Israel to take the shorter path into Caanan. If their faith had been strong, they could have skipped 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Maybe God would have led them in by the way of the Philistines, maybe not. In any case, we have the failure to avoid repeating.
“Come where Christ is, and you will have light. Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest. If you talk of heaven and the eternal reward, you will become lighter and lighter in the Lord, and your faith will grow, because it is exercised. Fasten your eyes upon Jesus, dear friends, and by beholding you will become assimilated to his image. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell continually upon things of the earth, but place them upon things that are heavenly, and then, wherever you are, you will be a light to the world.
“Live the life of faith day by day. Do not become anxious and distressed about the time of trouble, and thus have a time of trouble beforehand. Do not keep thinking, ‘I am afraid I shall not stand in the great testing day.’ You are to live for the present, for this day only. Tomorrow is not yours. Today you are to maintain the victory over self. Today you are to live a life of prayer. Today you are to fight the good fight of faith. Today you are to believe that God blesses you. And as you gain the victory over darkness and unbelief, you will meet the requirements of the Master, and will become a blessing to those around you.” Historical Sketches, 142-143.
“All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.” The Ministry of Healing, pg. 58.
This training is the door to all other training. God gives the farmer wisdom (Isaiah 28:24-26). He gives the workman skill (Exodus 31:2, 3). He is the best teacher of military science (Psalm 18:34; 144:1).
“Success is not the result of chance or of destiny; it is the outworking of God’s own providence, the reward of faith and discretion, of virtue and persevering effort. The Lord desires us to use every gift we have; and if we do this, we shall have greater gifts to use. He does not supernaturally endow us with the qualifications we lack; but while we use that which we have, He will work with us to increase and strengthen every faculty. By every wholehearted, earnest sacrifice for the Master’s service our powers will increase. While we yield ourselves as instruments for the Holy Spirit’s working, the grace of God works in us to deny old inclinations, to overcome powerful propensities, and to form new habits. As we cherish and obey the promptings of the Spirit, our hearts are enlarged to receive more and more of His power, and to do more and better work. Dormant energies are aroused, and palsied faculties receive new life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, pgs. 353-354.
May God help us to follow His leading faithfully. This will prepare us for every emergency.