• Today's Daily Devotion
“In the Name of the Great Jehovah”
“Deliver me this fort instantly,” the colonial mountain man demanded of the British captain, who had hurried to the fort’s entrance in his ...

“In the Name of the Great Jehovah”

“Deliver me this fort instantly,” the colonial mountain man demanded of the British captain, who had hurried to the fort’s entrance in his sleepwear.

Although the mountaineer was well over six feet tall, he was David fighting Goliath. Under the grey predawn skies of May 10, 1775, he and his band of colonists surrounded the unsuspecting sleeping giant. Surprise was their sling.

“By what authority do you make this claim?” the British captain asked. He couldn’t have been more surprised at the demand than had an angel appeared on his doorstep.

“In the name of the great Jehovah, and the Continental Congress,” the colonist cried of his timeless God and the year-old Congress.

The British captain began to protest, but before he could finish speaking, the mountain man demanded an immediate surrender and drew his sword over the captain’s head. The captain acquiesced.

And with that, the British handed Fort Ticonderoga over to Ethan Allen and more than eighty of his Green Mountain men and colonial militia. Together they captured one of the crown’s finest military treasures. “People refer to it [Fort Ticonderoga] as the Gibraltar of North America. It was by all standards the most spectacular fortress in North America,” West Point military historian John Hall said in an interview for The History Channel Presents: The American Revolution, 2006.

Fort Ticonderoga was the most colossal and strategic British post in the colonies. Located in upper New York along Lake George, the fort was nestled in the Lake Champlain valley. As a gatekeeper between America and British-held Canada, Ticonderoga housed armaments more valuable in a war than gold.

The Green Mountain boys captured “about one hundred pieces of cannon, one thirteen inch mortar, and a number of swivels, [small, swiveling cannons],” Allen wrote in his report.

Although Allen and his men had been fighting New York colonists over land grants in Vermont, this battle required a new kind of courage. Land disputes were as easy as throwing pebbles into the lake, compared with freeing themselves of the human boulders surrounding the British fort. On the morning of the attack, Allen gave his men a pep talk.

“Your valor has been famed abroad … I now propose to advance before you … for we must this morning either quit our pretensions to valor, or possess ourselves of this fortress in a few minutes, …,” he prodded, “and, inasmuch as it is a desperate attempt, which none but the bravest of men dare undertake, I do not urge it on any contrary to his will. You that will undertake voluntarily, poise your firelocks.”

And so with their firelocks cocked in their arms and David’s sling of courage in their hearts, Ethan Allen and his men captured the grandest of British forts and secured America’s first military coup in the Revolution.

Prayer

Cover me with your name as I go into battle today and give me the courage of David’s sling in whatever I may face.

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’”

(1 Samuel 17:45).


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