In the ancient days under Moses, God was so concerned that his people remember His truth that with His finger wrote it into stone. The stone tablets came down from the mountain in the arms of Moses and were presented to the people as a guide for their lives. He wanted people to know His truth! Before Moses led the people into the land God promised, he pulled them aside for a final review. The book of Deuteronomy contains his sermons. Deutero, or second and namas, or law. It was a repetition of the law. Moses herein delivers as many as seven sermons to the people of God.
Because the children will be exposed to a whole new lifestyle, they need to hear this. They will be challenged in their faith. They will face those who will confront them and try to sway them in their faith. They will see things everywhere that will be different than what they believed They need to truly know truth! So, he told them, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” And do you know that even to this day, they still share their story with their children!
Abraham Lincoln spoke from his heart and the back of an envelope on November 19, 1863. “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth.” As we remember lives given for freedom’s cause, let us not forget the greatest sacrifice of all.
In 2013 General John F. Kelly, just four days following the death of his own son in combat, eulogized two other sons in an unforgettable manner. What follows are
assorted portions of General Kelly’s remarks… Two Marines from two different walks of life who had literally just met. They were told to stand guard in front of their outpost’s entry control point. An outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. Minutes later, they were staring down a big blue truck packed with explosives. With this particular shred of hell bearing down on them, they stood their ground. They were Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion.
Kelley recounts their last brave moments of life… The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. A video recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were. Some running right past the Marines.
For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart. The truck is trying to get past them to kill their brothers, both American and Iraqi who were bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.
The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live. The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.
Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty… into eternity. Thank you to General Kelly. Thank you to these brave Marines. These are the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight… for you. We will remember!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Regional Director for Church Ministries. He can be reached at