Friday, April 9, 2010


The British Army was under the gun in World War II in North Africa with the Germans, and because of the military leadership of their most able combat leader, General Erwin Rommel. The Germans were winning—but then along came the little lowly fly!

   In the German Army camps the troops would just go out a few feet in the desert, go to the toilet, and then not cover up their excrement with a spade. Millions of flies would breed and come back and land on the food the soldiers were eating. General Rommel became terribly sick with stomach illness because of the flies landing on the troop's excrement and then returning to the food they were eating in the open air. .

   Rommel had not read Deuteronomy 23:9-13 that says, when the troops are in the field, they are to cover up their excrement with a shovel. "You shall also have a place outside the camp and go out there, and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement" (vv. 12-13).

   But the British Army knew the command of Moses. They built small porta-potties to go to the toilet with. They then bagged their waste and the flies could not breed. Rommel because so sick that he had to be flown back to Berlin to recuperate from the illness produced by the flies. Besides Rommel, thousands of German soldiers also became ill and could not fight. None of the British soldiers became sick this way.

   There is one more chapter to this story. Rommel was trying to drive eastward in North Africa to defeat the British there, but also he was headed for Palestine, in order to give full control of the Holy Land to the Arabs. But a premillennial Christian, Lord Arthur Balfour, had earlier been used of the Lord to put forth the Balfour Declaration in 1917 that promised "His Majesties Government will aid the Jewish people in establishing a homeland in Palestine ..."

   The Germans were stopped in a large part because of the illness of Rommel's troops. The British prevailed in holding the Holy Land for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people. Though the British did some things that were bad before Palestine was turned over to the Jews, yet still, the nation of Israel was established in 1948.

   The first President of the State of Israel was Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Born in Russia, he became a naturalized British subject in 1910. During World War I he made an important contribution to the British war effort: in 1915 when there was a critical shortage of acetone for explosives, he developed a process for manufacturing it synthetically. This contribution undoubtedly helped make the English government more receptive to the negotiations, with Weizmann and other leaders in the Zionist movement meant to bring the Jews back to Palestine from their worldwide dispersion. It was an important factor in the institution of the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

   We had better love the Jewish people even though today most are without Christ and are blinded as to who He is! The apostle reminds us today that "From the standpoint of the gospel [the Jews] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's election they are beloved [they are loved by Him] for the sake of the [Jewish] fathers [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for the gifts and calling of God ARE IRREVOCABLE" (Rom. 11:28-29). However "we Gentiles were once disobedient" (v. 30a), but today "so they are also now disobedient" (v. 30b). Paul concludes: "Because of the mercy shown to you [Gentiles] they also may NOW to be shown mercy" (v. 31).

   --Dr. Mal Couch
(Apr., 10)