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Look to the Clouds

March 26, 2015

Today’s Word

Bits of Information & Inspiration


Today in History

1917 – The first of three battles fought in the Allied attempt to defeat Turkish forces in and around the Palestinian city of Gaza takes place on this day in 1917.

By January 1917, the Allies had managed to force the Turkish army completely out of the Sinai Peninsula in northeastern Egypt, leaving British forces in the region, commanded by Sir Archibald Murray, free to consider a move into Palestine. To do so, however, they would first have to confront a string of strong Turkish positions atop a series of ridges running west to east between the towns of Gaza and Beersheba and blocking the only viable passage into the heart of Palestine. These Turkish forces, commanded by the German general Friedrich Kress von Kressenstein, numbered some 18,000 troops; Murray planned to send twice that many British soldiers against them under the command of his subordinate, Sir Charles Dobell.

On the morning of March 26, 1917, Dobell and his men advanced on the ridges under the cover of dense fog; they were able to successfully cut off the east and southeast of Gaza and deploy troops to prevent the Turks from sending reinforcements or supplies to the town. The 53rd Infantry Division, at the center of the advance, received considerable assistance from a cavalry force commanded by Sir Philip Chetwode. However, near the end of that day, with a victory in Gaza in sight, Dobel and Chetwode decided to call off the attack. The decision, attributed to the failing light and mounting casualties among the infantry troops, was nonetheless controversial—other officers believed the Turks had been on the verge of capitulating.

Though the infantry resumed their attacks the next morning, the overnight delay had given Kressenstein time to reinforce the permanent garrison at Gaza with 4,000 new troops. After confronting a renewed Turkish counterattack, aided significantly by German reconnaissance aircraft from above, Dobell was forced to call off the attack. His forces suffered 4,000 casualties during the First Battle of Gaza, compared with only 2,400 on the Turkish side.

A second assault on Gaza, launched the following April 17, was similarly unsuccessful. It was not until that autumn that British forces, under the new regional command of Sir Edmund Allenby, were able to conquer the town and turn to the next challenge: securing Palestine’s capital city, Jerusalem, which fell into Allied hands on December 9, 1917.

(This Day in History, history.com)

Inspirational Words

“God has a history of using the insignificant to accomplish the impossible.”
– Richard Exley

Today’s Word

…while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:13-14 NIV

Thoughts on the Word

Some of the most basic and forward looking statements about Jesus are made in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These letters are devoted to help pastor and mature churches in difficult places. They are incredibly practical, but also are rooted in the work of Jesus, his divinity, and his faithfulness. We are waiting for the Faithful One! We trust that he will come for us because of what he sacrificed to redeem us. While we wait, we honor his mission by being a people eager to do what is good, showing in our lives that he is our Lord.

“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 26:64 NIV

Prayer for Today

O God, I find myself waiting for Jesus. Because he is coming for me, I know my life has direction and meaning even on those days that are long, hard, and seemingly fruitless. Fire my heart to wait longingly for Jesus’ glorious appearing and stir my desires to want what is only good and holy. I want to see you! But, dear Lord, I also long to be like you! In the glorious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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