River of Life: Humility is God's grace at work

December 10, 1917: Sir Edmund Allenby officially enters Palestine the day after its capture.

December 10, 1917: Sir Edmund Allenby officially enters Palestine the day after its capture.

A story of great humility came across my desk this past week and it touched me deeply.

There’s only one place in the Old Testament Scriptures where God says He will do something with all His heart and soul. It’s found in Jeremiah 32 v 41 and it relates to God’s promise to “plant the Jewish people back in their land once again”.

Of course that was written some 600 years before the birth of Christ and at the time of Judah’s captivity in Babylon; (Judah being the southern Kingdom of a divided Israel). The northern Kingdom, known as Israel with its capital Samaria, it had already long been displaced by the Assyrians.)

But on October 31, 1917 the repatriation of the Children of Israel to their homeland, a land given to Abraham by God Himself, began in earnest - and it began with the charge on the wells of “Beer-Sheva” by 800 Australian light horsemen.

Only days after the Australian Light Horse had charged and secured the wells of “Beer-Sheva” in World War 1 (many of those brave men having hailed from Tenterfield); their victory spearheaded the advance of the Allied Forces in capturing Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire for the first time in 400 years; without a shot being fired.

Their miraculous success paved the way for the re-establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948 fulfilling many ancient Biblical prophecies. The Bible speaks of history before it happens.

The British general in-charge of the operation (100 years ago this year); was a devout Christian man named Edmund Allenby. One would have thought, having just won such a momentous victory, he would have lauded himself over all and sundry.

But as he approached the “walled city” on December 11, 1917, he dismounted from his steed at the “Jaffa Gate” - and chose instead to walk a considerable distance to David’s Citadel where the “signing ceremony” was to take place, announcing to his troops: “I will not ride on these ‘cobble stone’ streets where once my Saviour walked!”

Now whether Allenby knew the significance of the pivotal role he played that day in God’s great plan of redemption or not, Allenby did know his saviour Jesus Christ; and friends, when we fall on Jesus and surrender our lives to Him; God always brings forth evidence of a humble heart, for no matter who we are or where we find ourselves, such humility always proceeds us!

Jim Seymour / pastor - www.tp4c.org.au  (Tenterfield Presbyterian Family)