25: THE THUNDERING LEGION

Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

Psalm 107:5-6

Especially in the most trying of times God comes near, vindicating His hard pressed people. At such times He demonstrates to society the value of prayer and that His despised people are indeed the salt of the earth. This principle was revealed is a most demonstrative manner to Marcus Aurelius in 174 AD, during a military campaign in Hungary.

The enemy had cut off the Twelfth Legion’s water supply. This Legion, dominated by Christians, has become known as The Thundering Legion. In their extremity the soldiers did what their faith constrained them so to do. Getting on their knees they petitioned God for mercy and cried out for rain.

Before they rose to their feet a mighty thunderstorm broke the heavens, saving a disastrous situation. The tide of war was turned and the enemy were thrown into confusion. While Marcus Aurelius admitted a miracle had taken place he attributed it to Jupiter, rather than the God of the Christians.

Oh – the graciousness of God in using His own persecuted people for the good of His foes! But as His goodness is higher than the heavens the depravity of man is deeper than Hell in refusing to acknowledge the mercy of God to a perishing world. And so the persecution continued but God had reminded His people that prayers continue to be answered.

Numbers before have tried, 
And found the promise true;
Nor one been yet denied,
Then why should I or you?
Let us by faith their footsteps trace,
And hasten to the throne of grace.

John Newton

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