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Archive for November 24th, 2011

From Joseph to Squanto and God’s Amazing Provision

Posted by Dr. Fay on November 24, 2011


Everyone is familiar with the Biblical story of how God used Joseph’s being sold into slavery and his subsequent rise to second iin command in Egypt as a way to save his family from famine. A less well-known story involves a young Native American named Squanto, who was captured and sold into slavery in Spain, from where he traveled to England and learned to speak English. Squanto eventually came back to America to find his tribe wiped out and lived through a series of events that eventually placed him at the new colony of Plymouth, on the site of the very spot where he grew up. Half the Pilgrims had already been wiped out during the previous winter. Squanto taught them how to plant corn and where to look for food in the streams and ocean. God used his friendship and kindness to help the Pilgrims survive in their new homeland.

Had God not brought to pass this sequence of events that helped the Mayflower Pilgrims survive, American history would not have been the same.  A list of distinguished Mayflower descendants reveals that 8 of our former Presidents, ( FDR, the Bushes, Grant, Taylor, Garfield, and the Adamses) and a potential future President (Sarah Palin) are Mayflower descendants.  Other noteworthy descendants are poets Emerson, Bryant,  and Longfellow;  author Noah Webster, and actors Reeve, Van Dyke, Eastwood, and Crosby.

Eric Metaxas tells this amazing story of God’s provision in his well-researched book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. Here are excerpts from his interview with Terry Meuuwsen on The 700 Club:

(Announcer) The time is 1621. The place is the sight of a deserted Indian village now inhabited by bone-weary pilgrims, the survivors of two incredibly difficult years in the New World. The scene is what would become known to many as the first Thanksgiving. The story of how God rescues a 12-year-old Indian boy sold into slavery in Europe and implants him in the middle of this pilgrim adventure is as powerful and history-changing as that of Joseph in the Old Testament.

(Metaxas) So I did all this research, and I always had this thing about I wanting to go as deep as I could. I wanted to find the primary documents. So I would read different versions of Squanto that people had written over the years. And then I went to the source documents thinking, “Where did they get this story from?” So I read the original documents, which are obviously written in the 1620s and 1630s, and I was absolutely dumbfounded by what I read. When you read this, you realize that what happened is not really reported. I mean this was an out-and-out miracle. If there’s such a thing as a miracle, this is a miracle. And I’m a believer, and I said, “This was God’s hand in American history.” I had never heard this story.

First of all, I had no idea that any white man came to the coast of New England before 1620. I just thought the Pilgrims came, and that was the first time Englishmen came to this place. Well, it turned out I was wrong. There were many traders who would come from England and other places, and they would come down the coast of Maine and Massachusetts, and they would trade with those Indians. So those Indians knew of the white man. And it just so happens that around 1612, a trader, a Captain Hunter, came to the coast of Massachusetts and was trading with the Indians. And he was obviously a very bad man, because when the Indians came down trustingly to trade with him, he knocked them over the head, took them to the ship, threw them in the hold of the ship, took them across the Atlantic, and sold them into slavery in Malaga, Spain. This, of course, was a nightmare. And to hear about that, I just was so disturbed.

And then it just so happened – and again, this is all documented, I’m not making this up – monks in Spain, men of God, bought him, and it seems, from what we know, treated him well. Obviously he was well exposed to the Christian faith; these were monks, and I only assume that being monks they shared the faith with him. But somehow it seems that they made it possible for him to get up to England. Now, this is 1615. He went from Spain to England — just think of an Indian from Massachusetts coming all the way across the ocean and then going up to England so that he could somehow get a ship back across the Atlantic. This is like being on the moon and saying, “So when’s this ship going back? I’d like to get back.” There were no ships.

So, he worked in a stable as a stable boy for a family called Slaney, and, again, this is all documented, and he was with them for five years until a ship going back to the coast of North America could be found, another trading ship. So it’d be about 1618, I think. And in that time, of course, he had learned English and he had lived in London. All these years I imagine that he was dreaming and hoping and probably praying that he could come back to his family after ten years of exile and slavery. And so, miraculously, a ship is provided. He becomes the translator on the ship. They’re going to use him to translate. He gets all the way back, again, against odds we can’t even dream of, comes to the coast of Massachusetts, runs to the place where he was raised, and his entire tribe has been wiped out by disease, probably small pox. You talk about heartbreak. It’s a nightmare to get all the way there after ten years, and then…

When something that horrible happens, it’s very hard to get God’s perspective on it. And we don’t know if he was a Christian. But he went to live with a neighboring tribe, briefly. But we forget that he had as much in common with the neighboring tribe as he did with the English people. He was not one of theirs. So after a short period of time, he went to live in the woods by himself, which is so heartbreaking.

Meanwhile, you cut to 1620, and a band of Pilgrims in a little boat comes across the Atlantic, trusting God is leading them. They land and experience horrors that we can’t even dream of today. And these were faithful, faithful Christians, trusting God every moment of the day. Fifty percent of them perished, died. I mean, it’s a horror when you think about it. And so they got through their first winter, as we know the story, and you can imagine that they were probably questioning, “Lord, how could You have taken us this far?”

And it just so happens that he grew up on the very spot where they had settled. This was his home that had been abandoned, and now he was back in his village, and they basically adopted him. He had no place to go. They became his family. And he knew everything there was to know about how you plant corn. That’s the famous story about planting corn with the fish as the fertilizer – how to plant the gourd around the corn so it goes up the cornstalk. He knew how to get eels out of the streams, out of the muddy streams. He knew where the lobsters were and where the fish were. He knew everything. And the Lord used him truly miraculously. I mean, if you really think about it, it’s too much for us to understand.

Read More here…

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Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on November 24, 2011

Our celebration of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, when the 52 Mayflower survivors joined with about 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe,  including Chief  Massasoit,  in a feast of celebration. This was the Plymouth colonists’  first harvest after a very rough winter, in which half of those who had originally boarded the Mayflower had died.   There were 3 days of feasting and sports, which were described by William Bradford and Edward Winslow.  The original reports tell us that the Wampanoag men provided 5 deer, and that the governor sent 4 men out to hunt fowl (waterfowl and wild turkeys.)  The other food mentioned in these two reports is meal from the Indian corn they had harvested, but Bradford wrote in Of Plymouth Plantation about “salad herbs”, grapes, plums, and berries (including strawberries) being plentiful in the natural environment.

Bradford speaks of a “small harvest” that year, and indeed the harvests were small until the communal system in which all the fish and game and crops were put into a common store was abolished in 1623.  As was also experienced in Jamestown a few years earlier, there was little incentive to work under these conditions.  After Bradford gave each family its own plot of land and a free market system was established, the colonists exerted far more effort, and the harvests were far more bountiful.

However, let us not forget the purpose of that first Thanksgiving feast, which was to thank God for the harvest.  Joseph Farah puts it succinctly in his article:

But it wasn’t just an economic system that allowed the Pilgrims to prosper.  It was their devotion to God and His laws. And that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about. The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace.

Another interesting perspective on Thanksgiving is that it may have been inspired by the Jewish festival of Sukkot:

Thanksgiving, as in giving thanks, is a very Jewish thing to do. According to tradition, Jews are to give thanks 100 times each day. We are to give thanks before we eat, for having food, and after we eat, for having been able to have food. Each morning the traditional liturgy includes thank-yous for such simple acts as standing up and having the strength to get through the day.  One more Jewish link is found in our Scripture: The initial Thanksgiving feast was probably based upon our fall thanksgiving festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles).

This year, as we face harsh economic times brought on by corruption in government and experiments in socialism, let us not forget the lessons learned by the early colonists.  And let us not forget to be thankful as the Pilgrims were for all that God has provided for us in this great land of freedom and opportunity.


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