Only six months after Pearl Harbor the Japanese navy was seeking for an opportunity to knock out the remaining U.S. naval forces and to seize control of the Pacific. U.S. naval intelligence gained wind of three possible operations; an invasion of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a strike to sever supply lines to Australia, or an attack on the heavily defended atoll of Midway.¹ The U.S. had to determine which was the more credible threat.
American cryptographers caught a break when they deciphered a Japanese telegraph pointing towards an assault on a mysterious location they dubbed “AF.” Their hunch was that “AF” was Midway so they decided to test it and release into the open their own telegraph indicating that the fresh water condensers on the island were out. The Japanese took the bait and relayed that there was a water issue at “AF.”
Admiral Chester Nimitz committed three air craft carriers and gambled the American fleet on the intelligence to meet the Imperial Navy’s 162 ships including the same four carriers that had successfully attacked Pearl Harbor. But the Japanese did not attack Midway on June 3rd as expected and in addition an invasion on the Aleutians was underway. Should Nimitz break off and send his forces to defend there or stand pat at Midway. Because he trusted the intelligence gathered he stayed the course and the Americans rolled back the Japanese momentum in that battle and turned the entire course of the war in the Pacific with that victory 76 years ago this week.
But what if Nimitz had not received the advanced warning of the attack on Midway? What if he had given into his doubts and abandoned the tip that had befallen him? He certainly would have forfeited the victory that came in the battle of Midway, but worse, it possibly could have put the entire Pacific war in jeopardy and weakened the fleet.
The Israelites had received an advanced report that would lead them to success over their adversaries (Exodus 23:20-23) if they believed it and followed it. However, when scouts returned offering differing accounts they heeded the doubting voices and failed to act on the reliable intelligence they had received from Joshua and Caleb. As a result, they died and failed to enter the Promised Land and suffered God’s rejection (Numbers 14:26-34).
The Israelites had received a game plan and an advanced report that they would be victorious over the heavily fortified people of Jericho (Joshua 2:24, 6:2). If they executed the odd game plan they were given the walls of the city would come down and they would win the battle (Joshua 6:3-5). They believed and were victorious (Hebrews 11:30). Gideon likewise was given a stunning intelligence report (Judges 17:9-15) and assurance of victory when he executed God’s curious battle plans (Judges 17:19-25).
Every shred of physical evidence seems to point to evil prevailing in this present world. Do we trust that God will finally vanquish the devil and death ultimately (Matthew 25:41, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26)? Will God really ransom His people from the grave and take His people to His heavenly home forever (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)? He’s never failed to deliver on a single bit of Intelligence before (Hebrews 10:23). Do you trust His scouting report?
“But now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God for obedience to the faith (Romans 16:26).”