This past Sunday we looked at Psalm 147 and learned about how God heals a broken heart. There is an important historical story that connects to this Psalm that is worth hearing.
Psalm 147:18 became of special interest to the English nation in the late sixteenth century after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The Spanish were planning an invasion of England, and the Armada was launched in the summer of 1588 to defeat the English navy and then transport the Spanish army to England from the Netherlands. The Armada consisted of 130 ships containing 7,000 sailors and 17,000 soldiers. The English had 90 ships under the command of Francis Drake. The battle was fought for days, the English maintaining their distance and relentlessly bombarding the opposing fleet with alternating broadsides. They fought wisely and well, but the decisive factor in the battle was a strong wind that churned the waters of the English Channel and eventually drove the Spanish galleons up the channel into the North Sea, where many were destroyed. Attempting to return south by rounding Scotland and Ireland, even more of these impressive vessels were sunk, and in the end only half of the Armada returned to Spain or Portugal.
The English victory was complete. The Spanish defeat was total. The English celebrated their deliverance by minting a new issue of coins, which bore the Latin inscription Affavit Deus (“God blew”), taken from Psalm 147:18: “He stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.” In those days there was at least one nation that knew how to praise God for its safety.
May we continue to praise God for His safety!
- Bro. David Crowe