The George Washington Who Was Headed for Boston, Part Two

George Washington statue, Boston Public Garden, Boston, Massachusetts (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

George Washington statue, Boston Public Garden, Boston, Massachusetts (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Part Two

In part one of this article, I told you that in George Washington’s letter to Martha on June 23, 1775, the morning he was leaving Philadelphia for Boston to assume his position as commander-in-chief of the Continental army, he said to her, “I go fully trusting in that Providence, which has been more bountiful to me than I deserve.” I also said, “Surely, in those words we see a clear indication of Washington’s appreciation for God’s grace and mercy.”

With that in mind, the question I would ask you is, “Do you want to be able to say that?” If you do, you need to do two things. First, you need to stop interpreting the blessings of God as luck. Stop saying you were lucky, because when you say that, you are robbing God of His glory. For there is no such thing as luck. If you say you were lucky, you have written the blessing off as meaningless coincidence, have not seen the manifestation of God’s loving kindness and grace that was there, and have not learned anything. God is in control. Therefore, if you had a good day where things just happened to go well, it was a blessed day. You were blessed, you were not lucky.

Ted Cruz 2016


Secondly, if you want to be able to say that, discover the life purpose God has for you and wholeheartedly commit yourself to it. For Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” In other words, do all in the service of the Lord. If you can do these two things, you will also be able to say, “I go fully trusting in that Providence, which has been more bountiful to me than I deserve.”

Getting back to Washington, when we look at Washington’s train of thought at that time, we can honestly say that he was clearly aware of his need for God’s help, the need to trust in that help, and the certainty that God would be faithful. And this wasn’t just a passing thought. This truth would be confirmed to him time and again in the years that were coming.

For instance:

Woodrow Wilcox


In March of 1781, General Washington wrote to William Gordon: “We have, as you very justly observe, abundant reason to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.”[1]

Notice here, in speaking of God’s providence in March of 1781, which would have been just seven months before the Battle of Yorktown, which for all practical purposes ended the war, Washington says, “We have…abundant reason to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf.” By “many favorable interpositions in our behalf,” Washington is referring to the many times when God had favorably intervened in human history on their behalf.

Therefore, if you remember nothing else about George Washington, remember that. It is a refrain which occurs again and again in his thinking and in his expressions of faith. God has intervened in human history on their behalf. If you don’t believe me, read Peter Lillback’s great work, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. Peter has documented Washington’s opinion on a number of key issues.

Now notice the second statement. “It has had times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.” Notice this is a testimony of what Washington has experienced. It is a testimony of the way he has seen God work in his life and in the life of the army. He is talking about real life. It is a testimony which all people who living for God and are trusting in God can make. I can say that. So can many other Christians.

Can you say that? Can you say when all other resources seemed to have failed you, God has been your only dependence, and has intervened on your behalf. Washington’s faith that this was true grew stronger and stronger as he went through the very stressful events of the Revolutionary War.

Because this was true, Washington’s belief that God intervenes in human history and can be depended upon led to his practice of referring to God in his prayers as the God of armies. Lillback tells us the significance of this title:

The reason for Washington’s prayers to the God of armies was because he believed, and had come to experience, that God was the source of victory.[2]

And so strong was his faith that this was true, that Washington did not have any problem encouraging and challenging his men to also rely on God’s help. For Lillback says:

In 1776 soon after the start of the War, he repeatedly reminded his men of this fact of his faith: “We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die; our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.

Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being in whose hands Victory is.”[3]

Notice here Washington was not just a man with great integrity, a man who was brave in battle, and who had many other qualities that led to his selection by the Continental Congress as head of the army. He was also a man with faith in the greatness of his God and the goodness of his Cause. For he saw his God as a God who brings victory and he saw his Cause as a Cause that honored God.

As we consider this man who was traveling north from Philadelphia to take command of the Continental army at Boston, we must consider the fact that he was looking to God for victory. And since he was looking to God for victory, it was very important to him that he and the men under him live for this righteous cause, honor God and seek God’s blessing.

1] Founders Online. The National Archives through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission has entered into an agreement with the University of Virginia Press to create this site. It contains historical documents of the Founders of the United States of America.

[2] Peter Lillback, George Washington’s Secret Fire, p. 176.

[3] Ibid.

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

Comment Rules: Please confine comments to salient ones that add to the topic; Profanity is not allowed and will be deleted; Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will be deleted.

Similar Posts:

Bob Wittstruck was a pastor for 33 years, was the associate director of the Black Hills Creation Science Association, and is a supporter of both Christian schooling and home schooling. His latest book, The Forgotten Factor of History God Rules, is being printed in February or March of 2016. His email address is [email protected]
Bob Wittstruck
View all articles by Bob Wittstruck
Leave a comment with your Facebook login
Print Friendly