Movie Parables: Gods and Generals

Standing Like a Stonewall

Jeffrey M. Shaara’s bestseller, Gods and Generals was made into an epic motion picture that charted the early years of the American Civil War as well as the rise and fall of legendary war hero “Stonewall Jackson.” The beginning of the film highlights the first battle between the North and the South along Bull Run Creek. The 1st Brigade led by Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson engaged their northern enemy from Henry House Hill. In the heat of the battle, amidst the ferocious barrage of bombs and bullets, it was General Barnard Bee who galloped back to his troops, and, pointing with his sword to Jackson, shouted, “Look, there is Jackson standing like a stonewall! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer!”

When the guns and canon fire ceased, and smoke lifted, Jackson walked down the battlefield. The war-torn land was littered with the dead bodies of soldiers from both sides. This devoutly religious man of faith and courage sat in silence amongst his dead comrades. Captain Smith approaches Jackson and asks, “General, how is it you can keep so serene? This day is so utterly insensible with the storm of swords and bullets running about your head.” “Captain Smith,” replies Jackson, “My religious belief teaches me to feel safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself with that but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That’s the way all men should live. And all men would be equally brave.”

The steadfast love of God taught Jackson, as it did David, to feel safe in the bedlam of battle as in bed. God has spared his life in past skirmishes as He preserved his life in the day’s bloody encounter. David sings of his confidence in the LORD, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” (Ps 91:7).

Whether you are aware of it or not, we fight in an unpredictable and dangerous battlefield. In the thick of this fight, what is God teaching you to trust him for? When I look across my own battlefield I see a lot of disappointment, sorrow, chaos and frustration in the form of flaming arrows coming at me non-stop, all at once. Our lives can sometimes feel like a trouble-magnet; we’re sitting ducks with nowhere to run to and hide.

I vividly remember a trying time in April 2003 when trouble like a thousand arrows blotted out my blue skies. My father was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer and was given months to live. At that time, I was still being treated for a work-related back injury and in the process of losing my day job. That same month, another employer decides to sell a property that I was managing and I lose my second job. I also recall attempting to collect a huge debt from a former business partner and he was nowhere to be found. I just got through repairing my car on a Thursday and by Saturday my other car gets rear-ended by a motorist who has inadequate insurance coverage and an expired driver’s license to beat. And I can go on and on. And I’m almost certain that so can you.

Our longing thirst for the steadfast love of God is quenched when we experience his protective power: “You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday” (Ps 91:5-6). Those who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will realize that morning, noon, and night, God is our 24/7 refuge and fortress. We can trust no other place on earth for safety. As we retreat into the realm of the most transcendent communion with God, our spirits are tempered and fortified from within making us practically unassailable from the outside. Like King David and General Jackson we engage the enemy in the heat of the battle in the knowledge that we are immortal stonewalls until our God-give purpose is done. As our guiding Shepherd goes before us, let us determine to conquer in his name!

God’s and Generals (Turner Pictures, 2003) written by Jeffrey M. Shaara (book) and Ronald F. Maxwell (screenplay) and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell.

Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

Recommended reading:

Psalms
Psalms

The Boice Commentary series combines careful scholarship and clear communication in a verse-by-verse and section by section reading of various biblical texts. Combining thoughtful interpretation with contemporary insight for daily living, James Montgomery Boice explains the meaning of the text and relates the text's concerns to the church, Christianity, and the world in which we live. Whether used for devotions, preaching, or teaching, this authoritative and thought-provoking series will appeal to a wide range of readers, from serious Bible students to interested laypersons.

Price: $41.95

List Price: $69.95

 
Exploring Psalms, Volume 1 (John Phillips Commentary Series) (The John Phillips Commentary Series)
Exploring Psalms, Volume 1 (John Phillips Commentary Series) (The John Phillips Commentary Series)

A favorite among believers for its empathetic nature, the book of Psalms touches all the notes on the keyboard of human emotion. This commentary approaches each psalm according to its unique characteristics and expounds on its historical setting, current relevance, or prophetic implications. Phillips' rich narrative style provides a source of inspiration and devotional thought, as well as reliable scholarship, for the reader wishing to mine the riches of the Psalms.

Price: $18.60

List Price: $37.99

 
Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 20, Psalms 51-100  (tate), 608pp
Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 20, Psalms 51-100 (tate), 608pp

The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.

Price: $26.39

List Price: $49.99

 
Psalms (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)
Psalms (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)

John Goldingay's three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms combines literary, historical, grammatical, and theological insights in a widely accessible manner. One of today's foremost experts on biblical theology, Goldingay covers the Psalms with his own translation of each passage, followed by interpretive comments and discussion of the theological implications. "The book of Psalms is the literary sanctuary; a holy place where humans share their joys and struggles with brutal honesty in God's presence," writes Tremper Longman III, editor of the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series. Pastors, seminary students, scholars, and Bible study leaders will enjoy this enriching three-volume commentary set.

 

More by this Author

  • Understanding the Gifts of Healing
    17

    The biblical account of healing can answer many of our questions today. How much of what the bible is saying on this subject is clouded by our theological tradition? Is it possible to be healed from our diseases if only...

  • Understanding Six Principles of Giving
    22

    Our God is a giving God. Giving is one of his attributes. Christians should take great joy in being able to reflect and share in God’s attributes through the act of giving. Should Christians exact a tenth of all...

  • The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor de Villa Story
    19

    For a fortunate few, the path to stardom came fast and easy. For a good-looking young man from an obscure town, Gines Francisco Soriano never dreamed of coming to Manila only to be discovered for the movies.


Comments 4 comments

Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida

Stone Wall Jackson is by far my favorite Civil War hero. The Book "God's and Generals" was indeed an excellent read.

Feeling safe in the hands of God, at all times, and in all situations. Trusting, believing, knowing that God is sovereign over all thing. Especially in the face of death. One can only have this confidence, this faith, if they have put their trust fully in Blood of Christ.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Once again you writing style inspires me GS.

I is a pleasure to read your hubs.

In Christ

ABR


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

Jackson was a fierce leader as he was a follower of God.

Words to the cadets and troops:

"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."

"To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory is the secret of successful war."

Words on his death bed:

"I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go. ... It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. ... I have always desired to die on Sunday."

"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."

An inspiring and unrelenting leader, Stonewall Jackson was quite the general.

ABR, Thank you for your visit and encouraging words.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida

What an incredible man!I am inspired and swept away by his faith.

May I find his depth and strength. He was among the greatest of Men.

In Christ

ABR


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I am a big fan of Stonewall Jackson and that film was awesome. If we can have half the faith he had, we'll be alright. Thank you for this wonderful message of Hope. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working