Yes I was there in David’s day when Israel’s honor had faded gray.  I saw the shame of blunted swords;  I watched them flinch from boastful words.

As Goliath raged in heathen pride, Saul’s army quailed; their faith had died.  No leader strode to face his taunts; they gave no care for Freedom’s wants.

When David brought his father’s fare and found his brothers shirking there,  No doubt it gave them painful pause when David demanded “Is there not a cause?”

“God has delivered me from both the lion and bear; so shall it be with the Philistine there.”   He shunned Saul’s armor; he shunned Saul’s shame, his only shield was the One he named.

I watched his hand; it never shook, as he palmed five stones from Elah’s brook. He pouched one stone and twirled it thrice, he laid Goliath low and then he sliced The giant’s head with his own sword, (thus tyranny gained its fair reward).  He took the head gotten in that fray and held it high, declaring:   “Not this day!”

When Xerxes steered his Persian horde and crossed the Bosporus as a ford, To pay back the Greeks for Marathon’s loss and show them once for all who’s boss.

They advanced in their columns, daunting to see, toward a bump in their road at Thermopylae.  There Freedom elected to take a hand—-board’s the play—-the Three Hundred’s last stand.

The Persian mouthpiece advanced a pace to parlay the Spartans with a smile on his face. “Fools can’t you see our cause is already won?  Our first volley of arrows will blot out the sun!”

Then Dienekes’ immortal quip was made:  “So much the better, we’ll fight in the shade.” “Lay down your arms!”  He shouted enraged.  Leonidas’ answer is graven on Freedom’s first page:  Thus he responded “MOLΩΝ LΑΒΕ”, a laconic version of:  “Not this day.”

On King Street’s cobble Freemen stand, against a blood-red British band.

I watched as Crispus led the crowd, their testimony was clear and proud: “Fire and be Damned!” and they stood there strong.  The soldiers retorted: “Be silent, disperse, move along.” A little in front he stood alone; but I caught his words to himself intoned, I recorded the words he spoke that day.  “I am a Freeman”:   “Not this day.”

On the Alamo’s walls and in foreign lands, Corregidor, Bastogne, Iwo Jima’s sands,  In embattled ships and fire lit skies from men who dared and men who died.  Ira Hayes, Alvin York, John Basilone, common men steeled with courage and countless others unknown,

From the streets of Benghazi:  Woods, Doherty, peals of thunder Eternal, through all history;  Their actions speak louder than words ever may, and Heaven rejoinders:  “Not this day!”

So when you who are privileged, when you who partake of all that’s been purchased by what they forsake, Are tempted in what may well be Freedom’s last stand to turn on your heels, to lower your hands,

Let the lightning and thunder of their words and their deeds give pause for reflection and then MAY YOU TAKE HEED:

At the end of endurance it’s not Freedom’s fault if you make an excuse, or whatever YOU call it.  The coward will crumble and shrink from the field but God Almighty forbids that a Freeman should yield!!

So gird on your armor and having done all to stand, embolden your footsteps and lift up your hands, Confess with the Heroes, who fear could not sway, speak it, nay roar it:   “Not this day!”

Who am I to instruct you in what you should do?  Who am I to relate this and proclaim that it’s true??  Draw closer, believe me and hear what I say:

I Am Freedom, I command it, “NEVER this Day!!”

Greg Beman, CFP


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