Friday, December 7, 2012
Pearl Harbor Day and the Pearl of Great Price
Pearl Harbor Day and the Pearl of Great Price
Submitted December 6, 2011
USS Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor Hawaii
Source: Photos.comPearl Harbor Day, 70 years later, December 7, 2011.
December 7, 1941, was the worst day in U.S. military history as a Japanese armada of ships and planes made a devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This Hawaiian U.S. naval base was a tempting target for the imperialist Japanese since America’s entire Pacific Fleet was headquartered at Pearl. The Japanese met little resistance as their planes bombed and strafed U.S. Navy ships and Army aircraft.
The next day the President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the U.S. Congress and delivered what turned out to be the most famous American political speech of the 20 th century—the “Day of Infamy Speech.” Congress then declared war on Japan, and three days later it declared was on Nazi Germany.
The United States, by being unprepared for this attack, paid a very heavy price:
- 2,388 Americans died in the attack
- 1,178 Americans were wounded
- 21 American ships were sunk or damaged
- 323 American aircraft were destroyed or damaged
The Japanese paid a dear price but not nearly so great:
- 64 Japanese died during the attack, though the number of injuries is unknown
- 5 Japanese ships were destroyed
- 103 Japanese aircraft were destroyed or damaged
The U.S. paid the greater short-term price but Japan paid the greater long-term price. If much more time had gone by without the U.S. getting involved militarily, both the Japanese and the Nazis might have been victorious in their conquests. Quite likely, God allowed the Pearl Harbor bombing to awaken America to join the war against Japan and Germany.
Some inspiring facts
The Japanese failed to accomplish their primary objective when they bombed Pearl Harbor. They wanted to destroy the aircraft carriers, but the three carriers were all at sea away from the port at the time. Those carriers were critically important in the ensuing war against Japan. and at the same time protected the aircraft carriers. Sparing those carriers was also likely an act of Providence.
Lately several websites have posted a message which had also been sent around the world by e-mail. It supposedly is an excerpt from a book titled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz. Although it sounds like it could have been authored by Admiral Nimitz, I have not been able to verify that such a book exists. However, I did verify most of the facts stated. Following is my summary of that message:
“Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, President Roosevelt appointed Admiral Chester Nimitz to be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
“When Nimitz landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941, there was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
“Afterwards, someone asked him, ‘Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?’ Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone: ‘The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.’
“Mistake number one: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
“Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
“Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.”
Whether or not Admiral Nimitz said those exact words, it’s obvious that this disaster could have been much, much worse. God has been very merciful to the United States and to freedom-loving people in general.
The "pearl of great price"
Pearl Harbor has a nice name. It originally had a native Hawaiian name which meant “Water of Pearl.” The harbor was teeming with pearl-producing oysters until the late 1800’s.
One of the most famous and popular Bible passages is Matthew 13:45-46  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
See All..., in which Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
The naval base at Pearl Harbor has been and still is extremely valuable for the United States. It would have been extremely valuable for the Japanese had they been able to conquer and hold it.
But the combined value of that that harbor, that real estate, the military facilities, the ships and planes, and the strategic location are a tiny pittance compared to the value of life after death—life in the Kingdom of God forever and ever! Every sacrifice that we ever need to make in this life will be a small price to pay for glorious eternal life!
The “good news” is this: All those who died on December 7, 1941—and at all other times and places—will yet have their opportunity to learn God’s truth and to qualify for God’s Kingdom! With Jesus Christ reigning over all the earth, we will at last have peace on earth!
Someday all peoples will have the opportunity to attain “the pearl of great price”!