Truth, Understanding, Insight

ANZAC Day: The sacrifice at Gallipoli

17th April 2011, hej


5) The providence in “lest we forget” Gallipoli

There was a working of providence also to ensure the events marking the fulfilment of prophecy were not forgotten by the world. Of all the battles ANZACs could have been deployed to fight, they were given this one as their first. It was well published at home as the first ANZAC battle and for some unfathomable reason ANZAC's saw their performance there as a matter of national pride. For obscure reasons the British persisted despite consistent failure to advance, entrenching the sense of hardship and valour against odds for the ANZACs.

The subsequent fortuitous conjunction of the first anniversary with Easter saw the association with sacrifice and gave this hardship and endurance sanctity. In 1916 on 23 April fighting was begun by a German-lead force in Egypt. In response, ANZACs were formed into new units to fight in the Suez in Egypt. Also in March 1916 the British Foreign minister floated an idea publicly that Jewish support for the war could be gained by offering Jews a role in Palestine. So on the first anniversary of Anzac day in 1916 not only were people remembering the sacrifice of Christ they were thinking that their Anzac troops were once again fighting in lands spoken of in the Bible. By April 1917 Anzacs were fighting in Palestine.

There had been a great loss of Australian and New Zealand life in France, but by the second anniversary what captured the imagination of a basically Christian nation was the role the Anzacs had now to perform in the Holy Land.

The ANZAC services and Christ

Some features of the Anzac services remind people of Christ's work, specifically the dawn services, which up until 1965 were both protestant and religious in nature ( Sometimes a service is held at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (Mark 16:2).

It is perhaps significant that after the national remembrance of Easter of Christ's resurrection, that the protestants of a nation should get up at the suns rising and remember the day when the first action was taken, that the way of the kings of the sun's rising may be prepared. And they do this with the singing of hymns and the sounding of a horn playing first the “last post”, then silence of two minutes and then the “Reveille” a call played to rouse soldiers from slumber. This is a practical demonstration of the resurrection. And, on that day, on badges and memorials is the symbol of the ANZAC action at Gallipoli, still carried proudly by the armed forces, a sun's rising with a male crown in the centre. The ANZACs work over the years, more than any others, has been to prepare the way of the kings of the sun's rising.

How Odd to Remember This Day

And extraordinarily, though there was greater loss of life in other battles, though all battles ANZACs have taken part in are remembered, though there have been significant victories and despite a war coming to Australia's shores, no other day has supplanted that one. The landing at Gallipoli is given an unusual and very special place. Many have questioned its relevance over the years, but, the day is still remembered. There is even comment that it exceeds in importance Australia's national day. “Many Australians have now come to regard ANZAC Day as the true national day of the country” (Wikipedia).

It is unheard of that a nation would remember as significant a day their army landed on the wrong spot on a beach near an insignificant town in a minor sideshow battle, that they lost after foolishly persisting for too long, in a war they did not even start, that gained absolutely nothing for their home nation! Not only that, but the ANZACs were fighting in the name of a another nation, Britain and even that nation really had no argument with the Turks, who the ANZACs were fighting! Why in the world should that day be remembered at all? The world knows Australia remembers Gallipoli. This must be due to providence.

The battle for Gallipoli itself could be seen objectively as of marginal significance. However, what the Anzac's did in 1915 was something of extraordinary significance. If we look at the consequences and prophecy, the ANZAC sacrifice was for Israel. The effort in 1915 fulfilled prophecy as it was a “push” against the Ottomans, but the defeat was crucial, as that route to attack the Ottoman Empire was to be closed to force them to take another one. And that new route was extremely significant. It took them to Jerusalem. Retrospectively, the landing at Gallipoli was the beginning of the battle for Palestine.

It seems likely ANZAC day marks the beginning of the action that was directed to fulfilment of the prophecy of the events preparing the “way of the kings of the East”. And by the working of providence, God ensured that the day would not be forgotten. In 1916 on the first anniversary of that landing at Gallipoli Australians sensed the loss of life was a significant sacrifice due to a conjunction with Easter. By the second anniversary in 1917 the battle the ANZACs were fighting was for the Holy Land. The day was given “sanctity”. Perhaps there has been something powerful for the protestant Christian in the fact that there was no personal national gain in the loss of life in that battle, but rather that lives were given in abstract altruism for the God-given benefit of another nation. Not Britain, as it turned out, but Israel.

Australian Jewish News,,

Crombie, Kelvin (1998) ANZACS Empires And Israel's Restoration, VET, Western Australia.

goaustralia,,, www.

Topics: sacrifice, WW1, Israel

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