And Have Overcome Them

There’s a wonderful dialogue in the 1969 film The Battle of Britain. In 1940, a German envoy, fresh from Hitler’s Chancery, arrives in Switzerland to offer terms to the British Ambassador. Hinting at protections for the British Empire, in exchange, presumably, for vassal status to Hitler’s Third Reich, the envoy tries to persuade Britain to quit the war. She is ill-equipped and poorly defended. The German war machine is but 20 miles from her coasts.

German Envoy:

We are not asking for anything. Europe is ours. We can walk into Britain whenever we like.

British Ambassador:

If you think we’re going to gamble on Herr Hitler’s guarantees you are making a grave mistake. All those years in England seems to have made you none the wiser. We’re not easily frightened. Also we know how hard it is for an army to cross the Channel. The last little corporal to try came a cropper. So don’t threaten or dictate to us until you are marching up Whitehall. And even then we won’t to listen.

German Envoy, leaving:

Heil Hitler.

Afterwards, to his wife, the ambassador admits the envoy is probably right. 

Sometimes the weak are called to oppose the strong. Little David faced giant Goliath; escaped slaves from Egypt fought the various -ites of Canaan. We Christians are called to fight the world, the flesh and the devil, each one of which is a formidable foe. Still, as an isolated and unready Great Britain offered a two fingered salute to Hitler’s hordes, so the believer can behold the devil and his minions with a confident disdain, for

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:4