Discover the Bible and Hope in History

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading


Supported and Sustained

With 1,500 casualties, the Battle of Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts was the bloodiest engagement yet during the early months of the War for Independence. Abigail Adams watched from nearby Boston. Among the dead patriots was Dr. Joseph Warren, a close family friend. The following day, June 18, 1775, writing to her husband John in Philadelphia with the Continental Congress, Abigail summoned biblical strength for their trying times.

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong [Ecclesiastes 9:11], but the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people [Psalm 68:35]. Trust in him at all times, ye people, pour out your hearts before him; God is a refuge for us [Psalm 62:8].… Almighty God cover the heads of our countrymen [Psalm 140:7], and be a shield [Psalm 33:20] to our dear friends. How many have fallen, we know not. The constant roar of the cannon is so distressing that we cannot eat, drink, or sleep. May we be supported and sustained in the dreadful conflict.”

Six days later, she wrote to John again:

“We live in continual expectation of hostilities. Scarcely a day that does not produce some; but, like good Nehemiah, having made our prayer unto God, and set the people with their swords, their spears, and their bows, we will say unto them, ‘Be not ye afraid of them; remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives and your houses’ [Nehemiah 4:14].”


What emotions do you sense from Abigail in these letters? What is the difference of tone between Psalm 62 and Psalm 68? Do you have a favorite passage that you turn to during trials?