Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Don’t ignore the radar!

Pearl Harbor attack | Date, History, Map, & Casualties |

This week’s devotions are based on the Week 1 “A Savior Born for You! (WATCH HERE)

At dawn of December 7, 1941, the United States Pacific Fleet was caught by surprise by the Japanese naval fleet and air force bombers.  While the naval command was aware that the Japanese wanted to attack US interests, they did not think that the Japanese navy could sail 4000 miles across the Pacific and launch any kind of meaningful attack without being detected. Here’s a reflection from an article entitled, “The Radar Warning that Went Unheeded” (

Early on the morning of December 7, 1941, George E. Elliott, Jr. was manning new radar equipment, a state-of-the-art SCR-270, on the northern tip of Oahu alongside fellow serviceman Joseph Lockard. A few hours later, the tragic events of that day started to unfold. Would things have turned out differently had a radar warning they called in been taken seriously?

At just after 7 a.m., Elliot noticed an unusually large blip on the radar, something that seemed to indicate a rather large flight. Unsure of what the signal could be, Elliot made a call to the Information Center at Fort Shafter and was advised no one was available and he would receive a call back.

Moments later, the callback came through and Lockard answered. On the other end was Lt. Kermit Tyler who was quick to dismiss the large blip as a dozen American B-17 bombers arriving from San Francisco, a judgment call that, had it gone the other way, may have prevented the complete surprise of the impending Japanese bombardment.

With Tyler’s mistaken reassurance, Lockard was ready to pack up and end his shift but Elliot insisted on tracking the signal, partially hoping to use the incoming flight as practice on the new radar warning system. By 7:39, the blip had vanished entirely into mountains of Oahu. Almost immediately after the signal disappeared, Elliot and Lockard were pulled off duty to head back to base for breakfast. Upon their arrival, the two learned of the Japanese attack. Among the enemy forces were 183 Japanese fighters that Elliot had spotted on the radar.

It’s safe to assume that, even if Tyler had heeded Elliot’s warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor still would have been devastating, but some sort of preparation—even ten minutes notice—might have saved lives of men who were unprepared for the surprise bombing. 

The story of Pearl Harbor reminds us of a couple things for our spiritual lives.

  1. Never underestimate the enemy.  Satan is working to take us out and prevent us from growing in our relationship with Jesus.  Sometimes we think we are “safe” but Satan surprises us with temptation. 

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

  1. Always stay watchful.  Attacks can come at any time.  We must stay spiritually alert and understand the warning signs that temptation and spiritual attack can always be looming.  

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”


Apply: What measures can you take to avoid a “Pearl Harbor” spiritual attack?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for those that have given their lives to protect our country.  We also ask you to keep us always vigilant against the attacks of Satan.  AMEN.

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