A Clean Life With a Hidden Deposit

Psalm 119:9
Author: Philip Harrelson
Topics: Commandments, Sin, Testimony
Series: Old Testament Sermons


Psalms 119:9-16 KJV  BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  [10]  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  [11]  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  [12]  Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.  [13]  With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.  [14]  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.  [15]  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.  [16]  I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.


Every Monday night, when I was not sacking groceries at the Piggly Wiggly, we would go to the library in Dothan.  One Monday evening, I “accidentally” found a paperback copy of William C. Anderson’s book, BAT-21.  It was a story about Iceal "Gene" Hambleton, a U.S. Air Force navigator who became the focus of the largest rescue operation for one man in Air Force history after his plane was shot down behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War.  I discovered that Hambleton has since died in 2004 from complications of lung cancer. He was 85 when he passed away.

I found a Los Angeles Times obituary written by Dennis McLellan telling his harrowing story.  Assigned to an air base in Thailand, Hambleton was on his 63rd combat mission over Vietnam when his EB-66, an unarmed electronic jamming aircraft, was hit by a surface-to-air missile at 30,000 feet on April 2, 1972.  The only member of the six-man crew able to eject, the 53-year-old navigator spent the next 11 1/2 days evading capture.

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