During World War II, the little island of Malta was of key strategic importance in the Mediterranean, yet desperately unprepared for conflict and virtually defenceless. Lieutenant General Sir William Dobbie (1879-1964) was appointed Governor of Malta during the war, after a distinguished military career. Dobbie’s calm courage under fire was instrumental in bolstering the Maltese people to resist furious attack – Malta was ‘the most blitzed spot on earth’ – and the island was awarded the George Cross for the heroism and devotion of its people.

The distinguishing feature of Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie was his faith in God. His reason for writing A Very Present Help was to bear testimony to God’s faithfulness, both in the little moments of everyday life and in desperate straits.

Behind all the human factors was God, with whom human strength and human weakness matter but little. The horizon did indeed look black, but behind the clouds was the light of God’s power.