2006-04-21 - The Lord's Protection
Deuteronomy 28:7, "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways."
The Lord's protection of His children is something that we see throughout the Scriptures. For example we can look at Psalm 91 or 121, but the places are too numerous to list here, or space would fail us in trying. History is also a great place where we see the Lord both protecting His people and often giving them joy when they do suffer for Him.
I recently read an account of a woman, who, many years ago, was condemned to starve to death because of her faith. The judge, who pronounced the condemnation upon her, asked her what she thought about it. "Now that you are condemned to starve, what can your God do for you?" To this she replied, "He can feed me off your table if He please." That's faith. It turns out that the wife of the judge felt sorry for her. She was impressed with the boldness of this woman who stood up to the judge. Daily, she gave the woman a portion saved from her own food, and thus the woman's life was preserved.
The Lord is good, and we saw His goodness recently in the news. We saw this in the case of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan. He was a Muslim, and he met some aid workers in his country who happened to be Christian. They shared their beliefs with Him, and the Lord led Him to faith in Christ's atonement for sin. Afghanistan is currently one of eight countries in the world where it is law that if you convert from the Muslim faith to Christianity, it costs you your life. It is not a religious matter actually; these are the laws of the land. The religious clerics have little to do with the punishment. The convert is brought before a judge. It is not an uncommon occurrence around the world, that Christians are killed for their faith. It is just that the recent case of Abdul Rahman got some publicity this time.
International pressure has gotten credit for Abdul being granted asylum in Italy. But I imagine Abdul is giving thanks to the Lord, as we should also. The Lord provides for His people. Many martyrs in the history of the Christian faith have not been granted asylum and have paid for their faith with their lives. But we would still maintain that God has provided for them. How can we say that? There are several reasons, but I will give two here.
However, most of us are not on the verge of having our lives cut short because of our faith; rather, our struggles are more day-to-day. We can take comfort and gain strength in knowing that if the Lord is the provider for those who are about to give their lives for Him, how much more can He be our strength and provider in the everyday things of life. It is the Lord who is our strength. Knowing that He provides for His children even when under the worst circumstances, we can be sure that He will also provide for us in our struggles, fears, and concerns. There is nothing that does not fall within the scope of the Lord's provision for His children. We see it over and over again in the Scriptures, in history, and most of all we experience it in our own lives. "Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting." Jeremiah 33:11
A short aside. Some of you might wonder why the United States did not give Abdul asylum. I don't know if the USA offered it to him, but it makes sense that he was granted asylum in Italy. Italy and Afghanistan have a long history of mutual cooperation. At one point, the King in Afghanistan had to flee his country and fled to Italy, where he lived for 30 years.
Soli Deo Gloria,