A Texas superstore,
a Dayton entertainment district,
These should be safe places, but they were not.
The Holy Spirit wrote Scripture knowing exactly what fears you would face in this your life. The face of terror is ugly and unnerving. Cafes, concerts, sporting events, and church are common gatherings that traditionally have provided places of safety and refuge. But as the terror of the dark human heart is revealed before our eyes, the reality is that there is no place apart from God where anyone is truly safe. What happened in Texas and Ohio this past weekend could just as easily have happened to anyone of us and our families.
Evil may wear the face of an angry, vindictive, hate-filled atheist or the face of jihadists who believe they are following divine instruction. Behind both is the dark heart of man that knows no legal or moral restraints. If you want to understand why begin with the dark evil of man apart from Christ.
The evil of man shows us how vulnerable we are as creatures. There can be laws, there can be police and armed forces, we can even have weapons of our own, but none of these can be the ultimate protection from evil. Yes, we must take every reasonable precaution against evil. But in the end, our hope, our only sure hope is the Living God of heaven and earth. We must become a people and a nation given over to recognizing God as the one who can sustain us and care for us. He alone can protect us from the darkness of evil. When you ask why, God is the first person you should bring that question to.
Psalm 3 is about living in the face of terror and danger. Here, God speaks to us in his word, bringing comfort in the face of fear. Terrorist attacks or not, our God is our shield, our deliverer. The Holy Spirit through David tells us we can find rest this night, even in the face of terror.
Like David, we can sleep in peace, confident that our God will sustain us no matter what m may happen, no matter how many line up to attack us. Call out to your God. Rest in his word.
Sleep in peace because your God neither slumbers nor sleeps.
Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
(from Psalm 3)