It was Christmas Eve in the year 1875 and Ira Sankey was traveling down the Delaware River on a steamboat. Ira Sankey was recognized by some of the other passengers; his picture had been in the newspaper in coordination with some of the evangelistic meetings that Dwight L Moody had been holding. Ira Sankey was Dwight L. Moody’s song leader. The passengers asked Ira Sankey if he would favor them with a song from the list that he had written. He asked if it would be okay for him to sing for them another hymn by William Bradbury entitled, “Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us.” When Sankey finished a man from the back stepped forward and said, “Mr. Sankey, did you happen to serve in the Union Army?” Sankey replied, “Yes, I did some fifteen years ago, beginning in the year 1860.” “Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright, moonlit night in the year 1862?” Sankey’s memory became clear and he said, “Yes.” The man responded, “So did I, but I was serving in the Confederate Army. When I saw you at your post I thought, ‘That fellow will never get away alive.’ I raised my musket and I took aim. I was standing, concealed in the shadows, while you were standing in the full light of the moon. At that instant, as I took aim, you raised your head to Heaven and you began to sing. I said to myself, ‘Let him sing his song to the end. I can shoot him afterwards! He will not escape my aim.’ But, the song you sang then is the song you sang just now and it was a song that caused memories to flood into my mind. It was a song that my mother used to sing to me as a child. You came to that part when you sang, ‘We are thine; do Thou befriend us. Be the Guardian of our way.’ These words struck me. When you finished your song it was impossible for me to take aim again. I thought, ‘The Lord who was able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty,’ and my arm, of its own accord, dropped limp at my side.”
In this study we consider the topic of God’s Providential Protection. This is a theme that runs all through the Sacred Scripture as God shows Himself to be the Guardian of our way. We see God’s hand of protection within the lives of almost every Godly man and every Godly woman recorded in Scripture. We think of God’s protection over Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. We think of Ruth and Ester. We think of David and Daniel, Jonah and Jeremiah. Everywhere we turn in the pages of Scripture we are comforted by this reoccurring theme: the name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and there they are safe.
We learn of God’s providential protection from the story that takes place in Acts 23. Paul is in the custody of the Roman government. He is accused of stirring up riots and of desecrating the Temple. More than forty men had sworn an oath not to drink or eat anything until they had killed Paul. Have you ever had someone after you with the intent on harming you? What a scary situation that would be to be in, where you don’t just have one, but you have forty men who are willing to lay down their lives in order to get to Paul and in order to kill him.
When I was a freshman in Limestone High School, I was a little guy – about 5’4” tall. One day, between classes, I was rushing out of the restroom and I was looking back over my shoulder when, “Bam!” I smacked right into another guy and books fell out of my hand. This guy was stumbling into the restroom and I quickly grabbed my book and went on to class. The next day a guy who road my bus came up to me and said, “Hey, Ritch, did you run into Kurt Schneidenhoffer yesterday?” (That is not his real name and I don’t remember his real name.) I answered, “I don’t know. I ran into somebody.” “Well, he said that you ran into him and he has a black eye this morning and he is after you.” Kurt Schneidenhoffer was a junior or senior in high school and he was over six feet tall; he was a big guy. Now he is after me. He was not only a big guy but he was a bad guy. He was going into the restroom late for a certain reason; kids used to smoke in the restrooms back in that day. Kurt was after me and that is all I could think about all day long and he wants to beat me up. He wants to do to me what he thinks I did to him. So, of course, I prayed! I prayed all day that somehow I would be able to avoid the inevitable.
At the end of the school day God had given me a plan: I saw Kurt and I saw his black eye. I had never talked to this young man before, and I came up to him and I said, “Hey, buddy, you are going down!” No, I didn’t say that. I said, “Hey, I know you are looking for me and I know that you want to beat me up and I know that you can beat me up. I have no interest in fighting you. It was an accident and I am sorry that it happened.” This young man was a little taken off guard which was the brilliance behind the plan, and he said, “Okay, but don’t let it happen again!” I assured him that it would night.
God answered my prayers. I really believe, as a freshman in high school and fearful all day long, that I was going to get pounded, but God protected me. Perhaps you have never had someone after you with the intent of harming your person, but God’s protection is still none-the-less precious, isn’t it? it is precious for any trouble that we might face. Job tells us that man is born to trouble as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7); that each and every one of us find ourselves in trouble of various sorts where we need protection and we need a guardian. We find ourselves in trouble in our families, health, relationships, workplaces, finances, nation, and our church. God protects His people. There are no exceptions to God’s protection. We each need it as trouble rises up in our life and what a wonder it is that God providentially protects us each and every moment.
If God doesn’t protect us from trouble, and in fact He doesn’t. God tells us that we, as believers, will experience trouble and tribulation in this world. This world is still fallen and its fallenness does affect in painful ways. If God doesn’t protect and keep us completely out of trouble, how is it that God protects us?
We will see that there are four Divine acts of providential protection that we will observe through this story. The first Divine act is that God designs each one of our troubles to accomplish His purpose in our lives. God knew what was going to happen to Paul when he arrived in Jerusalem. Remember from Acts 21:10 that this is one of the occasions when God warned Paul of what was going to happen through Agabus the Prophet. He said, as he took Paul’s belt and he tied his hands and feet with it,
“The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ “
God knew exactly what was going to happen to Paul before Paul arrived in Jerusalem, and yet Paul was following the leading of the Lord in coming to Jerusalem. God had designed for this particular trial. God knew what was going to happen precisely because He controls and He designs the circumstances of our life and that is to say, all of the circumstances of our life. God is not the author of evil and God does not act in unjust or cruel ways toward us, but God does control the evil that does takes place in this world. He limits this evil. He directs the actions of evil men and evil women. He directs the evil actions of Satan himself, the Evil One, and He directs the circumstances of this fallen world. He has His fingers on all of these things to accomplish His specific purposes.
A great illustration is found in the study of Acts 4, where we read of God’s design and fingerprint in the circumstances behind Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter is speaking in Acts 4:24, and he says,
24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord’ (Psalm 2:1,2) and against his Anointed One.
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”
It was not what God knew was going to happen, but what it was what His power and His will had decided what was going to happen before it happened!
This past week my eight-year old son, Jackson, came up to me and said, “Do you know what my favorite part of the story of Joseph is?” Remember the story of Joseph in the Old Testament? Joseph was one who was happy and content in his family. He was the favored son and he had been given a coat of many colors. His brothers threw him into a pit and ultimately sold him into slavery. He made his way down into Egypt and he had some success until Mrs. Potiphar lied about him and made an accusation against him. He was thrown into prison, into a worse state than he had ever been in before and there he rotted for years and years until the Lord allowed him to be released because of a prophecy that he had made, an interpretation of a dream. Pharaoh wanted to hear the interpretation of a dream he had and this interpretation turned out to be true. There were seven years of great bounty in the harvest and then there were seven years of famine. Joseph oversaw the whole deal and it was through Joseph being in that position that, ultimately, his brothers, the Nation of Israel, would survive and be able to carry on, which apart from all of these details being set in place Israel as a nation would not have existed anymore. It would have been starved out. Returning to Jackson’s question, I replied, “No, what is your favorite part of the story?” He said, “It is when it tells us that ‘man meant it for evil but God meant it for good.’”
Beloved, it is true, and that is my favorite part also, because in the time of trouble the greatest comfort that we have as God’s people is that God is absolutely sovereign; that God doesn’t just “know” of the acts of evil men and then begin to try and adjust His plans accordingly. No, God meant it to happen. Again, God is not the author of evil and I understand that there is much mystery behind all of that but we must not release the biblical truth that God meant it to happen to Joseph and He meant it for good and that good ultimately came to be realized by Joseph. Even in this life, men are not running around this world willy-nilly, unchecked by God’s sovereign design. That is the great comfort. Circumstances do not happen randomly on the basis of luck. They happen according to God’s design. We see that in Ephesians 1:11:
…the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…
This is the Scripture’s description of God and His working in this world.
This past week I received an e-mail from one of my favorite pastors, John Piper. John Piper was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He wrote this article on the evening before his prostate surgery and he gives this introduction: “I write this on the eve of prostate surgery. I believe in God’s power to heal by miracle or my medicine. I believe that it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists, so not to pray for healing may waste your cancer, but healing is not God’s plan for everyone and there are many other ways to waste your cancer. I am praying for my self and for you that we will not waste this pain.” From this he goes on to give ten ways that we might waste the pain of cancer. Let me read the first one John Piper gives because it connects to this story with Paul. He says, “One, you will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.” That is a remarkable statement isn’t it? He goes on to say this in explanation: “It will not do to say that God only ‘uses’ our cancer, but does not design it. What God permits He permits for a reason and that reason is His design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer He can stop it, or not. If He does not He has a purpose. Since He is infinitely wise it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains, but he is not ultimate. When he strikes Job with boils, Job attributes it, ultimately, to God and the inspired writer agrees.” This is what Job 2:11 says,
…they…comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him.
John Piper concludes this first way in which we might waste the pain of cancer by saying this: “If you don’t believe your cancer is designed for you by God you will waste it.” That is true, not just of the pain of cancer but it is true of the pain of every other difficult, hard, and dark circumstance of our life.
We come to Acts 23:12, and we read,
12 The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
You can imagine that if God were limited and not sovereign in controlling the details and having a design and working out a plan effectively, God, at this point, is all of a sudden listening in on this secret meeting, because He is God so He is able to listen in, finds out that these forty men are pledging an oath not to eat or drink until after they have killed Paul. If God were not sovereign, at this point God would think, “Oh, no, I didn’t see that one coming. Let me see what I can do about that.” Then God would begin to react and respond to the evil plan and there would be a give-and-take and a give-and-take. But, what kind of comfort is this for the one who is suffering to think that God is only reacting and hopefully able to act in such a way so as to limit the pain we experience.
The foundational basis of God’s protection over us is rooted in His sovereign working of His plan in every detail. Fear and worry thrive when our view of God is too small, too narrow, and too tiny. If we make God into a compassionate weakling who either cannot stop evil or will not stop evil from accosting us we remove the Bible’s comfort and hope. Whatever our view of the doctrine of man’s will is we must not hold an unbiblical picture of God as being limited by man’s will. We acknowledge that there is much mystery that we do not understand in regards to God’s working.
I love Deuteronomy 29:29 that says,
29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
There are many secret things that God does not allow us to peak behind the curtain to be able to fully understand. Perhaps during not any part of this physical life will we be able to understand it. I urge you to resist the temptation to set aside what is revealed because we do not understand what is still secret, rather embrace those things that are revealed and there we will find the protection of God’s guardianship over our lives.
The second Divine act is that God speaks to us in the midst of the darkness of our pain. Paul is going to be facing uncertain days and we read in Verse 11,
11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
God is telling Paul that he is not going to die “yet!” but that He has a future plan for Paul and he will arrive in Rome.
This prompts the question: does God still speak to us today? The answer to that is, “Yes, He does!” First, and fundamentally, He speaks to us through the written Word of God. This is the reason why the letter of Hebrews would say, in Hebrews 4:12,
12 For the word of God is living and active. (It is) sharper than (a two)-edged sword…
The written Word of God still speaks to us God’s fresh voice to us. There is no indication that Paul received any more communication from God than the communication that he received on that one particular night, but Paul continued to live and to feast off the word that he had received. The application for us is this: we have already received a very precious living and active Word. Let us live by the Words that we have received from God earlier.
In the midst of our dark trial, we can often begin to think of God as being silent, distant, and remote. A former pastor of Moody’s church, Harry Ironside, would say rightly, “God is never closer to His people when they cannot see His face.” There are often dark times when God’s face is not so readily apparent and it is here that we have to remember the words that God has already given to us. He has not retracted them, but we go back to them and we embrace them all the more allowing these words to be our comfort, the words of God that say, “Take courage!” They are personal words and they are written for us and for our benefit.
Someone may protest, “Pastor, I stand in the midst of my pain and in the midst of my trial and in the midst of my trouble and I did read the Bible and the words fell heavy like lifeless rocks. What then?” When even the Word of God seems “lifeless” and “cold” and “dead” I would urge you to continue to wait upon the Lord. God doesn’t promise us an instantaneous, magical freedom from “just” opening up the Bible and then reading a verse or two, but wait on the Lord and then you will have your strength renewed and you will mount up with wings like eagles and you will run and not grow weary and you will be able to walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
My wife, Kimberly, after the birth of our second son went through a post-partum depression. It was deep, awful, and dark. She would relate to me that she would open up her Bible and the words did seem to fall heavy like stones; lifeless and cold to her. She would put her Bible away altogether because she thought: “There is no comfort in that book and no comfort for me in the midst of my trial. I don’t understand what is going on.” She had never experienced anything like this before, and yet here she was in the midst of grave darkness and difficulty and even the Word of God seemed to be remote and not give any hope and encouragement. It was then that the Spirit of God spoke to her and said, “Kimberly, continue to take up the Book and read even though it seems to your senses to be cold and lifeless. Know that it is not. Read and continue to read and wait upon the Lord.” It was after some days and weeks of just obeying God and waiting upon the Lord that the Lord met her, perhaps in a way that was so deep and so powerful and so amazing because it was wrought out of great trial and great pain and great difficulty.
“Take courage, my friend;” these are the words that Jesus told Paul and these words, though not repeated verbally, reverberated throughout Paul’s life as he held onto them in faith. These words were spoken not only for Paul, but they were also spoken for you. They are revealed to you so that if you are going through hard times, as I know many of you are, or if you anticipate hard times, let us live by faith in these promises. Trust God. Wait upon Him. He is not silent. Do not think of God’s silence and God’s quietness as abandonment, that God is no longer there. God never goes “off duty”. He never slumbers or sleeps; rather He is always attentive to His people.
I love Psalm 121.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
These are God’s precious promises to us.
The third Divine action is that God concerns Himself with every small detail of our circumstances. God’s plan is not just the “big picture”. It is not the general view, but rather God has detailed drawings for our lives with very clear specifics.
In this story of the Apostle Paul we see some of the details that God uses. In Verses 12 and 13, we remember that this plot was formed by these forty individuals who said that they were not going to eat or drink until Paul was killed. I cannot help but think of how thirsty they must have become! In Verse 14, we read,
14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”
These individuals who bound themselves with an oath were like the 1st Century Hamas or the 1st Century al Qaeda. They had hearts that were cruel and they were willing to use violence to obtain their ends. They were lawless individuals. They didn’t have much in common with the Sanhedrin except for their hatred for Jesus and for the Apostle Paul. They never would have come together on any other project, but they found a common enemy. How often it is that God’s enemies come together to wage a war against Him and that is exactly what we find here. They petition the Sanhedrin to call Paul under the pretext of speaking to him one more time and that is when they plan to kill Paul.
Paul had already been attacked by an angry mob. He had been rescued by the Roman guard. He seemed to be safe now, and yet there were men in the city who were zealots who made this oath. In the midst of this oath and in the secret councils they made an evil plan to destroy Paul because they hated him so much.
Then the story unveils this small detail, and I love this detail in Chapter 26 and Verse 16,
16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
Paul has a nephew. We don’t know anything of Paul’s family other than this. We know that he was a Jew. We know that he was a Pharisee. We know that he was a Roman citizen, but nothing else is told of Paul’s family. Luke leaves many details that I would love to know about out of the story, but here is this detail: Paul has a nephew, the son of his sister and somehow this nephew is an intern with the Sanhedrin. We don’t know exactly his connection but somehow he is able to be sitting around and listen in on these secret meetings. Remember, Paul’s family was influential and his nephew hears all of this and his heart stirred. We don’t know if this man is a believer, but he has a concern for “dear Uncle Paul” and he comes to Paul to say that he needed to tell him about something; I need to tell you what these guys are planning. Paul then calls a centurion in Verse 17, and says,
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.
The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”
What we find here is God working in the details. Here is another instance in the Bible where we see God using and orchestrating even the small details. Do you think that it is happenstance that Paul has a nephew who has an internship where he can be close to these meeting? Was that just happenstance and a good stroke of fortune? Not at all, this small detail is one of the ways in which God is accomplishing His protecting and saving purpose. God takes this obscure nephew and places him in the right place at the right time for the right reason.
Do you remember God’s promise to Paul in Verse 11: “Paul, just as you have testified in Jerusalem you are going to testify in Rome.” God takes this nephew and He places him in the right position so that this promise to Paul will be fulfilled.
Jesus teaches us, in Matthew 10:29, NIV,
29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”
That is interesting, isn’t it? God doesn’t say that one is going to fall to the ground “apart” from the knowledge of Your Father. That is amazing for God to have that kind of intimate knowledge, and in fact, elsewhere that is exactly what Jesus teaches. But, here Jesus teaches that not one will fall to the ground apart from the “will” of the Father. God uses these little things to fulfill His plan.
I wonder if you have ever thought of this in terms of the Bible stories that we read about: how God doesn’t hesitate to use small details to accomplish His huge objectives. We think of Adam and Eve and how God took a little bit of dust, which is a small detail, and all of humanity came from that dust as God fashioned it into man and then from man into woman. We think of Moses being put into a small basket and floated out on a river. How the history of the Bible and redemption would be different if Pharaoh’s daughter hadn’t seen that small basket in the river. We think of David taking up five smooth stones and the small detail of one little stone that he put into the sling and whirled it round and round and struck Goliath and imbedded in his skull. We think of Job who was sitting out on the top of a hill and a gourd grew up and then God “prepared a worm”. That is a small detail. When we think of a worm in our yard we don’t consider that God prepared a worm for this purpose, but God prepared this worm for the specific purpose of eating this gourd so that Job would be all mad about being in the hot underneath the sun and he didn’t have any shade so that he would learn a vital lesson.
God takes tiny, small circumstances of your life and He controls them in such a way to bring about His purpose. Often times we think of circumstances as distant, purposeless things. We have good circumstances and we have bad circumstances, but what Scripture teaches us is that circumstances don’t limit God; circumstances aren’t independent of Him. We don’t think to ourselves, “If the circumstances would have been different then this is how my life would have turned out.” No, God is in charge of all of that so we look to God in order for our life to turn out the way that God created it for us to turn out. That makes all the difference for God is the Master of our circumstances.
Once more, the very part of our circumstances that are secret and that we don’t know anything about, Jesus knows. Paul didn’t know that this secret plan was being hatched against him and the Roman guard didn’t know it, but God did and God saw to it that He would use that in order to accomplish, once again, His purpose for Paul. Look at Verse 17:
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.
What this teaches us is that Paul has a great view of God’s sovereignty. Some might say, “If God is so sovereign, doesn’t that lead to a passive life and a life of fatalism? What ever God is going to do God is going to do and there isn’t anything I can do about it.” When Paul’s nephew comes to him with the plot to kill him, do we see Paul sitting back saying, “God is going to take care of that.” No, we don’t see that, but what we see is that he uses the sovereignty of God to kick him into action and coming up with a plan. God’s sovereignty doesn’t cause us to sit back and not engage in the details of this world and human responsibility, but rather it pushes us all the more confidently into action.
The last Divine action of God’s protection is that God protects His people as they trust in Him. We see how God used this commander to form a plan of his own. He gets two centurions and in Verse 23 and 24, we read,
23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”
Paul has four hundred and seventy Roman soldiers that are going to take him on a sixty-five mile trip to take him safely to Caesarea. Sometimes God rescues us and protects us through supernatural means and I don’t doubt that. I don’t doubt that if someone pointed a gun at me and shot that God could, in His sovereignty, melt that bullet before it reached my head. I have no doubt that could happen, but most of the time God uses what seems to be very natural means to rescue us. None-the-less, we observe God’s fingerprints all over the page, so we understand that it is God’s protection of us and we learn to trust in Him, even when we can’t see Him and that He is working out a plan for His own glory. We must trust in Him even when we think that we are all alone.
A pastor that I sat underneath during high school, Dr. Dunn, used to love to tell a story about an elderly woman who was sitting in her home, at night and all alone. She was reading Psalm 91 and in there she read:
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…
At that very moment, she heard in a distant part of the house a window break and she heard someone climbing in. She was frozen and paralyzed with fear as she heard this stranger rummaging about her house. She knew that he would eventually get to her end of the house. She could not get up to move. She was paralyzed with fear, but she had been reading Psalm 91 where it said, “He will cover you with his feathers,” and she looked up to God and she began shouting, at the top of her voice, “I am covered with feathers! I am covered with feathers! I am covered with feathers!” Shortly after shouting this out rather hysterically she heard a rapid exit from her house by this man. We don’t know what this robber was thinking; perhaps he was thinking that there wasn’t anyone in the house. Perhaps he was thinking, “There is a crazy lady in this house. I have to get out of here!” God protected her.
If you are a child of God you are covered with feathers. Paul exclaimed, in Romans 8:31,
If God is for us, who can be against us?
This prompts the question: when is a man and when is a woman able to say, “God is for man?” I tell you, we are able to say that the Lord God is for man when God in His grace has brought us into a covenant relationship with Himself through His Son Jesus. It is then that God is for us when our relationship with God is made right because we have been born anew and we have the life of God inside of us and the righteousness of Jesus has been applied to us and the forgiveness of Jesus that has been bought by Jesus’ blood has washed us so that we are clean and we are able to stand before the Holy One. It is then that we are able to say, “God is for us!”
I wonder if you know that you are able to say, “God is for me!” What a comfort it is: if God is for us who can be against us? He is the Sovereign One, the Mighty Protector, and the Guardian of our way. The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and then they are safe. The call of God upon our life is to run into the tower of His protection and run into His safety. Our great problem is this: we want to life our lives outside the tower and still be safe, but you know something, there is no safety outside the tower of God’s strength. Now everyone is invited to come. Jesus says, in Matthew 11:28,
28 “Come to me, all you who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest (and safety).”
It is not just physical safety, but it is eternal safety; safety of your soul so that you will never need to fear the just retribution against your own sin. Isn’t that a wonderful joy to be protected by God for all of eternity?
Beloved, the righteous run into it. The righteous run to God who is the Savior of His people. If you have never run to God to say, “Rescue me God, I wish to live my life in the confines of the tower of your strength, I urge you this day to come to God. Believer, understand that it is so tempting still for us, after having come into the safety and the protection of God, to peak our head out and still move our foot or two outside of that tower of protection in order to have some space and independence. We must repent of these leanings in our lives and we must find ourselves dependent wholly upon God each and every day.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and then they are safe.