And now a Word from the Sponsor of the Universe
I’m seeing a lot of stories like this and, of course, the duct tape panic, and I can’t help but be reminded of this:
I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. (Leviticus 26:36-37)
These are words describing what life will be like for those in exile among the nations who refuse to trust and obey the Lord. They are words for us too. The moral of the story is this: We live in a dangerous world. Always have. Fat, dumb and happy Americans are just figuring this out after a long period of supposing they could do without God as long as they’ve got Gilligan’s Island on the DVD player.
Now these are scary times (I live in a coastal city which is a potential target for both a shipping container bomb or a N. Korean ICBM). But as Christians we live in a supernatural reality as well. The real message at the heart of all this is “Be not afraid! Repent and trust in God and our Savior Jesus Christ!” This is not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen. But it is a promise that God will bring life out of it in his time and grant us peace. We can live like scared rabbits or we can live like the apostle Paul. He did not avoid troubles. But he was not unmanned by them either. Lord Jesus, grant us a spirit of repentance and trust in you. You alone are the answer to the troubles of the world!
The answer of a Christian soldier to the threats of bin Laden is that God, not bin Laden, is in charge. We are not called to fear anything but the Majesty of God and his righteous judgment. If we have something to repent, then let us do it. But let us not be cowed by the threats of evil men, as though God is powerless. Now is the time for prayer. Not cringing servile prayer. Nor boastful “God is on our side” prayer. But prayer that approaches God as Father with the clear-eyed awareness both of our sin and the need for repentance and of God’s profound and powerful love which is still able to work wonders in our day.
Be not afraid! Repent, believe and *live* the gospel! God will take care of the rest.