Isaiah 45 6So that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.
I have been troubled as a result of how this coronavirus has taken over all aspects our lives … including our theology. Everyone, including Churches, are buying in to the ‘we are in this together’ theme and it sounds so pastoral. The idea of safety is the optimum word these days, because it has to be safe in order to be acceptable from our culture. Just to be clear, nothing is safe if the Truth be known. Tell me what is really safe? Is driving in your car on the freeway safe? Is buying food at the grocery store safe? How do you know that it is not filled with E. coli? How about personal safety in the United States? Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will suffer some kind of violence in their lifetime. How about giving birth in the richest country on earth … is it safe?
The United States is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth, with more than 50,000 mothers suffering severe injuries during or after childbirth and about 700 mothers dying. According to a USA Today investigation, at least half of these deaths could have been prevented and half of the injuries reduced or prevented with better care.
This is why no matter what we say about the coronavirus, we do not live in a safe world. Period. Anyone who thinks safety is an optimum word today is fooling themselves. God isn’t even safe. Read the Verse again at the beginning of my comments. Who is behind the calamities? People always want to say that God is never involved, but that is not what Scripture teaches. The history of Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) is full of death God ordained as Israel took the land. They were told to kill the inhabitants of the land. Please don’t ignore the Truth. The Book of Revelation is another example that God is not safe, as we define it.
This world is not safe today, and it will not be safe in the future. Period. I am beginning to hate the word safe, because it is a lie. That’s right … it is a lie to think you are going to be safe. You are never safe as long as Evil is in the world, you cannot be safe. You can live a perfect Christian life, claiming all the Verses on healing and security that God provides, yet you may get cancer and die. That doesn’t feel very ‘safe’.
Safety is a misunderstood word. C.S. Lewis had a great line in his series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. “Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
A God who has the authority to Judge the world in terms of Heaven and Hell is not safe. You won’t be able to use your human logic to win His approval or con your way into His social graces. It doesn’t work like that with God. When the rich young ruler addressed Jesus in his salutation, he called him good teacher, and Jesus said, no one is good but God.
Luke 18 18A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good - except God alone.”
God is Good … not safe. Some might say, “Well, I can’t serve a God who is not safe.” Fine, don’t … that is your choice. But remember, you will face that God someday and you can tell him then how disappointed you were with Him because He wasn’t safe.
This idea that we have to make everyone comfortable with God is nonsense. God is a Good God, but He is not safe. You cannot live in violation of His Commands and expect God to be safe with you. You cannot violate all Ten Commandments and expect God to treat you with safety. The Bible doesn’t read this way, yet I am afraid too often we preach it that way.
Safety, however, can be found in the Scriptures. We see many examples in the Psalms and other Scriptures where we are safe under His Wings:
John 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that who so ever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
However, even the Righteous who place their Trust in God, Believe in Him for protection and guidance, may not find safety in this world:
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Listen, the scriptures are full of examples where God intervenes and closes the mouths of the lions as He did with Daniel, but for any of us to walk around thinking this world is a safe place … we are only kidding ourselves and are quite naïve.
This world will never be safe until Jesus comes to Rule and Reign. That does not mean we live in fear, afraid to live by Faith in a world of unsafe thoughts and practices. We are to push back on this world’s ideas and practices, and that, my friend, is risky because it is not safe to tell the culture they are wrong. But this risky practice is what we are called to do. Safety? No, it’s called risk … if you are going to follow Jesus, get used to it, because it’s the new optimum word.
I leave you with a Verse I’m beginning to think should be my Life Verse because it has meat for the Soul:
Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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