September 10th

God on Terrorism

“I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?  The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.  For I am the LORD your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD Almighty is his name.  I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, `You are my people.'"  Isaiah 51:12-16 NIV 

The power of fear is something that many of us have probably experienced in our lives.  This fact was highlighted in my country on September 11, 2001 when the terrorist attacks in America shook the world.  A few days after the attacks, I studied this section of Isaiah during my quiet time.  It seemed so appropriate for the issue of terrorism and fear in general.   

Terrorism thrives on the fear of death.  Those who believe in Jesus need not fear dying.  Jesus conquered the one who had the power of death and freed us from the bondage to fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).  We serve the living God, who made the heavens and earth.  There is no reason we should fear mortal men (or demons) who can only kill our body, but not our soul.  Consider what Jesus said: 

4"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Luke 12:4-7 NIV 

Fear tries to exploit the doubt that God loves us and watches over us.  It is the opposite of faith.  It suggests to us that we might be turned over to the evil one and that God will not help us.  It suggests that God’s promises might not be true for us.    

When confronted with fear, we can stand on God’s promises in confidence that he will keep his word to us.   2 Samuel 22:31 says “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; he is a shield to all who trust in him” (NKJV).   God says that “the cowering prisoners will soon be set free” and “they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread” (Isaiah 51:14 NIV).  The Lord will comfort us and cover us with the shadow of his hand.  He calls us his own and will not let us fall into the hands of the cruel.   

When the one made the universe is watching over you and calling you his own, you don’t have anything to fear!   

Questions for further thought:

·        Why should people who don’t know Jesus fear death?

·        How effective is the “shield of faith” against the attacks of the enemy? (Ephesians 6:16)

·        How far is God from us at any given time? (Isaiah 41:10, 1 John 3:24) 

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, I praise you for your awesome love and power. Thank you for protecting me and living in me. Thank you that you are always with me.  Even though my physical body may die, I rejoice that my soul will live with you in eternity.  Thank you for redeeming me from destruction and saving me from hell through the blood of Jesus.  Please help me to remember that I don’t have to fear death at any time.  I praise you now and forever! Amen.”