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The protection of God
A simple tale of righteousness in action
Psalm 91:1-2 (margin)
He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall lodge under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
God has a spiritual "house" (sometimes called a "city") in this world in which all His work can be done. Therefore no Christian, once inside, ever needs to leave that "house" in order to work for Him.
Its "walls" are the Ten Commandments, and its foundation is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The "front door" is obedience to God's commands, and its "windows" represent the love of God. It has "a beautiful garden area" around it which is symbolic of salvation in the "invisible" church. This outside area has an imposing gateway entrance which embraces the sacrifice of Calvary.
1 Timothy 3:14-15
These things write I to you, hoping to come to you shortly: but if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
While in that "house" every faithful soul is fully protected from the "rain" of sickness and death which the enemy, Satan, is anxious to pour upon him or her.
But, while walking in its "garden" there is only partial cover.
For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
The "roof" is of such strength that not even a tornado could damage it and the devil knows this, for it too is made of the righteousness of Christ.
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear God for nought? Have not You made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Satan must entice Christians out of the "house" in order to assault them. This is the purpose behind his temptations, and those who walk in the "grounds" of the "house" are very susceptible to his efforts. Contrary to popular opinion, God NEVER calls His followers out of the "house" or ever suggests that they do so. And He certainly never opens a "hole" in the roof !
To leave is ALWAYS the decision of the dweller, because of his or her inclination, or in response to a call or temptation from the enemy.
Unfortunately for God, His people often desire to walk also in the "wild country" of known sin outside the grounds of the "house", for various reasons, some good, some bad.
The most effective plea Satan makes to them is that the inhabitants of the "wild country" need a "saviour" to come among them (and they are that person), and that that "saviour" should behave like the wild ones in order to appeal to them. But this is to take over the work of the Holy Spirit and should be resisted at all times. When He is able, He will bring the lost to the door of the "house" and they will find entrance.
And he [Paul] said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute [in the form of My saints]: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks [of conscience]. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will You have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.
Then, in the "house" they can be ministered to, and taught the manners of heaven. Before this, all God needs from the Christian is co-operation with His Spirit.
Non-Christians who live outside of the "house" in the "wild country" suffer daily from the effects of the "weather" and there is not much that a loving Saviour can do for them except continually and desperately offer through His Spirit the protection of the "house."
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
of sin, because they believe not on Me;
of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more;
of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
However, should the Christians venture out of Gods "house" protection, then the "elements" of sickness and death can be set loose upon them also, even in the "grounds" of the house. To leave the "house" is to deny Gods word and to trust in ones own strength and understanding for protection.
You have proved my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me, and shall find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps slip not.
To transgress is to ignore Gods warnings and follow our own inclinations. Satan, of course, continually attempts to lure unsuspecting Christians out into the open where he can get at them. The land he controls is called the land of "presumption" and for the Christian to enter it is a sin.
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like to you, and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not hearken to My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet [or teacher], which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
However, if the Christian does venture out, whether from inclination or temptation, God does not leave the offender to his or her own just deserts but accompanies each one, all the time offering an "umbrella" as a portable "roof."
This is the word of God, the Bible. However, while the sun is shining, or it is not actually raining, the sinner often declines with a smile saying in effect, "I dont need that, thanks."
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
What is not often appreciated by the outlaw (for that is what he or she has become - a person outside of the Law of God) is that the "weather" can change dramatically quite suddenly. A torrential downpour, which is often engineered by the adversary, can fall, bringing death to the disobedient or their dependents.
However, Satan sometimes chooses to manufacture only a few drops of "rain" and the traveller gets only a mild wetting. This results in a sickness which does not cause immediate death and which is accepted as "normal" by the traveller and the inhabitants of the country. The heaviness, or even the presence of the "rain", is not entirely up to the enemy of God, for he has but an imperfect control of it being only a creature. But he uses it very successfully at times.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood]; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil...
Satan is a destroyer and only a destroyer, not a protector. God on the other hand, is a Restorer and only a Restorer, not a destroyer!
They do not trespass on each others authority because of their natures.
When Satan does not destroy, he is not saving, but merely not destroying until the time is right for him. He has no concern or love at all for the unfortunate traveller, Christian or non-Christian. In fact, he has lured him or her out into the open to be used in building up his kingdom. So, sometimes he destroys, sometimes he afflicts, and sometimes he ignores! Whatever suits his plan at the time.
At this stage we have discussed mainly the two great opponents and their roles. But there is a third person in this scenario. And that is, of course, the trespasser. If he or she ventures out on their own choice Satan is not always immediately aware of this, and the resultant death or sickness is often not the devils fault or intention. "Rain" falls quite naturally on the countryside outside the "house" without his direct instigation.
For the wages [or result] of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Satan gets blamed for many things that he has not actually done, but as the instigator of the original rebellion he is ultimately responsible for all, as it is written of his church.
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
As we have mentioned, because of the nature of the country outside of the "house", the "weather" is not entirely under the control of Satan. Often he has not caused the "rain", and many times he is caught off guard himself, and loses his prey, or his subject, because of this. When this occurs, and it does so frequently, the offender gets very sick or dies contrary to Satans plans. This annoys his satanic majesty immensely!
One of the great problems for God in this situation is that not only do Christians leave the "house" themselves, but they often take with them members of their families, and even friends.
In this case, the little ones or the friends can die from "exposure" to "cold" or "heat" as well as "rain." It is not entirely their fault, but they suffer the consequences of their parents' or friends' actions because they believed them rather than God. Husbands and wives can have the same disastrous effect on each other as well, for human love will often compel one to follow another when they should remain in the protection of the "house."
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said to Samson's wife, Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire: have you called us to take that we have? Is it not so?
For the opposite effect see:-
1 Corinthians 7:14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife [because he stays in the house with her, as Noah's family did], and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
The only thing God can do to a traveller, or native of the country, caught in the open either by Satanic or natural downpour, is to offer again the "umbrella." If it is accepted then the sinner can cover the ground to the "house" in comparative safety. But far better for the trespasser not to venture out in the first place. For if the "rain" is of sufficient strength then even with an "umbrella" the traveller gets "damp" or dies.
This happens because with an "umbrella" the protection is not as complete as the "house." Such an instrument covers the head and upper body, but does not stop the lower part of the body being saturated. When this occurs prolonged sickness can eventuate, leading to death, in spite of the covering.
Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on Me has everlasting life.
I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
So Gods great problem is to keep His people inside His "house" where He can feed them, and to get the natives of the wild country into it.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them a city.
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