13 June 2016

Is it safe?


The news reminds us that the world is a time bomb. See the headlines: "Explosion at Shanghai Pudong Airport caused by “self-made explosives,” at least 3 injured." From the Philippines, "MalacaƱang yesterday admitted that journalists in the country are exposed to danger everyday, noting several of them have been murdered since the 2009 Maguindanao massacre." From Orlando Florida. "50 killed in Florida nightclub, shooter pledged ISIS allegiance" The list doesn't end. Last week: "Tel Aviv shooting: Market attack kills four Israelis" and Istanbul: "Kurdish group claims deadly car-bombing" where 11 people died last week including 7 police officers.

Bad news travels quickly. Terrorism is successful when this news finds its home in the heart of people who learn of these tragedies without a safety net.

Remember this video clip from Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman?
The dentist asks, "Is it safe?" And after being assured that it ISN'T safe, the procedure ensues. By the way that's Sir Lawrence Olivier as the dentist.

But this question, "Is it safe?" is the number one question I get asked about travel to Israel just now. Or visiting Bankstown in Sydney's southwest (where this headline arose last month "Bankstown shooting: Man killed, two injured at Sydney shopping centre." Or New York City. And I must tell you what I tell everyone...honestly, there is no place where anyone can guarantee everyone complete safety from harm. A person can be standing on the sidewalk in North Hollywood as a 63-year-old woman was in April this year, and a car struck and killed her. Would you say the Valley Glen area is safe? Yes, 99.9% of you would say so. But this woman testifies otherwise.

So does this information scare you? Are you feeling like staying in just now? Consider this elderly couple out in Western Australia. WA crash in home . It just keeps happening.

Look, our advise is not to stay home or to go out. Our advise is to make sure that your life is settled with the living God. Make sure you know He knows you. Make sure He loves you and you have made a commitment to Him in the person of the Saviour Yeshua the Messiah. Safety? Yes, we can increase it by observing certain sensible rules of conduct, certainly in public. But there will be a day when it ends, when all our carefully planned options run out and when we will be meet our maker.

Those young people dancing at the concert in Paris or all over on Friday the 13th of November last year could never have imagined such a scene. (The attacks in Paris on the night of Friday 13 November by gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously - and left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.) The reality is that "is it safe?" is answered with a loud 'no.' There is no airport, no nightclub, no deli or cafe which is immune to a terrorist who might want to perform evil acts.

And yet, I'm not nervous. I'm not scared. Why? Because it is safe? No, but because eternity and I are settled. We have sorted out the issues of life. This world is temporary and the future world is eternal. Nothing here can ruin our eternity.

Yeshua, the Messiah of the Jewish people and Saviour of the world said this, "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered so do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Matthew 10.26-31)

The assurance of our relationship with God, the Father, through Jesus His Son, gives us perspective. No matter how horrible the Orlando death rate climbs, or the results of the next bomb or shooting by an ISIS madman, we who know the living God are not rattled. Yeshua is our mainstay. He is our Rock. He is our Hope. And He is our Life.

Know Him and everything else diminishes. In Him is true safety. King David said this in the Psalms. "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (Psalm 4.8-9) Rest in the Lord, and she'll be right, mate.

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