Summary: To praise God who protects our lives from dangers coming from the front and even behind...
A Series on ‘Security’….
Security of Physical life
My dear Church would recall that in the previous sermon, I had touched upon the subject of “security,” bringing to the fore the ‘security’ God provided in the lives of two devout women (Ruth & the Shunamite lady * - I Kings 4: 8-37* & II Kings 8:1-6*) in His own miraculous way, when these helpless ladies were up against what seemed apparently insurmountable problems.
You would also recapitulate that in both these cases, the Bible does not even explicitly state that God’s hand was there in deliverance of these women from their respective problems, so much so, there may be a temptation to attribute them all to pure coincidence or a stroke of fortune, however, for the spiritually discerning, His role would have been a bit too obvious to miss!
In this Sermon, I would like to place before you two more instances’ of God providing unique security when two different types of physical dangers were confronting his men namely David and Mordecai. If in the first case, danger in the form of an intended murderous assault, coming from the front was quite clear, then in the second case conspiracy hatched behind the back represented danger creeping in stealthily from the rear. Here again God’s deliverance of these men from life-threatening problems would seem coincidental, but His hand (in both these cases) for the spiritually discerning would be as obvious as Sun rising in the Eastern sky in the morning hours. So what are those incidents in the lives of these men where God intervened miraculously? Let us once again go in a chronological order.
Danger, which was clear…
1. David (around 1000 BC): We all know the troubles, this King-in-waiting (before his ascension to the throne) experienced from an enraged, jealous King Saul, the incumbent of the throne of Israel, who was hell-bent on liquidating his potential competitor to his throne. For much of the time till the demise of King Saul, David was roaming the countryside as a fugitive fleeing from his murderous enemy (though David himself harbored no grudge against him, in fact two times he spared his life - I Samuel 24:7,8 & I Samuel 26:11). In a lighter vein, one is reminded of the Tom & Jerry cartoon show whenever the story of David versus Saul is recalled. Just as Jerry would always escape the clasp of Tom, David would always, albeit very narrowly at times, remain out of reach of Saul’s grasp. However in the incident –yet another episode of Saul in David’s pursuit- which I am projecting to you dear friends, David’s time seems to be clearly up.
We will pick-up the action from I Samuel 23:19 unto verse 26. Betrayed by men of Ziph, (who leaked to Saul, David’s exact whereabouts) we see David is once again on the run for his life with King Saul snapping at his heels. This time all escape routes seem to have been cut-off as verse 26 explicitly states “Saul & David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. As Saul & his men began to close in, David tried his best to escape, but it was no use.” Curtains, at last for David? NAY! Not by a long shot. Can the troubles of his dear ones escape God’s notice? Never! Only that the timing of His intervention, which to our limited vision seems a trifle delayed is always perfect. Verse 27 states …”But just then, a news, a message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again, so Saul quit the chase & returned to fight the Philistines”… as his Kingly duties required. Continuing to chase David, when a bigger problem loomed large before his nation, would mean his political popularity would nosedive, which a populist like Saul could ill-afford. In order no one (especially his army which was with him at that point of time) would cast aspersions on his patriotism & his royal responsibilities, he was constrained to call-off the “Eliminate David operation,” albeit temporarily. “Whew! That was a close one,”… we can almost hear David sighing. No wonder David called that place, where he experienced God’s deliverance ‘Sela Hammahlekoth’ which means ‘Rock of Escape’.
Now, the news of Philistines raiding Israel that reached Saul just as he was closing in on David, was that a case of mere coincidence? No way! Rather, it was God’s act of providing providential security to his dear one David.
Danger from the rear…
2. Mordecai (around 475 BC): This benefactor in Queen Esther’s life (he adopted her when she was an orphan) who was also a government official under that Mighty Persian King Xerxes had a bitter enemy in Haman, the Agagite, whom the King had promoted to the post of grand vizier (modern day Prime-minister, virtually second-in-command to the King); the enmity stemming from the fact that Mordecai refused to pay obeisance to the higher placed Haman on religious grounds (Esther 3:3,4).