Summary: Part 2 of this study looks at the protection of God and our confidence in Him during times of uncertainty.
The Protection of God
In our last study, we looked at the need for prayer and seeking God’s will so that we can be confident that all things and all problems are within His will for our nation, the church and our individual lives. If we do these things, we are assured that everything that comes into our lives is by the hand of God. Only when we are within God’s will can we be confident of the promise of Romans 8:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
If we are not walking within the purpose He has called us to, we cannot have this confidence.
Walking within His purpose
As we begin to look at the protection of the Lord, let’s look at an example from the life of King Josiah from the Old Testament. The life of this king of Israel provides us with an important truth of following God’s will. King Josiah became king over Israel after the nation had neglected God’s commands for several generations. In fact, the nation had grown so distant from God that the scriptures had been stored away and forgotten completely. God had warned in the law that if Israel departed from God, He would destroy them and drive them out of His land. When Josiah became King he saw the deteriorated temple and commanded that it be restored. When the temple was being repaired, someone found the book of the Law of God. It was brought to the king and read. When Josiah heard the commandments and warnings of God, he tore his clothes and repented for the sins of the nation.
Josiah then found a prophet of God and sent word to inquire of the Lord. God told Josiah that He would severely judge Israel and bring all the warnings written in scriptures against the nation. God said that He would execute His wrath against the nation and nothing could quench it; however, because Josiah humbled himself and repented, God would withhold judgment until after Josiah passed away. 2 Kings 22:
19 "because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you," says the LORD.
20 "Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place." ’ " So they brought back word to the king.
Even though judgment was eminent, God had mercy on those who honored and obeyed Him. Unfortunately, Josiah took this promise as something that made Him invincible. God kept His word and held back the calamities until after Josiah died, but Josiah stepped outside of God’s will and brought his life to an early end by fighting against God. Look at 2 Chronicles 35:
20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him.
21 But he sent messengers to him, saying, "What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you."
22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.
23 And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am severely wounded."
24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
Take note that this event was not the judgment of God. God promised that He would withhold judgment and leave Israel in peace until after the time of Josiah. God did not promise to protect Josiah if he acted foolishly. Josiah was clearly warned that he was meddling with God and would be destroyed if he did not turn back. When we look at the promises of God we must always keep in mind that all of His promises are fulfilled when we are walking within His will. People often want to be ‘Precious Promises Christians’. They want to read the promises of God and claim them but are not willing to walk within God’s will. Often they act contrary to God and interfere with others who are obeying the word of the Lord. If you fight against God, you will lose. However, if we are following God, we have the promises of God as our hope, guide and refuge.