It’s a staple of nearly every western and cop show. That moment when the bad guy is confronted and the hero declares something along the lines of “Get your hands up, you’re surrounded.” Sometimes that declaration is real, sometimes it’s a bluff. The idea is always the same. You can’t run. There’s no escape so just give up. With a slump of the shoulders, the situation is accepted and the bad guy gives up. We also see in the history of war the value or hopelessness of being surrounded. And generally, that is how the word surrounded is used in the Bible. An army surrounds a town. Enemies surround. The wicked surround. But there are three verses where being surrounded is comforting and empowering. Surrounded by Grace “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for
Let’s dive right into our journey in 2nd Peter. As we read through the letter we may wonder why Peter seems so worked up about false-teachers. He’s warned his readers in 2:1-3, proclaimed that God will judge false-teachers in 2:4-11, and now launches into something that reads like an angry diatribe. The answer to why Peter is so concerned is found in today’s verses and in a story he references from the Old Testament. Peter said, “But these (false-teachers), like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their decepti
Betty and I enjoy hiking through the woods. We often plan our vacations around those hikes. Since we seek out those trails rated as moderate to rugged it not unusual for us to cross a bridgeless stream using stepping stones. Sometimes those stones are placed and maintained by the Park Service. Sometimes they’re the natural stones and logs that make up the stream bed. Care is taken as we test the surety of each stone, a hiking stick at the ready to provide additional support. Our next steps in the Walk Through 2nd Peter is like crossing a broad stream on stepping stones. Please read 2 Peter 2:4-11. For the sake of space, I won’t reprint it here. In order to continue Peter’s flow, we must reach back for a moment to verse 3. “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruct
There is this place. A refuge of complete safety with a foundation firmer than bedrock and walls stronger than diamonds. While rumors of fear and disaster may reach the hearts of those sheltering there they will never be disturbed. Is it Utopia? No, for it is not made with human hands. Is it paradise? No, for neither is it a creation of God. Is it make-believe then? No, for voices ancient and fresh give breath to its reality. How do you find this place? The doorway to this refuge is whispered in the silence of our souls. One ancient voice declares of this refuge, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy
As kids, we all had our hiding places. The places we could go when we knew we were in trouble, or after we fought with our brother or sister, or when we were just having a bad day. One of mine was a large apple tree. Not the dwarf variety, but an honest to goodness tall apple tree. I’d climb up a ways and settle in to think things through. As adults, we still have our hiding places, different from our childhood yet serving the same purpose - a place to escape the pressures, conflict, and drama of life. There are of course some obvious escapes that folks run to like drugs, booze, sex, and work. Basically, anything that you can add an “aholic” to the end of and get away with it. Most of the folks that read Lambchow articles may have run to those at one time but have since found freedom.