by Byron Davis
Two suspicious packages were found on U.S. bound cargo flights from Yemen, triggering searches of other cargo flights that had landed in the U.S. and prompting an investigation into whether al-Qaida was behind a new terror plot. Another news headline during this same period stated, “Suicide Bomber Kills 11 North of Baghdad.”
Clear and Present Danger
We live in a fallen world. All have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory (Roman 3:23), right? There is no one righteous, no not one. Yet whenever I lower the internal filters I erect (to shield me from the rapid stream of information that seems to come from all angles), I am surprised (even shocked) to hear about calamity or injustice happening somewhere in the world. Most of the time my heart is desensitized to the evil that occurs around me. I go about my day accomplishing my agenda. We live in clear and present danger. But not the kind you may think.
The clear and present danger is found in our short memories. The children of Israel routinely forgot the miracles God performed, It was like they had become desensitized to God’s glory, unconditional protection, and miraculous provision! As a result of their selective amnesia, Israel found themselves falling prey to the same mistakes over and over again. In Isaiah 48:17,18 God reminds Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
Reassurance For God’s people
God’s patience is like a river’s flow that never ceases, and his love like the waves of the sea that reliably and freely wash over us. God tells us, “come near me and listen” (v. 16)! If only we would pay attention to his commands, we would avoid the clear and present dangers that lurk in the shadows of our selfish, forgetful hearts.
Let us come near and listen. Let us not forget who he is. Let us rest in the assurance that God will direct us in the way we should go.
Byron Davis is director of Dream of Destiny at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California.