How to face these days without fear … Part 14

To face these days without fear we must know that the Lord will find us shelter

Isaiah 16:3-4 – Take counsel, execute judgment; Make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; Hide the outcasts, Do not betray him who escapes. Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; Be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end. Devastation ceases. The oppressors are consumed from out of the land.

This chapter in Isaiah speaks of the problem of Moab.  Isaiah gives good counsel to the Moabites, to advise them of where they were going wrong and particularly to be kind to God’s people.  This he declared to them was the best way to prevent the judgments that were looming.

Henry says – “but hide the outcasts.” This is that good work by which Rahab’s faith was justified, and proved to be sincere, Heb. 11:31. “Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Moab (Isa. 16:4); find a lodging for them and … let them be taken under the protection of the government.”  It is often the lot even of those who are Israelites indeed to be outcasts, driven out of house and harbour by persecution or war, Heb. 11:37.  God owns them when men reject and disown them. They are outcasts, but they are God’s outcasts. The Lord knows those that are his wherever he finds them, even where no one else knows them.  

God will find a rest and shelter for his outcasts. Though they are persecuted, they are not forsaken. He will himself be their dwelling-place if they have no other, and in him, they shall be at home.  God can, when he pleases, raise up friends for his people even among Moabites, when they can find none in all the land of Israel that can and dare shelter them. Those that expect to find favour when they are in trouble themselves must show favour to those that are in trouble, and what service is done to God’s outcasts shall no doubt be recompensed one way or other.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry commentary

There are many stories throughout history of men and women of God who have had to take flight in the face of persecution. God protected them and provided for them supernaturally.  In 1938, Gladys May Aylward was serving as a missionary in China, when the region she was in was invaded by Japanese forces.  She led more than 100 orphans on a 12-day trek to safety over the mountains to a government orphanage in Sian.  When they arrived at the Yellow River they found it would be almost impossible to cross as the local boat owners were hiding their craft to prevent Japanese seizure.  At the children’s urging, Gladys joined them in prayer and song, which attracted a Chinese patrol and when their leader heard their story he offered to find them a boat.  He succeeded and after Gladys and the children crossed, they successfully reached the orphanage.  

We can often feel like outcasts as God’s people, not quite fitting into the world.  The Word confirms that we are a ‘separated’ people. We are told not to conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2).  As times goes on we are unsure of what will be required of us in staying true to the Lord.  But God assures us that He will protect and provide for us in our time of need.

A refuge in desperate hours
Based on Psalm 9:9
Lord, do You care if we perish?
The cry goes up in those desperate hours.
But He is always with you
This God of unlimited powers.
His attitude is never cool toward you,
His loving heart is always serenely warm,
Even though He may appear to be asleep on a pillow
At the height of the storm.
He knows the way through the whirlwind
But He knows that faith grows in the tempest.
He will never let go of your hand;
His desire for you is always the best.
How am I going to face the world?
This may be your desperate cry.
You can face it as you take refuge in Him
In His love that will never die.
By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)

Prayer: Father I thank you for Your Word that assures me that You will provide for my every need. Whatever I may face in the future.  Forgive me for doubting You. Thank You that You remain faithful even when I am faithless.  Let me be counted among those to whom you say, “Well done good and faithful servant”.  In Jesus Name. AMEN

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