Two Shadows

It’s happened again.  And like so many others I am hurting badly over the latest school massacre in the United States—this time little children, some of them in kindergarten.  My heart bleeds for the parents of these little ones.  They have just gone through the end of their world.

Now we are being treated to the inevitable media feeding frenzy over it all… again.  They are covering every conceivable angle… again.  They are bringing in the expert panels to analyze what happened… again.  They are bringing in the grief counsellors to treat people for post traumatic distress… again.  They are “searching for answers”… again.  Not that they search very far—by this they mean trying to find out the killer’s motive.

The thing is, the experts set forth their analyses, the grief-stricken get counselled, the answers get searched out… and then for the most part it’s business as usual… till it happens again.

It seems it is a very difficult thing to awaken a society to the consciousness that Something is missing… and that God never intended this life we live to be lived without Him being the centre of all.

Our presumption that we can in fact do this—leave Him out—is the recipe for evil.  People are prepared to live with that, of course, as long as evil doesn’t get too evil.  As long as they feel they can keep evil in their own control, they even enjoy it.  The problem is that evil is not content to stay in the harness.  In due time evil is unleashed…. as we see happening more and more these days.  Sooner or later man will have to acknowledge that he doesn’t have the answers anymore—that evil is out of control.

In fact I believe we are now entering what the Bible calls “the Evil Day.”

It’s very frightening, but fellow Christian, this is our cue.  This is where you and I come in.  We are called to the warfare of the Evil Day.  We are called to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able “to stand in the Evil Day, and having done all (accomplished all) to stand.”  In other words, when this Day is over, the victory over evil that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary is going to be made manifest worldwide.  Evil will have been vanquished on the field of battle, never to be found in heaven or earth again.

And so in the midst of great anguish we have great hope.  Men’s hearts are failing them for fear as one thing after another comes upon them.  But Christian, this fearful company does not include you and me.  We are putting on our armour, and we know the outcome of the battle.

We know that when the harvest of evil is ripe… what does a ripe field mean to the Man with the sickle?

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever (Ps. 92.7).

He’s going to cut it down, beloved.  So we take heart in the midst of destruction.  When Death is casting a long shadow (as it is these days), what can this mean but that Death’s day is about done?

We take courage in knowing this.  God is going to deal with it all.  But even now we get out from under that shadow!  We need not live under that shadow!  There is another Shadow we can abide under.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91.1).

Let us not be foolish, beloved, carrying on as we always have and suddenly finding our world has caved in around us.  Let us earnestly be seeking this Shadow, this Secret Place.  It’s not a run-away-and-hide-from-it-all kind of place.  It’s a Place right there on the field of battle, a place in the midst of trouble where we can be a help to those in trouble, a light in the darkness.  Evil is all about us.  The snare of the fowler is right before us.  There is terror by night, and the arrow of evil by day.  Pestilence walks in the darkness, destruction wastes at noonday.  Thousands around us are falling.  But it cannot come nigh us.  We are safe from it all in the secret place of His Presence—under the Shadow of the Almighty.

Just flowery words, Psalm 91, this beautiful psalm?  Please don’t be so foolish.  They are filled with promise.  Give yourself to them, as I give myself to them.  They’re the words of God that cannot be broken, and they work effectually in those who believe (1 Thes. 2.13).

We must walk, all of us, through the vale of tears, the valley of the shadow of death.  But as sheep of a very Great Shepherd, we need fear no evil in this valley.  And why not?  Because “Thou art with me.”

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou art with me!  There is Another Shadow, beloved, under which we can walk through this terrible valley.  We need to find it and abide under it.

…Lord Jesus, Thou that dwellest in the heavens, we lift up our eyes to Thee, and we lift up our hearts with our hands, and the hearts of those who saw their flock of little ones torn by the ravening wolf yesterday.  How long, Lord Jesus, how long?  Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  We have entered a day, Lord Jesus, when more and more people will be praying your prayer not ritually, but from the heart:  “Deliver us from evil!  Oh God, please deliver us from evil!”  And we believe You will answer, Lord, in this Day.  And believing, we put on our armour.  We will be numbered among those fighting on Your side in the Evil Day, knowing that when it is all over we shall be the ones standing victors on the field, and thus bringing in another Day… a Day in which the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the cow and the bear shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw with the ox… and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  Amen.

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