And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. Genesis 35:5
God makes His child many, many promises. As long as my heart is sensitive toward sin and I’m quick to repent after falling on my face, the blessing of God is on my life. Living without sin is not a prerequisite. Who can do that? But instead, God asks me to live a cross-centered life characterized by a daily awareness of God’s love, my brokenness, and His daily grace.
After the sons of Jacob went on a rampage and took the lives of many innocent men in Shechem, God appeared, gave new orders, and Jacob quickly made a course correction for his family. The fallout of his family’s murderous rage complicated the picture, however. They had been known as a peace-loving people; a tribe of shepherds. Heathen nations had not been afraid of them but that all changed. They were now considered to be a viable threat. God kept His promise of protection to the sons of Abraham. He sent a wave of panic to all the inhabitants of foreign cities. The fear was so great that no one entertained the thought of attacking Jacob’s tribe. God stepped up to define the psyche of alien peoples.
Some years ago, I had been invited to come and speak to a group of women at a church in the Midwest. I was going to drive it and travel by myself. The women’s ministry leader told me ahead of time that the area was spiritually dark and was known nationwide as the center of strong occultic activity. A group of intercessors, both there and at home, promised to cover me in prayer.
The day came. As I approached the city, I got out my map to find the name and address of the motel the church had provided for my stay. Arriving, I pulled into an old-fashioned, one-story motel. Everyone’s room had a window that looked out on the parking lot. I settled in, got some dinner, and went to bed. Around midnight, I was awakened by a raucous group of men slamming car doors and then banging on my window. I heard them say, “She’s in here. Let’s go get her.” I threw on some clothes and fell to my knees in prayer. I asked God for help and then waited. I never heard them in the hall. I heard nothing. About five minutes passed. Then again, I heard men’s voices outside, then the sound of them opening their car doors and pulling away. Nothing had happened to me. What had they seen or heard that stopped them? I picture a host of warring angels standing at the outside entrance, not allowing them access. Whatever happened, they stood down and were silenced.
You might be curious to know why I didn’t pick up the phone to call the desk or 911. Honestly, it never occurred to me, even though I had called for help in similar past situations. I believe now that I didn’t think of it because God wanted to show me His power and the extent of His protection over my life.
I am certainly not unique to threats of trouble. Itinerant bible teachers, especially women, have some close calls quite often. There are so many stories that show how creatively God has looked out for His servants.
I have seen you change people’s hearts and their godless plans, a full 180 degrees over matters great and small. How great you are. How small I am. Amen