Attribute n. - a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
Proverbs 21:31 … safety is of the LORD.
There are a lot of reasons why we worry about safety. Tragic world events remind us of the fragileness of what we might call public safety. Crime, domestic violence, civil unrest, and various things can cause concern for personal safety of ourselves or those we know and love. The tales of religious figures and Christian leaders who commit crimes or do evil deeds against others, especially women and children, may cause fear also.
The fear of not being “safe” is one of the most powerful motivating factors – both for good and for evil. Seatbelts, the abolishment of using mustard gas in war (theoretically), safety seals on jars, and so many things have happened to provide safety. On the other extreme we see genocide and the casting out of whole groups of people who are seen as “unsafe” (the Holocaust and some refugee situations being prime examples).
The only source of real safety is the Lord. I’m including it as an attribute because He is safe. In the midst of all of the things that make us doubt our safety, we can know that safety is from Him.
Safety is from the Lord.
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
So many people offer plans whereby we supposedly may be “safe”. Our families and children will be safe if we follow the plans of certain men and women. Our nation will be safe if we will just elect so-and-so or follow a certain political ideology. Our world will be safe if we eliminate this or that. Our future will be safe if we make these plans or do these things.
The truth is, if the Lord doesn’t give safety, all the efforts of man are in vain.
Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Foreseeing evil (Prv. 22:3) may have its merit, but your safety will be from the Lord regardless of what plans or measures you take. Yes, there is a time to seek out safety (from violence, from fear, from famine, from abuse, etc.), but ultimately it is the Lord who will provide that and lead you to that.
He is safe to trust.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Many of the reasons people fear for their safety or the safety of their families are because of the fear of man. This is a powerful fear. It will lead people to become refugees. It will lead people to take their families and hide away in remote areas or cross whole continents to find a “safer” place. It will lead people to live the lives of hermits, to leave the city or the country, to change their whole way of life, to stockpile many things. And, to be clear, there are sometimes just reasons for these actions, but at other times there are not.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Sadly, we often find that man’s plans for peace and safety only lead to destruction. The survivalist movement is largely based upon the fear of man and man’s plan to answer that. Many parents who have tried to raise their children with the perfect formula to produce “good, godly adults” have found to their sorrow that the end was destructive in some way or another. People have fled to far places in search of safety only to find that they are not welcome or that their safety is not guaranteed in the place where they ended up.
Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
There is also the problem of political and military plans that are supposed to bring us “safety”. If we could just elect this person or that person, or have a change of government, or conquer this enemy then everything would be safe.
Psalms 33:16-19 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
The host of soldiers and the horse is the equivalent of modern day military might. The modern machines and armies are just as vain for safety as the horse and hosts, as history has proven over and over again.
Fearing man is a snare – a trap. It will lead us to do things that are extreme and not profitable for us, our families or our nations/tribes. It can get us into all kinds of trouble.
By contrast, putting our trust in the Lord is safe. No matter where we are or what evil men we fear, if we are trusting the Lord we are safe. No, it does not guarantee that nothing “bad” will ever happen to us or our families, but when we are in God’s will – trusting Him – He will lead us and keep us and only allow such things as He sees fit to come to us.
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that, isn’t it? But, we are safe in His hand.
Psalms 119:117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
We can also trust Him with our enemies and those who would do us evil.
Psalms 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
He is able to overthrow the enemy, as the history of Israel shows us in scripture. Other times, He allows the enemy to conquer for His own reasons, and sometimes keeps His own safe even in the midst of that, as with Daniel and his friends who survived and lived successfully in the court of Babylon. Sometimes we fear terribly what might become of us in some situation, and yet God is able to overrule the wicked if He sees fit.
Our future is safe with the Lord.
Psalms 78:52-53 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
Sometimes the place that God leads us may look very dangerous. Walking into that parted Red Sea must have been frightening to some of the Israelites, but it was the safest way for them to go, the only way of safety actually. As they stood on that shore with their enemies behind them and this strange way through a sea before them, the future must not have looked very safe to them. But, it was because it was the Lord’s way.
The Red Sea
When the Children of Israel crossed the sea,
It comforts my heart to know
That there must have been timorous ones
Who faltered and feared to go;
Feared the ribbon of road which stretched
Ahead like a narrow track,
With the waves piled high on either side,
And nothing to hold them back.
Nothing to hold them back but a Hand
They could neither see nor feel;
Their God seemed distant and far away,
And only the peril real.
Yet the fearful ones were as safe as the brave,
For the mercy of God is wide.
Craven, and fearless,
He led them all
Dry shod to the other side.
And I think of the needless terror and pain
We bring, to our own Red Sea.
Strengthen Thy timorous ones, dear Lord,
And help us to trust in Thee!
Martha Snell Nicholson.
I remember a story from a missionary to Surinam, from years ago. There was a witch doctor, or whatever they called him, who was angry at the presence of the Gospel there and he planned a display of his Satanic power to impress the people. Word was put out that he would walk on broken glass and walk in a fire. (Fire walks seem to be fairly common demonstrations of devilish power.) The missionary heard that some of the weaker Christians had gone to this event and the Spirit of God moved him to act. He went to the devil dance, and under the power of God he took off his shoes and socks, walked through the glass and stamped out the fire. Then he stood there, unharmed, and rebuked the Christians who were present for their unfaithfulness and distrust of the power of God. From a human standpoint, that seems like a very dangerous place for him to be, and it was. But, in the power and will of God he was completely safe, just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the fiery furnace and Daniel was in the lion’s den.
The far future is completely safe with the Lord as well.
Zechariah 14:4, 10-11 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south…All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
It has been many a long year since Jerusalem was safely inhabited, but God has promised to bring this again with the return of Jesus Christ.
Most importantly, it is safe to trust Him with our eternal salvation, which is almost too far in the future to comprehend.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The name of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes our strong tower of safety when we call upon Him for our salvation. His name alone is the safe hiding place of our souls.
"For Thou Art With Me"
I know not when I go, nor where,
From this familiar scene;
But Christ is here and He is there
And all the way between;
And, when I pass from all I know
To that dim, vast unknown,
Though late I stay, or soon I go,
I shall not go alone.
By Annie Johnson Flint [altered]
Lastly, there is safety in knowing God’s word and wisdom.
One thing that can preserve us from the snare of trusting men, following men’s plans, and fearing what the future may hold, is to know God’s word and to follow the wisdom He has given us through it.
Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
Reading, studying and teaching God’s word over and over again will give that safety of knowing what He really did say. By this we will have the ability to examine what men say. Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
We find the wisdom of God speaking in Proverbs 1:31-33, Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Then we read in Proverbs 3:21-23, My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
All of this means work and study. We cannot expect to know the will of God and the wisdom of God if we do not know the word of God.
2 Timothy 2:15-16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
To paraphrase an old poem:
Safe, so very safe with God,
Safer I cannot be,
For in the person of His Son,
I’m just as safe as He.
Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.