Safe and secure?

Judges 18:7 “Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone.”

Judges 18:27-28 “But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone.”

When believers talk to others about their Savior, how many people do you think have no idea of what they’re talking about?  I’ve heard people say that before they were Christians, they had no idea they even needed a savior.  They were doing just fine, thank you.  What in the world did they need saved from?  In the account above from Judges 18 we have an account of a group of people who were just like that.  This passage talks about the people of Laish.  By all accounts, these people had it made.  Listen how it speaks of them: “they lived in security . . . quiet . . . lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth.” It tells us that they “had no dealings with anyone.” And why would they? They were entirely self-sufficient, content, and wealthy. What a life, we might think.  However, notice one other word that is used to describe these people: it says that they were “unsuspecting.”  Though they were in mortal danger, as we find out later in the account, they had no idea about it.  The saying “ignorance is bliss” surely applied to them. 

The same surely holds true for many who are alive today.  They are living a good life. They have enough money. As they look toward retirement, or perhaps as they are in their retirement, they feel secure.  Maybe they’re the kind of people who it’s so hard to buy gifts for at Christmas, because they already have everything.  Life’s a bowl of cherries for them.  Everything is just as they’d always dreamed.  But is that really how it is for them or are they, like the people of Laish, “unsuspecting.”  Are they aware that one of these days this life will end, and if they’re not ready for it, they are in mortal danger that is every bit as great as that which came upon those from Laish? 

You see, Jesus warned those whom He taught with these words: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul” (Mark 8:36-37)?  The Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, warned us that a time is coming when people will be saying “’There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).  You see, people who have no Savior, like the people of Laish, will be overwhelmed with destruction someday when their days of security suddenly come to an end.   

The psalmist talks about this same subject in Psalm 73. As he looks at the prosperity of those without God, he says his “steps had nearly slipped.” What he means by this is that as he looked at how some people who have never given God a second thought live lives of ease, he had almost turned away from God, for it made no sense to him.  He talks about how so many ungodly people “have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind . . . Their eyes swell out through fatness . . . always at ease, they increase in riches.” But then the psalmist comes to his senses with these words: “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!” 

You see, that’s the warning of the Scriptures for all those who don’t see a need for a Savior.  No matter how secure they may feel, the fact of the matter is that they are living their lives in a “slippery place.” They are walking on a knife edge from which they could instantly slip into a Christ-less eternity, which Jesus said would be a place of eternal “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28).  But that’s why Jesus came. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).”  He came to save the unsuspecting, those who have no idea they even need to be saved. He came to save the very people who rejected Him and crucified Him on a cross – for though He came to them, they didn’t think they needed Him.  However, you can be certain that if they ended up dying in that condition, they learned only too late how much their self-security was a horrible lie. 

So, what about you? Do you need a Savior?  Or, like the people of Laish, do you see yourself as secure? Do you think you don’t need a thing?  If so, may God open your eyes to your need of a Savior, for we all need the one and only Savior of the world, no matter how unaware of that need we may be.

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