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The Watering Hole - Conversations on 21st. Century religion.

Tempting God


 
Abstract

How can we feel safe when all around us might be hidden dangers? Take precautions.


Tempting God

Feeling safe during crisis

"God protects fools and drunks." "I won't die until it's my time." "God makes everything happen - it's all his design." "I'm too young to die." "The angels will protect me." But is any of it true?

Jesus was tempted with this issue:

Matthew 4: 5-7 (NIV) "Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (Referencing Deuteronomy 6:16)

In this, Jesus was tempted to do something careless, or even reckless, but knew that tempting God might not bring the result you want.

Playing the odds, usually people get away with doing careless and reckless things. But you never know when the odds are not going to be with you. The train strikes the car delayed on the track. The person typing on his cellphone moves over the line and wrecks. The Parkour jump is just too far (I love Parkour). The infected person is in the crowd and you breath droplets or shake hands.

Once when a pastor, our community was crushed when a mother with several children was killed in an automobile accident. "Why?" everyone asked. No one knew any answer. Perhaps one driver or the other was careless.

There is only so much we can do in life to protect ourselves. But what can we do?

Arm ourselves with the best information. Take precautions.

"God helps those who help themselves." This isn't in the Bible, but we can count it as true. I'm reminded of the joke about the man who was stuck on his rooftop during a flood. A man came by in a boat, a helicopter few over and offered help, but the man refused. Finally he drowned. He asked God why he didn't save him. God answered, "I sent a boat and a helicopter. Why didn't you use them."

God guides and provides in many ways. Part of our protective armour is simply getting information from reliable sources. Part of our armour is following good advice and being careful.

If you refuse help, and refuse to follow precautions, then that's on you, not God.

The way to feel safe, according to experts, is to be well informed, make a plan and carry it out, and take precautions. This helps to allay the fear.

- Dorian

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- Dorian

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