“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many” 2 Cor 1:8-11
These are perilous times and many of us are being tested beyond our measure, so much that we even despair of life. The pandemic has put enormous stress on social life, family running and economy too. Some of us are batlling a sickness, others office problems, financials, even daily struggles because of Covid restrictions, vaccines, Covid itself. In addition there are enemy attacks and insinuations whatever. Let us look at a few Bible people and see how they escaped these intense trials.
Jesus: After his first sermon in his hometown of Nazareth, people sniggered, they were cynical that this local boy was claiming to be the Messiah. The congregation then filled with rage, physically pulled him to the edge of the hill and wanted to throw him down (Luke 4:28-30). And then Jesus escaped. (Supernaturally or naturally by running faster we don’t’ know, and it doesn’t matter). Whatever it is Jesus was smart and escaped. Seeing the death threat, he leaves Nazareth, shifts ministry headquarters to Capernaum and resumes ministry in more friendlier city. From there he launches on.
Jacob: Jacob kept Laban’s sheep, and his boss was a very tough taskmaster. He treated him like a slave even though he was his son-in-law. Laban was always envious of his growth and changed the salary structure 10 times, but each time God blessed Jacob more in the new salary structure (Gen 31:7). Finally fed up of this workplace oppression, Jacob leaves Laban and departs with his wives. God intervenes and warns Laban not to touch Jacob (v24). Jacob escapes and begins a new chapter in his life. (Gen 31)
Paul: Paul had many escapes from sure death. This is actually the way of the Gospel. Any believer will surely come close to death many times, but Jesus will save him. He was stoned once at Lystra, he was bleeding badly, they dragged his body out of the city thinking he was dead. But believers gathered around the body and prayed for him and he arose (Acts 14:19,20). The second time, he was to be arrested in Damascus, but by stealth, he was let down in the middle of the night through a basket in the wall and escaped with his life. (2 Cor 11:32-33)
David: Saul tried to kill him by throwing a Javelin at him as he was playing the harp, David was alert and escaped (1 Sam 19:9,10). Later Saul sent soldiers to his house to kill him, as they lay in wait, his wife Michal let him down in a window and he fled (1 Sam 19: 12-13). Saul hunted him in the countryside, but God protected David each time.
What is the point? Persecution is sure, if you are a believer. Satan many times wants to actually kill you, or destroy your health or your family. But Jesus will give you a way of escape. It could be a friends house temporarily to shelter in, it could be a trusted doctor’s second opinion, it could be a new city, it could be a new job or a short term opportunity to keep yourself occupied or even exercise etc. For some it could be a new Church even.
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