No Safe Place

You have been deceived by your own pride
    because you live in a rock fortress
    and make your home high in the mountains.
‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’
    you ask boastfully.
But even if you soar as high as eagles
    and build your nest among the stars,
I will bring you crashing down,”
    says the Lord.

Obadiah 1:3-4 New Living Translation

The Edomites lived in the hill country east and south of the Dead Sea. Their capital city was on a high plateau, surrounded by cliffs and difficult for any invading army to reach without risking significant losses. The Edomites took pride in the advantage they held over invading armies and other nations that were so easily conquered. Through the prophecy of Obadiah, God made it clear that their seemingly safe homeland would not protect them from any army that He would rally against them in punishment for their attitude toward Israel. No matter how strong and impenetrable their fortress was, He would be able to bring them down from their lofty location. Their pride would eventually lead to their downfall. History indicates that the final destruction of Edom came in the late first or early second century A.D.

Most of us have a tendency to try to create a safe place for ourselves where we believe no destructive force can reach us. We may pride ourselves in our own physical strength to ward off any would-be attacker. We could also seek to build a personal arsenal of weapons thinking that the best way to keep trouble away is to outgun our perceived enemies. Or we may try to build a financial nest egg that we hope will provide all our needs no matter what difficulties we may encounter. All of these things will not bring us the impenetrable security we think they will, though. Ultimately, the most secure place we can hope to find the refuge we are looking for is in God’s hands and seeking to live according to His ways. History is littered with the wreckage of people who thought they could build an everlasting kingdom for themselves. Each of these efforts has eventually failed to provide the security sought after by the people involved. If we take pride in our ability to save ourselves, God will step aside and allow us to experience the natural forces that push against us to take their toll and crumble our personal kingdoms.

God, I confess that at times I have allowed my confidence in my own abilities to create pride in my heart. I have deceived myself into believing that I was beyond the reach of any foe. Help me to remember that my true source of security is in You.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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