RETURN OF--THE STAMPEDE!
…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
--I Samuel 30:6c
During my days as a probation officer--with a high-risk case load--I discovered one cold, cruel reality. I was responsible for my own safety. Never mind the training I had, or the backup I received from law enforcement or the kind words from my judge. I was responsible for me.
This realization takes fear--yes, fear--firmly out of the equation for daily living.
It is up to each Christian to discern truth from lie within the light of the Word of God, and do responsible things--instead of being manipulated by the manufactured fears of a religious leader, a company, or a government.
We must avoid being filled with fear and sucked into a stampede at all costs.
Hebrews, Chapter 11 contains the ‘Hall of Fame’ of the saints. Some of them were miraculously and supernaturally delivered by God from the flames of very real persecution, trials and troubles. There were others who went through the troubles assigned to their era, died, and were carried off to glory. During any time of crisis, the entire chapter makes for sobering--and encouraging reading. It is always God’s call in how we each come through the fire. He controls not only the flame, but the temperature! It is better to come through the fire with God, than to not have God, and rely on your own ingenuity to get you through very real, and very fearful events.
Some 20 years ago, I first wrote on the issue of fear in society by examining the topic of stampedes in the old west. I explained that cattle (and people) can be easily moved by fear; and with that fear, swept along to the point of destroying others--including the cattle themselves. In light of the face of (yet) another worldwide round of panic in our current era, I wanted to go back in time to the Y2K crisis.
See if that crisis sounds familiar in light of the Wushu Virus today.
We were told that society--as we knew it--wasn’t going to survive because of Y2K. People were frightened; spurred on by the uncertain sounds of the blaring electronic and print media, along with government officials issuing calm reassurance that they were on top of the problem and that people didn’t (shouldn’t) stockpile supplies. Of course, many churches were oblivious and silent (for the most part) on encouraging their congregations to take precautions. However, many Christian writers penned helpful columns for national Christian publications to help our brothers and sisters in the faith.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
--Proverbs 22:3; 27:12 (KJV)
Meanwhile--on the other side of the crisis--the ‘usual suspects’ in the underground conspiracy theory networks were advising the public to take precautions…and made it a point to sell as many ‘emergency preparedness kits’ as they could. Also, the sports teams, entertainment stars, and wealthy pundits were on display with their own reasons why Y2K wasn’t a threat to them…while at the same time determining how to best ‘cover’ their assets to escape from any real harm.
Then the storm passed, and the sun shined again.
What was truly noteworthy about the Y2K event was many who had bought and stockpiled extra food, fuel and supplies--once the ‘crisis’ had passed--expressed a sigh of relief and gave their ‘emergency stuff’ away. They went right back to marrying, and being given in marriage--as the Bible forecast--just before the rain fell. We dodged the Y2K bullet--but another, very real storm surfaced--unexpectedly--on the radar. It seems that the 2000-2002 period saw a real up-tick in natural disasters rolling over our land.
Government officials--yes, the same ones who downplayed the Y2K dangers--came flat out and said that people should not expect the government to ‘reach’ them in time, and that the public should manage to have three to seven days of provisions on hand. You see, when real danger threatens, man--in all his wisdom--is unprepared to handle the shocks and after shocks.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
--II Timothy 1:7 KJV
I revisit this matter of the stampede because there are those who are quite capable in using fear to manipulate, or ‘push’ people into doing things that otherwise rational people wouldn’t do. There are politicians and government leaders who are not ‘above’ partisan politics--pushing the public into a direction that would leave the way clear--and the destruction assured--to make lives easier for the elite and powerful.
Christian, get a grip. We are IN this world; but are not OF this world.
Since the Y2K scare, from 2001 to the present, there have been some 12 or 13 major ‘items’ involving the public health that have been presented to bring the world--as we know it--to a ‘certain’ end. Add the Wushu Virus into the mix, and you’ll have a pretty good score card as to the frequency of our land coming down this road. Then, there are a host of natural disasters--from earthquakes to Katrina--which have surfaced, and had their stingers removed by the hand of the living God.
King David faced a very real crisis back in his day. The families of his loyal soldiers were kidnapped; his village ransacked and destroyed…you get the picture. All this happening to God’s people who were IN the will of God. Of course, the natural reaction by the troops was to stone David--a man after God’s own heart.
The rationale? Kill the leader and the trouble would go away.
How did David get through this crisis? Right. He focused upward, encouraged himself in the Lord his God when no one else was backing his play, and took the right steps to get through the crisis. In short, by listening to the Lord AND taking decisive action, David put together an action plan, overtook his enemies, retrieved the stuff and families that were kidnapped and stolen from his soldiers AND got a bonus of ‘more stuff’ on top of it!
He took fear out of the equation and avoided the stampede of panicked thinking.
I’m not discounting the suffering nor the loss of life and limb during the Wushu Virus episode. The deaths and safety concerns are very real. However, we who are Christian need to remember the following: Governments can suspend public movement and gatherings under the guise of health and safety--but they can’t suspend Bible reading, prayer, and common sense actions to meet this health concern.
After all, God does give wisdom to those who ask.
We are each responsible for our own safety. Christian, don’t be pushed into throwing godly wisdom and truth over the side to panic with unbelievers, haters, shallow politicians and moneychangers. Don’t be manipulated into a stampede.
God gave us a KJV Bible and a brain. We need to pray and use both of them.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Book Reviewer, P-School Ranger, Modern Street Gangs Specialist and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Ramey Commentaries” is one of a variety of columns that Ramey has in cyberspace. To drop him a line…or a whine…the address is still the same: firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2020 Barnstorm Communications.