All of us, at some point in our lives, ask the question "Why?" We read about tragedies everyday and sometimes the only response we can muster up is "Why?" Why did God let this happen (whatever "this" is).
In 35 years as a police officer, I constantly witnessed scenes of devastation: abused children, battered women, suicides - and the list goes on. And time after time, through their tears I heard people ask the question "Why?"
I won't pretend for a moment to have all the answers. However, having studied the scriptures for over 40 years, there are some "why" questions that can be easily answered.
Let me call your attention to Proverbs 27:12 - "A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." Think hard on that one - and the scales may fall from your eyes. It by no means explains everything; but it explains a lot.
It actually tells you that if you are prudent, and you take the time to "foresee danger," there's a chance that that particular danger will not harm you.
For example, if you "foresee danger" in the form of a car wreck, and put on your seatbelt ("take precautions") - there's a good chance you'll survive.
Let's bring this truth to the issue of violence at houses of worship. There are many who argue there is no need for it, that we should simply "trust the Lord" and He will take care of us. But how, in light of all that is happening, can we make that argument?
Here is my point: if you say you are trusting God in the matter of security, then why not believe what He says in His Word? If you trust Him, surely you can trust His word. And His word tells you to "foresee danger" and "take precautions.."
If you will awaken yourself to see the present danger we are in, you are then more likely to take the precautions that are necessary to protect your flock. If you don't do so, it is NOT because you are a person of faith - but a person of foolishness!
His word tells you to foresee danger. Are you doing that?
108 people have died a violent death on church and faith-based property this year. That's an all-time high (77 in 2015). This alarming statistic should enable you to "foresee danger" to the point that you will "take precautions."
Put simply, there are some bad things that would not come your way if you could see the possibility of them happening. You must "see" the possibility (perhaps you need a miracle; the restoration of your "sight"). Then, once you "see," you could then take the proper precautions.
While sitting in my yard the other night, I heard the sound of what appeared to be a car wreck. I jumped in my car and drove to where I thought it was. It was a terrible crash. One driver was pinned in his car, while the other had been ejected some 40 feet. Both cars were totaled. The engine of one of the cars was lying on the ground - 20 yards from the car.
An investigation would reveal that one of the drivers was talking on the phone as she drove (distracted). This accident was completely avoidable. Had she "foreseen the danger" of being on the phone while driving, perhaps she would have stayed off the phone - and avoided the wreck. So if someone asks about this accident, and followed with a "why," the answer would have been simple: she was distracted by talking on the phone.
Surely the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas can help you see what can happen even in the smallest churches - in the smallest cities! Sutherland Springs shows us that NO ONE IS SAFE!
It is time that you awaken from your slumber. You are now without excuse. You claim you are trusting God - START ACTING LIKE IT. Foresee the danger and take the precautions. If you fail to do this, you may experience the second part of the verse at hand: "The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."
A "Simpleton" is one who is foolish or gullible. He is the one who does NOT see the present danger, thus he avoids taking any precautions. And sometimes he pays dearly.
If the short cut to your car from the theater is through a dark alley, don't be surprised if you get mugged.
In my 35-year career as a cop, all I did was roam from one crime scene to another that might not have happened had the victim "foreseen the danger" - and taken the necessary precautions. That is not to say that the victim was to blame. THE FAULT NEVER LIES WITH THE VICTIM! However, to stay victim-free, one must foresee danger at all times, and then take the necessary precautions.
Foreseeing danger, and taking precautions, is how Jesus lived. John 7:1 tells us that He refused to go to Judea because the men of the city were seeking to kill Him. Wow - why didn't He just go anyway, - and trust His Father to take care of Him? That was not His style. He understood how a fallen world operated. When he saw danger, He avoided it. He saw that the men of Judea would try to kill Him, and He would not die UNTIL HE WAS READY (see John 10).
If Jesus foresaw danger, and took precautions to avoid it, why don't you consider doing likewise? It's nothing less than a case of WWJD ("What Would Jesus Do").