When it comes to safety this is a good question, what does safety mean to you? Let us turn to my old friend the dictionary first. Webster’s 1913 edition defines safety as:
1. The condition or state of being safe; freedom from danger or hazard; exemption from hurt, injury, or loss.
2. Freedom from whatever exposes one to danger or from libility to cause danger or harm; safeness; hence, the quality of making safe or secure, or of giving confidence, justifying trust, insuring against harm or loss, etc.
3. Preservation from escape; close custody.
Safety can mean many things to different people. Sometimes it means taking all precautions while taking a risk. This would be the bungee jumper making sure that all of his harnesses are tight and will securely hold him while he jumps of a tall place. Or the parachutist double-checking his gear before climbing into the plane. To some it means hiding away from all dangers and being secure from every risk.
What does the Bible say about safety?
A quick search of the word turns up 19 matches in the King James Bible. Safety is connected to two things, Wise Counsel and the Lord.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 24:6
The Bible makes it clear that safety is in wise counsel. Not just a little wise counsel, but a lot of wise counsel. Of course this wise counsel will be of no use if it is not put into practice. When it comes to any decision in your life, listen to the wise people in your life and remember Rehoboam. Rehoboam was Solomon’s son and he lost most of his kingdom when he listen not to the wise counsel of his elders but to the counsel of his buddies (I Kings 12).
The Lord is our Safety
Several verses make it plain that real safety can only come from God. It comes when we do what we can and leave the rest to God. When we do what God expects of us, He gives us safety whether we are in the deepest jail or the darkest storm. Our safety does not depend on us, but on an unchanging, unfailing God who loves us and wants our best.
Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. Leviticus 24:18
But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; Deuteronomy 12:10
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
Of course, there is my personal favorite.
The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
What Does Safety Mean to You?
Does safety mean never taking a risk? Does it mean hiding from the will of God because the physical and emotional dangers are too great? Does it mean taking a leap of faith trusting that God will catch you up before you fall? Does it mean you never protect yourself from any dangers?
Safety can only come from God. He is the only one that can see the future. We can only trust that He knows what is ahead and that He has prepared for it. Our risks come when we put into action His plans for us. Those risks may look very large at the beginning but if our faith is in God and He knows our rising from our falling, then we are safe in Him. Does this mean there is no danger? NO! But we obey in spite of the danger.
Think of the five missionary men killed in 1955 while trying to evangelize a forgotten people. They took all precautions, but left their safety in the hands of the Lord. You say, “But they were killed!” Yes, and what safer place is there to be but in heaven where there are no dangers. God used those five deaths to win that tribe for Himself. If you go back today, many of the people of that tribe are Christians because the wives and children of those five men took a risk to go and live among them. Their testimony of faith won the hearts of the people.
Many think physical safety is guaranteed to any who follow Christ. Just look at the history of the church and you will see that this is not so. Physical safety is not real safety. Real safety is in knowing the Savior who died in my place. It is in knowing that He has a plan for your life and whatever happens, happens for a purpose. It is in keeping the teaching of Romans 8 close to our hearts. He know what is ahead and everything will work out for His glory if we just trust and obey.
What does safety mean to you? Please write and tell me what you think.