I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies
on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on
everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him." So we
fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer (Ezra 8:22-23).
In recent days there have been churches who have began
offering self-defense classes to the women of the church, or to anyone who wants to take
the classes. Perhaps the church leadership decided they need to find better ways of
providing for the physical needs of the members as well as the spiritual needs. And with
this, hoping to give to some a sense of security--one more reason not to fear this life or
Regardless of the reasoning, it seems as though the chosen course of action is one that so
closely resembles the same course of action that those outside of the church would take.
When considering how one should protect one's self, where is the difference between what a
child of God does and what someone who is not a child of God would do? Perhaps we might
think the difference is in the condition of the heart. That may be so, yet are we so
different if our trust is put in the same self-protection methods and devices as that
which others use?
Some would argue that God may lead us to use such methods. That may be so as well. But the
question then becomes, "Have we asked God?" How many people who are the children
of God have "fasted and petitioned" to find out God's desire and way to protect
us? We would have to admit that we know of few such people--probably none. Most of us who
take self-defense courses are seldom there because we struggled with weather it was wrong
or right, and then felt God leading that direction. How many of us would be as Ezra,
ashamed of even thinking to seek protection of any worldly type because we would want the
world to know that God is our protection?
The point is this: God does love us and He protects us. It is not a question of does He
protect, but do we trust? When David swung his sling against Goliath, he did not trust in
what he could do with a sling but what God would do through him. David's trust was clearly
in God and not his own skills and abilities. And as we seek an answer from God concerning
the question of self-defense, we may be frightened of what He might say because we still
have a hard time trusting others or in something we cannot see when it pertains to our
safety. Nevertheless, we must not rationalize and quickly find solutions as the world
does. Instead, we must first remember that God is our protection and then pray earnestly
to Him to determine how He wants to carry out that protection. What He has to protect us
is always far better than any worldly methods we could settle for.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when
you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through
the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For
I am the Lord, your God (Isaiah 43:1-3).