From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 6- The Blowing of Trumpets: An Introduction to Tabernacles, continued
Just in what manner this sudden destruction shall come upon men, perhaps we do not understand; but it shall be as in the days of Noah. Sudden cataclysmic judgments shall fall upon the earth, the ungodly shall be “taken” suddenly as in a “snare,” but the righteous shall be “left” in a place of safety. They shall be “in Christ,” hidden away in “the secret place of the Most High.” With their eyes they shall see and behold the reward of iniquity, for they shall be right on the earth; but they shall be in safety. What very few people understand is this: that this great event which shall constitute a snare and a trap to earth-dwellers or earthly-minded Christians, shall become a glory and a power and a means of victory to the one who is walking with God. Jesus promised “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev. 3:10). And if God’s people will but study the Scriptures carefully, they will discover in what manner the Lord keeps His own from temptation and from trial. One thing is sure; it is not by carrying them aloft in celestial chariots of ease to some Elysian fields–but by becoming their shelter and protection in the very midst of trouble and distress. Behold the children of Israel in the very midst of Egypt’s desolation, but protected by the glory of God and the rod of Moses. They had flies throughout all Egypt, but there were none in the homes of Israel. Frogs everywhere, but not in the humble cottages of the Israelites. Hail and pestilence on the fields of the Egyptians, but not on the fields of Israel. Darkness and gloominess throughout all Egypt for three days–a darkness so dense that it could be felt–but light in the homes of Israel. The death angel passes through all the land of Egypt, even over the homes of the Israelites, but passing or “fluttering” over the blood-sprinkled door posts of the covenant people of God. See Daniel in the lion’s den, but it is no torment to him; the very beasts became his best friends. Behold the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, but they are not consumed. Yea, the very fire which was intended for their destruction became their light and their life–it consumed the cords which bound their arms and legs, and lo the form of one like unto the Son of Man was seen walking side by side with them in the midst of the flames.
Thank God for this great and mighty truth: the day of the Lord to the wicked is “not light… but darkness.” But to the righteous, and those who have appropriated the fullness of the Spirit and are walking with God, the Day of gloom and Great Tribulation is not darkness, but a light and a glory. To the disobedient, “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.” But to the great and mighty army of the Lord it shall be “as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong.” (Joel 2:2). GHW
Note the pattern here. Time after time God preserves His people in times of peril, not by way of escape, but by way of His presence with them in their distress. Nothing attests to this truth quite like Psalm 23:
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.