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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

God's foxhole

Jessie Pope spent about seventy days on the Vietnam War

Despite the fact that his military service occurred
more than four decades ago, the memories associated
with his duty are still strong in his mind. With a mere
moment's recollection, Jessie can re-live and vividly
re-tell some of those harrowing experiences as if they
had happened only yesterday.

The Viet Cong lobbed mortar rounds and rockets at
Jessie and his fellow comrades-in-arms on a perpetual
basis. At times, all the unit could do was hunker down
and pray that a shell did not land nearby.

Jessie said the difference between life and death
during those attacks was a well-fortified fox hole. He
said that prior to VC engagements, the U.S. soldiers
would dig simple foxholes to escape the shelling. They
would then surround the foxholes with piles of heavy
sandbags stacked several feet high.

Unless a shell actually dropped squarely in the
shelter, the men would be safe from the hot shrapnel
that exploded at impact. On the other hand, if a
careless soldier decided to venture outside a foxhole
during a time an attack was initiated, he invariably
suffered injury, even death. Life outside the foxhole
was dangerous at best and fatal at worst.

For Jessie, there was only one place for protection
from enemy fire--it was a foxhole. Anywhere else meant
trauma or loss of life.

As I think about it, God has always had a kind of
foxhole for folks:

• In Noah's day, safety could only be found in the ark
(1 Peter 3:20). Everyone outside that gopher wood barge
perished in the global flood (Genesis 6-8).

• In Israel's day during Egyptian bondage, safety could
only be found in a house with lamb's blood on the door
post (Exodus 12:1ff). Anyone who failed to go in the
house where blood was applied suffered the effects of
the death plague.

• In Rahab's day, safety could only be found in the
house with the scarlet thread (Joshua 2:12-21; 6:17).
Citizens found outside her home died at the hands of
the conquering Israelite army.

• In Joshua's day, safety could only be found in one of
the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1ff; Exodus 21:12-
13). To be caught outside of either Golan, Ramoth,
Bezer, Kedesh, Shechem or Hebron (Joshua 20:7-8) meant
that you would perish.

Safety and protection could only be found in God's
appointed place--whether it was the ark, a specific
house, or a chosen city. The same is true today. There
is ONLY ONE PLACE where spiritual safety can be
located. Jehovah's foxhole is the church (Ephesians
1:22-23; 1:1, 3-7; 3:10-11). All blessings are there
(Ephesians 1:3); salvation is there (Acts 2:27). It is
the only place of real security from the wages of sin.

For Jessie there was but one objective--stay in, stay
down, and stay alive. What about you, dear reader? Do
you want to experience eternal life (Matthew 25:46b)?
If you do, then you must believe in Jesus (Mark 16:15-
16; John 8:24), repent and turn from your sins (Acts
2:38: 3:19), confess that He is Lord (Acts 8:37), and
be immersed for the forgiveness of sins (1 Peter 3:21;
Acts 2:38), at which time the Lord will add you to His
church. Are you in the foxhole?

Jessie Pope is retired from the military and a deacon
in Hattiesburg, MS.
 by Mike Benson

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