1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psalm 91:1-7 (KJV)
Sometimes we Christians get so caught up in the spiritual aspects of God's Word that we forget that when He promises things to us, He's talking about this world as well as the realm which we can't see with our fleshly eyes.
My friend—Henry (a pseudonym)--and I are both retired United States Air Force NCOs and we have known each other for almost thirty years. Back in 1996—well before he retired--Henry received an assignment to Saudi Arabia. He was sent there to replace a man who had been injured in the Khobar Towers terrorist attack. Khobar was an eight-story housing unit which was built in 1979 for Bedouin tribesmen. However, the Bedouins didn’t want it, so, during the first Gulf War and afterward, US Armed Forces and other Allied personnel were housed there. In the attack—perpetrated by Hezbollah--nineteen American airmen and one Saudi national were killed and over 500 were injured. From GlobalSecurity.org:
Estimates of the size of the bomb range from the equivalent of 3,000 to more than 30,000 pounds of TNT. The Downing Task Force estimated that the bomb was between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds, most likely about 5,000 pounds.
Henry arrived there 7 days after the attack.
As is well-known, all things of Christ are banned in Saudi Arabia, including, most especially, His Word. The US Armed Forces abides by this edict and doesn’t allow its personnel to bring Bibles into the country. But Henry has long been a man of God and he told me that, back then, the faithful had created a fellowship gathering which they dubbed the Stealth ( Secret) Chapel. It wasn’t really a secret, but it wasn’t advertised and was conducted in an underground garage. Anyone who desired to attend could do so.
Not long after he got there, Henry was attending Stealth Chapel services. Memorably, he related the story of a Jordanian contractor—a Muslim—who intermittently attended services and who, in spite of Saudi Arabia’s restrictions, kept a copy of the New Testament on his office desk.
But here’s the most important part of the story that Henry related to me.
The man whom Henry replaced was only nominally injured and had been part of the Stealth Chapel. When the attack occurred, he had been in his sixth-floor dorm room, lying on his bed. The explosion took down a wall of one of the buildings and that wall belonged to his room. As a result, the man went flying outside of the building into the air and landed on his bed which had also been blown out of the building. He had no serious injuries— only aches, and pains. He was evacuated mostly for the perceived emotional trauma he probably experienced.
The man who related the above story to Henry had also fellowshipped in the Stealth Chapel. When the attack occurred, the former had been in the day room watching television. (In military dorm buildings, a day room is a common area in which residents congregate; it usually contains things like TVs, stereos, video games, and vending machines. It has been a very long time since I lived in a military dorm, but I'm sure that modern ones have computers.) This particular day room had an attached balcony composed of tempered glass.
When the man heard and felt the explosion, he looked toward the balcony and saw it bulge outward. Then it bulged in the opposite direction, broke into countless pieces and the man saw pieces shooting toward him. The only reactions he had time for were to shield his face by putting one of his arms and to say, “Jesus, shield me!”
When it was over, the man took his arm down and looked around at the wall behind him. Like daggers, pieces of the balcony were embedded in the wall. Then he turned back to his front to survey the damage, but something on the floor directly in front of him caught his eye: a pile of glass which had fallen in the shape of an oval.
Not one piece of the balcony glass touched the man, not even the tiniest shard.
And, finally, no other members of the Stealth Chapel were seriously injured by the attack.
Does God mean what He says? You be the judge.