“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
James 5;16-18 NKJV
As we join in prayer regarding the current crisis and praise God for His coming parting of the Red Sea, so to speak, (as one example), we might consider a few more Biblical accounts where God’s people were shut in:
We read in Genesis about the great flood–Noah and his family survived in an ark for many nights and days. As a preacher of righteousness, he must have warned others to turn to God; but the people didn’t change their ways. He had been obedient to God in building the ark, in anticipation of the coming flood. Today, there’s an “Ark” into which anyone can enter, through repentance and by faith in Jesus’ blood.
Moses had gone before the Egyptian Pharaoh, saying that God wanted the Israelites to be released. But Pharaoh still hadn’t complied with “Let My people go,” so the plagues over Egypt hadn’t ceased. Therefore, a final plague of death transpired–a heavy blow to Egypt in the midst of the night. But the blood of an unblemished lamb, applied around their doors, kept God’s people safe inside until the morning light.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were cast into a furnace that was ablaze. That came about because they wouldn’t bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol, in order to give it praise. Their faith in God to deliver created an amazing scene, whereby the king saw that they’d become unbound. And there was a fourth “Man” with them in the fire, with whom they were walking around. They came out of the furnace unharmed, their bodies and clothes were unaffected. Then Nebuchadnezzar revered their God, who had kept them so miraculously protected.
Daniel worshiped the Lord God only, and for doing so, was cast into a lions’ den. In refusing to comply with Darius’s rule, he was obeying God, rather than obeying men. That den would have been a place, in which, anyone shut in should have died. But God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths, for He was on this worshiper’s side!
Lazarus died and was shut inside of a tomb, but his resurrection caused the Lord to be glorified. And Jesus’ own resurrection from death and the tomb proclaimed God’s Good News that is being spread worldwide!
Paul and Silas were shut inside of a prison–praise to God was their only weapon of choice. Then God sent an earthquake to set them free, because they had chosen, wisely, to rejoice! They went from being jailed to being guests in the jailer’s home and recipients of his care. The jailer had become their brother in Christ–what an answer to their praises and prayer!
So being shut in, in these Biblical accounts, brought about some great and mighty things. If we find we’re shut in, ourselves, today, let’s expect to see the good from God that it brings.
P. A. Oltrogge
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1