Bible Society of South Africa

A “Firebreak” for protection - 8 February 2024

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

7You are my hiding place;

you will save me from trouble.

I sing aloud of your salvation,

because you protect me.

Psalms 32:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

Over the past month, firefighters in and around Cape Town have been diligently extinguishing fires. In the area where I live, at one point, a fire from a reserve dangerously approached a complex with large houses. From the distance where we all stood watching, the red-orange flames and billowing black smoke were closing in on the complex with such speed that I was convinced one of the houses would be in jeopardy.

After hours, with helicopters scooping water from a nearby dam, the fire was finally extinguished. A resident captured photos of the devastation with his drone camera. To my surprise, it was the first time that I had seen the firebreak on the outside of the complex fence. The road had been installed earlier as a protective measure, in case a fire breaks out in the reserve. It, effectively, stopped the fire at the road.

This image of the firebreak made me think of how God also protects us in the midst of “fires” or storms that sometimes threaten to destroy our lives. In Psalm 34:7-9, we read: “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” Also, in Psalm 32:7, we read: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

If it feels as if red-orange flames and billowing black smoke surround you, remember, God’s angels encamp around us. No matter how dire things may look or feel, he is always able to turn things for good. God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank you very much for being my refuge in times of fear. Help me to keep my eyes on you at all times. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Ame

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