The view was breathtaking. Lush pine forests covered the mountainsides and disappeared into distant valleys below. A sheer rock face of reddish hue stretched upward toward snow-capped peaks that glistened in a sunny, cobalt-blue sky. It was a beautiful but treacherous route, and I fixed my attention on the road as we inched our way through Red Mountain Pass between Durango and Grand Junction, Colorado. Around hairpin curves, down steep grades, we finally had to stop our 40-foot touring bus so the brakes could cool. We still had a long distance to cover before we would reach safer terrain.
As I prayed for God’s protection, I was comforted by the thought of the many supporters of our Jews for Jesus ministry who pray for the Liberated Wailing Wall. Later that night as we continued our journey from Grand Junction back up into the Rocky Mountains and on into Denver, I had a real sense of God’s watchful care over us.
How interesting it is that usually we are aware of God’s protection only when we sense some danger from which he is protecting us. I am sure that God’s protection is always with us even when we are not in dangerous situations. The Scriptures make it plain that his love and concern for his people are constant. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). It takes spiritual sensitivity to be aware of God’s protective care even when there is no apparent danger.
God’s constant care beyond our conscious recognition is well illustrated in the Book of Esther. In the saga of Purim, which Jewish people are celebrating this month, Mordecai was a man who had such spiritual sensitivity.
The Jewish community, although still in dispersion, was doing rather well. The Babylonians had been defeated by the Medo-Persian alliance, and those new rulers were more favorably disposed toward the Jewish people. In response to the decree of Cyrus, many Jews had already returned to Israel, but many others had chosen to remain. They were comfortable in their Gentile surroundings. Yet lurking beyond this placid setting was the turbulent threat of Haman, who was waiting to unleash a storm of persecution—a tidal wave of anti-Semitism.
No human could foresee this, but God knew. And God took steps to protect his people. He stirred up the spirit of Mordecai, a devout man, one who was spiritually aware. Mordecai fell in step with God’s plan to protect his people. He instructed Esther, his cousin and adopted daughter, to enter a beauty contest that eventually made her queen of the whole Persian empire.
When Haman finally launched his satanic attack, Mordecai was able to turn to Esther as God’s tool for protecting his people Israel. “Who knoweth,” said Mordecai, “whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b). Who indeed, but God? God knew, and he actively moved in history—in the small details of history—to protect his people.
God is still active in this world today as he was in the time of Esther. He protects his children whether or not they are aware of it. We in Jews for Jesus, especially in the Liberated Wailing Wall mobile evangelistic team which I led for a time, have sensed God’s protection time and time again. We thank him, and we thank our friends and supporters who pray for us constantly, even when we are not traveling through dangerous mountain passes.
Editor’s Note: David Brickner is currently serving with our Chicago branch.