“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
2 Peter 1:4
There are numerous instances in Scripture where God’s people escaped capture by their enemies. David is an obvious example. Soon after distinguishing himself as a godly and courageous man, David became the special target of king Saul. On numerous occasions, and by God’s enablement to be sure, David escaped the jealous king’s onslaughts (1 Samuel 19:10, 12; 22:1; 23:13). Earlier, two of Joshua’s spies sent on a reconnaissance mission into Canaan escaped capture through the assistance of Rahab, who is a stellar example of one who gave her faith practical expression (Joshua 2, James 2:25; Hebrews 11:31). The apostle Paul had to escape capture at Damascus, being let down in a basket over the wall (2 Corinthians 11:32-33). Even the Lord Jesus Himself evaded His would be captors on several occasions (Luke 4:28-30; John 8:59; 10:39). The writer to the Hebrews celebrates events like these in which God’s people operating in godly faith, “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword” (Hebrews 11:33-34a). Escaping a vicious enemy often requires extraordinary courage and creativity, as in the case of a Chinese pastor I once read about. When his church service was suddenly invaded by the police, congregants fled for their lives, streaming out of every exit. The pastor, however, crammed himself into the little box he had been standing on to preach. His quick thinking paid off. Hidden from the authorities he managed to escape capture. When asked what prompted his creative means of escape, he said he remembered the Scripture, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30)! The godliness, courage, and creativity needed to escape physical capture is no less needful when attempting to avoid capture by the world and its lusts. The whole world lies in the sway of that wicked one, the devil (1 John 5:19). The Christian often finds himself “swimming upstream,” fighting an almost overwhelming current of ungodly philosophy and practice. Satan has placed deception and temptation everywhere. His intention is to entangle and enslave us in sin (2 Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 12:1). Though the threat of capture is real, let us remember that Christ came to set us free (John 8:36). With every temptation there is a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). In these perilous last days, let us be clever and courageous to avoid capture. Let us walk in freedom and fruitfulness, honoring the Lord and blessing others also.