Free from Danger, Free to Live in God’s Security

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English service on September 16, 2018

Messenger: Pastor Jim Allison


Psalm 16:1-11

“Free from Danger, Free to Live in God’s Security”

                 Hello, everyone.  Those of you joining us online may or may not know what’s been happening since we were together here one month ago.  But it’s been an eventful few weeks.  For many of us, besides the routines of life at work, church, home, and so on, we’ve had to deal with the major typhoon that passed through Sapporo and the strong earthquake that hit us soon after that.  The shock, disruption, inconvenience, and hard work of getting back to normal life have all made this a different month from others in many ways.  

           A thread that runs through all these experiences is the danger that is there, in various forms and degrees, as we go through life each day.  In today’s message, I want to share with you what I hear God saying from His word through the events that have made up life for us recently.  In this way, I believe He can teach us to become better able to react to the risks and dangers that are part of our life situations from time to time.  Part of God’s desire for you and me is that we know how to live in His security.  Whether we are in a safe, comfortable place or face-to-face with real threats, He can help us become able to live with a deep sense of calm assurance.  I pray that He will use this time in His word to build us more and more into people marked by quiet courage, stability, confidence, and all aspects of His peace.

                 David, the writer of Psalm 16 and many others, does not live a low-risk, low-stress life.  If you read the many Bible stories about him, you learn that there are many people who want to take His life, from (a) the giant Goliath when he is very young, to (b) King Saul’s soldiers when David is moving toward being Israel’s king, to (c) the soldiers of Absalom, David’s son, who starts a civil war trying to take control of the country from him.  David is no stranger to danger, but he knows where to go when it comes his way.  He turns to God.  He knows that in his faith is his greatest power because it links Him to the Lord, the source of courage and the inner strength to stand strong when scary times come.

So his pride does not get in the way when he prays (v. 1), “God, keep me safe. I go to you for safety.”  What words were going through your mind just after 3:00 AM on the 6th when that earthquake struck?  Along with “This is a lot like the big one in 2011” and “I hope this building doesn’t fall down,” I was saying in my mind, “God, help us!”  I was right there with David, feeling something of what he must have felt long ago.  

             Going through the hours after that without electricity, I noticed things I don’t usually notice.  For one, the quiet was impressive to me.  It made me realize what a large percentage of my waking hours I normally fill with sound from some electronic device.  Did you notice that, too?  I’m afraid I’m in the habit of putting sounds from the Internet, TV, and so on into my ears so much that I crowd out something healthy and natural.  It is the chance to simply pay attention to life and be aware of the people and things happening around me.  When I was forced to be quiet without electronic devices, I found it easier to observe a few things.  

           For example, my family and I were safe because some wise people years ago learned how to build solid, reliable buildings life ours.  That’s obvious, but it suddenly seemed very important to me.  It had been true many days before, but I had not noticed.  The power outage gave me a chance to be thankful.  I was grateful not to be one of the people who died or was injured or lost a home.  Why did these things happen to them and not me?  I don’t know.  But I was made aware of how many of the biggest parts of life are pretty much out of my hands.  That includes my health, the crime rate, and the economy, as well as nature.  With all that in mind, it seems natural to pray (v. 2), “You are my Lord. Without you, I don't have anything that is good.”  

              Watching how Open Door’s members and many others have come together to help each other through the time of trouble that this earthquake has brought, I feel a connection with David when he writes (v. 3), “God's people who live in our land are glorious. I take great delight in them.”  The first contact I received was a text from Pastor Sasaki, asking if we were OK and if I would contact a member whose number he did not have.  It was a very clear reminder that we have a community of faith here.  We come together to help each other and others around us when threats to our security appear.  This to me is one thing that makes it easy to feel the presence of God here.  As the title of Tolstoy’s wonderful short story says, “Where Love Is, There God Is Also.”  


              Going to Thailand recently, I noticed again how different life is in a country without a strong economy like Japan has.  The group of students I traveled with worked at a children’s home, and some of it was hot, exhausting labor, along with a lot of fun.  I enjoyed playing Frisbee and various games with the children.  You can see some of the kids in the pictures on the Baan Jin Jai Foundation and Children’s Home Web site <> and here on the screen.  But no matter how sweaty and tired we became, we had a cool hotel to come back to each night.  The kids we went to work with did not.  Why had life put them and not us in that situation?  If I had been born in their country and not mine, one of their families and not mine, probably I would face many of the same struggles they do.  Yet I am free from them!  More and more reminders that I live by grace!  Again I found compelling reasons to say in my heart, as David does in vv. 5-6 “Lord, everything you have given me is good. You have made my life secure. I am very pleased with what you have given me. I am very happy with what I've received from you.”


            After the earthquake, I remembered the four days our family lived without electricity when I was in junior high school in the U.S.  A summer storm knocked out our power, and I recall using candles for lighting, opening the doors and windows instead of relying on central air conditioning, and how early it seemed to get dark at night.  Without the entertainment of TV, I was bored, too.  So I ended up going to sleep earlier and sleeping longer than I usually did.  


              When I began falling into the same kind of pattern after the earthquake this month, I thought, “This is not all bad.”  I really need the sleep—more than I realized when I was getting that constant stimulation of electronic light and sound.  Being awake when it’s light and sleeping when it’s dark—this is an idea I don’t usually consider, but when I started trying it, it somehow seemed quite natural. 


             Come to think of it, that’s how human beings have lived for most of the long span of history, isn’t it.  Maybe I should continue that more.  I probably need to go through a “detox” phase first, as alcoholics need first to get the alcohol out of their system before they can get to a healthier pattern of life.  That phase is not comfortable, but it’s worth going through to get to something better.  That something for many of us is a simpler life.  It is more like one with the spirit Paul has in I Timothy 6:7-8 when he writes, “We didn't bring anything into the world. We can't take anything out of it. If we have food and clothing, we will be happy with that.”  That attitude seems very attractive now.  Being satisfied with living simply can help you get through a difficult time without all the conveniences of modern life.  That’s true, isn’t it.  Talking about God, David says (v. 7), “He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me.”  That’s a good reason to praise the Lord, as the psalmist says he will.


            Then he continues with a section that we hear again later in the Bible.  He says in vv. 8-11 words that begin with this: “I know that the LORD is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure.”  But an interesting thing happens when we get to the New Testament.  Peter quotes these words in his famous and powerful message to the people of Jerusalem soon after Christ’s resurrection.  You can read it in Acts 2:25-28.  That’s the day that about 3,000 new believers enter the Church after hearing Peter bring God’s word.


        These are amazingly bold words for a man who has recently been hiding behind locked doors after Jesus’ death, for fear of his nation’s authorities (John 20:19-31).  He and the other disciples had been afraid that these people would do to them the kind of thing they had done to Jesus, it seems.  There is irrational fear, but they seem to have had some pretty strong reasons to think they might be in danger, and living in fear was their response.  But something radically changed when Peter and the others met the risen Christ.  They have now become courageous enough to go out in public and begin announcing the amazing news that Jesus is alive again.  He is living proof that God is with them.  Knowing this fills Peter with a courage that he could not have apart from this faith.  He himself is telling the truth he believes when he says, “I will always be secure” (Psalm 16:8, Acts 2:25).


        But there is something more.  He is linking these words to Christ himself.  He continues (Psalm 16:9-10, Acts 2:26-27), “So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure. You will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your faithful one rot away.”  Peter’s Jewish listeners know these words very well, but they understand them simply as David’s.  


            Now Peter shows them how these are also the words of Christ, talking about the way God will raise Him to life after He has died on the cross.  His hearers begin to understand that Jesus was not just a normal man as many had imagined.  God Himself has been planning and working from many years before to bring to the world’s people through Jesus something great and life-changing, which He has promised in His word, the Bible.  It is the gift of eternal life, through the death and resurrection of Christ.  In that is the hope that will give human beings the courage to face dangerous situations and even death itself with courage, peace, and a strong spirit of security.  In that is the power that changed Peter and the other disciples from cowards to bold proclaimers of Christ’s life-giving message.  In that is the deeper meaning of Christ’s life in this world—not only giving some good teachings or an example to follow but the gift of eternal life itself.  In that is the way to the best life in this world for all who will believe it, and heaven to follow.  


          So in that is every reason for you and me to join with David, and Peter, and Christ, and say to God, “You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you.”  In times of danger and any time, we can hold tight to the promise of Psalm 125:1, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion. They will always be secure. They will last forever.”  We too confess faith today with the writer of Hebrews 6:19 and say, “Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure.”


            Amen.  May God strengthen you in your spirit so that in every day ahead, you will be able to face the dangers of this world with an unchangeable sense of security in Christ.  On the basis of the word of God Himself, I encourage you to make a commitment in your heart to live each day ahead in a spirit of Christ-based liberty.  That means being free from the fear of this world’s dangers and free to live in an unshakable confidence that God has all parts of your life in His hands every day.  Let’s ask Him now in prayer to make us people that kind of people.


          God, we agree with you when you tell us in James 4:14, “You don't even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears.”  Before the power of nature and in many parts of life, we see our smallness.  But in Christ we see how great you are.  And in your amazing love, you have made a way for us to place ourselves in your powerful hands and rest there.  When we face danger and in any situation, help us to make the choice to move ahead with the assurance of knowing that we are in the hands of our Loving Father and Almighty God.  In Your Son’s name we pray, amen.   




A prayer of David.

1 God, keep me safe. I go to you for safety. 

2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord. Without you, I don't have anything that is good." 

3 God's people who live in our land are glorious. I take great delight in them. 

4 Those who run after other gods will have nothing but trouble. I will not pour out offerings of blood to those gods. My lips will not speak their names. 

5 Lord, everything you have given me is good. You have made my life secure. 

6 I am very pleased with what you have given me. I am very happy with what I've received from you. 

7 I will praise the Lord. He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me. 

8 I know that the LORD is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure. 

9 So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure. 

10 You will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your faithful one rot away. 

11 You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand.


Psalm 57:7

God, my heart feels secure. My heart feels secure. I will sing and make music to you.


Psalm 62:2

He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.


Psalm 102:25

In the beginning you made the earth secure. You placed it on its foundations. Your hands created the heavens.


Psalm 125:1

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion. They will always be secure. They will last forever.


Matthew 27:64

So give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. If you don't, his disciples might come and steal the body. Then they will tell the people that Jesus has been raised from the dead. This last lie will be worse than the first."

[“secure” also in vv. 65,66—security based on human planning, military power—contrasts with God’s loving protection as basis for our security]


Acts 2:25

David spoke about him. He said, " 'I know that the Lord is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure.


Romans 5:10

Once we were God's enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives.


Hebrews 1:10

He also says, "Lord, in the beginning you made the earth secure. You placed it on its foundations. The heavens are the work of your hands.


Hebrews 6:19

Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure. It goes all the way into the Most Holy Room behind the curtain.


James 4:13-15

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city. We will spend a year there. We will buy and sell and make money." 

14 You don't even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears. 

15 Instead, you should say, "If it pleases the Lord, we will live and do this or that." 


This is the prayer in my heart after seeing the way God protected us during the recent earthquake.   


9.16. 2018










 詩篇16編やその他の多くの詩の作者であるダビデは、危険の少ない、ストレスの小さい人生を生きた人ではありません。彼に関する多くの聖書の話を読めば分かりますが、彼の命を取り去ろうという人が多くいたことを知ることができます。それは、(a) 彼が若い時の巨人ゴリアテであり、(b) 彼がイスラエルの王となろうとしている時のサウル王の兵士であったり、(c) 内戦を起こしダビデから国のコントロールを奪おうとしたダビデの息子のアブサロムの兵士だったりします。ダビデは危険と縁のない人ではありません。ですが、彼は危険が自分の行く手にやってくる時に、どこに行けば良いか知っていたのです。ダビデは神様へ目を向けたのです。彼は信仰が最大の力であると知っていたのです。何故ならば信仰こそが神様と自分をつなぐ接点であり、恐怖の時が来ても雄々しく立っていられる内面の力で、勇気の源だ  からです。


 ダビデが、 ”神様、私をお守り下さい。私は安全を求めてあなたの身許へ行きます。“(1節)と祈る時に、彼のプライドは邪魔になるものではありません。

6日の午前3時過ぎに地震があった、その直後、皆さんの心の中にはどのような言葉が浮かびましたか? 「2011年の時のように大きくない」とか「このビルが倒れなければいいな。」ということだけではなく、私は、加えて心の中で、「神様、私達をお助け下さい。」と言っていました。

 私はその所にあって、ダビデが遠い昔に感じていたはずのなにかを感じ、ダビデと共にいたのです。  その後に起きた数時間の停電を経験することで、普段は気がつかないことを気がつきました。 その一つは、静寂が非常に印象的であったということです。私が普段働いている時間の何と多くが電化製品の音で占められているかに気がつかされたのです。気がつかれましたか?



 例えば、私と家族が無事だったのは、何年も前に、頭の良い人達が、どうしたら頑丈で信頼できるビルを作れるのかを学んでいたからです。それはわかりきったことなのですが、突然私にとって重要なことであると思えたのです。それは以前からも事実であったのですが、私が気がついていなかっただけなのです。停電は感謝する機会を与えてくれました。死んでしまったり、怪我をしたり、家を失ってしまった人達でなくて感謝でした。何故これらのことが、これらの人に起こり、私には起こらなかったのでしょう。その訳を私は知りませんし分かりません。しかし、私は、生活上の最も大きな部分のどれほどの多くが自分の手によるものでない、と気付かされたのです。それは自分の健康、犯罪率や経済、自然も同様に含んでいます。これら全てのことを心に留めると、”あなたこそ私の主。私の幸いは、あなたのほかにはありません。” (2節)と祈ることが自然のことと思えるのです。

 オープンドアのメンバーやそのほかの人々が、どのようにして、この地震がもたらした困難な時を通し、お互いが助け合うために一体となったかを見て、私はダビデが ”地にある聖徒達には威厳があり、私の喜びは全て、彼らの中にあります。 ” (3節)と書いていたこととの関連性を思いました。



 最近、タイへ行ったことで、日本のように強い経済を持たない国では生活がどんなに違うかということも気がつきました。私と一緒に旅をした学生のグループは児童養護施設における働きをしましたが、その中には、楽しいことも多いのですが、暑くて、消耗する労働を伴うものでした。私は子供達とフリスビーや色々なゲームをして楽しみました。the Baan Jin Jai Foundation and Children’s Home Web site <> での写真を見て下さい。スクリーンにも映しますね。

 私達はどんなに汗をかいて疲れたとしても、毎晩、冷房の効いたホテルに帰ることができたのです。私達が働きに行った所の子供達にはありませんでした。何故、彼らの生活はそのようで、私達はそうではないのでしょうか?もし私が私の国ではなく、彼らの国に、私の家族にではなく、彼らの家族として生まれていたとしたら、私は彼らと同じ困難に直面していたはずです。しかしながら私は、それらのことから自由なのです。私は恵みによって生きていると益々思わされる(思い起こさせられる)のです。またしても、私は、ダビデが、5〜6節で”主よ、あなたが私に下さっている全てのものは良く、貴方は私の生活を保障して下さいます。私はあなたが下さるものを非常に喜んでいます。私があなたから頂くもので私は幸福です。 “と書いたように、心からそう言える納得できる理由を見つけたのです。



今月地震の後で、私はこれと同じようなパターンの生活をするようになり、その時、「これは全く悪い訳ではないな」 と思ったのです。私は本当に睡眠を必要としているのです。それは電気による灯(あかり)と電気が作る音という刺激を絶え間なく受けていた時に自分が思っていたより以上にです。明るい時に起きて暗くなったら眠る、これは普段私が考えたことのないアイデアですが、そのようにしようとした時、なんだかかなり自然なことに思えたのです。



私達の多くにとって良い何かとは、 ”より単純な生活 simpler life” なのです。それはむしろ、パウロが第1テモテ6章7〜8節で述べたこと” 私達は何一つこの世に持ってこなかったし、何一つ持って出ることもできません。衣食があれば、それで満足するべきです。“ の考えに近い感じです。

 このような態度は今や非常に魅力的に思えます。シンプルに生活することに満足するのは現代社会の全ての便利がない状態のような困難時を乗り越えることができる助けです。これは本当にそうですね。ダビデは神様のことについて語って、7節では、” 主は私に良き助言を下さり、夜になっても私の心が私に教える。“と言っています。主を褒め称えるもっともな理由で、詩篇の作者も褒め称えると言っています。


 更に、ダビデは私達が聖書の後半で再び聞くことになる部分を伴って続けます。彼は、8節〜11節で ”私はいつも、私の前に主を置いた。主が私の右におられるので、私はゆるぐことがない。 “ と始めますが、新約聖書に目を向けた時に興味深いことが起こります。ペテロがキリストが復活された直ぐ後でエルサレムの人々に対して行った有名で力強いメッセージで、この部分の言葉を引用していることです。それは使徒の働き2章25〜28節で読むことができます。その日、ペテロが届けた神様の言葉を聞いた約3000人の新しく信じた人々が教会に入りました。





 イエス様は神様が彼らとともにいるということの生きた事例です。この信仰から離れるはずがないという勇気で満たされた事を知り、ペテロ自身は自分が信ずる” 私はいつも守られ安全である。”という真実を語ります。(詩篇16章8節)



(9〜10節)“それゆえ、私の心は喜び、私のたましいは楽しんでいる。私の身もまた安らかに住まおう。 あなたは私を墓の中に置いたままにされない。あなたに忠実な者を腐らせません。” ペテロの話を聞いていたユダヤの人々はこれらの言葉をよく知っています、ですが人々はそれらを単純にダビデの言葉だと理解しています。





 ですから、それが、皆さんや私が、ダビデ、ペテロそしてキリストと一緒に、”あなたはいつも命に至る道を私に示されます。あなたは、私があなたと共にいる時に私を喜びで満たされます。“と神様に言うことができる全ての理由です。危機の時そしてどんな時でも、私達は詩篇125編1節にある “主に信頼する人々はシオンの山のようだ。ゆるぐことなく、とこしえにながらえる。”という約束に堅く立ち、また今日ヘブル人への手紙6章19節にあるとおり信仰を告白して言いましょう。“私達の希望は確かです。 それは魂のためにしがみつくもので、強く安全です。“





 神様、ヤコブ書4章14節であなたが言われている御言葉、” あなた方は明日何が起きるのか、知ることさえできません。  あなた方の命とはなんでしょう。しばし現れて消えてしまう霧のようなものです。“ はその通りです。自然や人生の多くの部分の力の前では、私達は自分が小さいことを知っています。ですが、キリストにあって、私達は神様あなたが偉大なお方であることを知っています。あなたの驚くべき愛によって、あなたは、あなたの力強い御手の中で私達自身を置かれ、私達が休むことができる道を備えられました。







1  神様、私を守って下さい。私は安全を求めあなたの身許へ行きます。

2  私は主に申し上げた。”  あなたこそ私も主。あなたなしでは、私に良いことはなにもありません。“

3  私達の土地に住まう神の僕には栄光がある。私は彼らを見て非常に喜ぶ。

4  他の神々に追い求める者には困難以外持つことができない。私は、それらの神々に血を捧げものとして注ぐことはない。私の唇は彼らの名を呼ばない。

5  主よ、あなたが下さったもの全ては良きものです。あなたは私の人生を安全にされてきまし

た。6  あなたが私に下さったものを私は大変喜んでいます。私はあなたから頂いたもので大変


7  私はあなたを褒め称えます。主は私に良い助言を与えて下さいます。夜でも私の心が私を教えています。

8  私は、主が私といつもいて下さることを知っています。主は私の右側にいて下さいます。私はいつも安全です。

9  それで私の心は喜んでいます。喜びが私の舌にあります。私の身体もまた安全です。

10 あなたは私を墓の中に置いたままにされません。あなたはあなたに忠実な者を腐らせません。


11 あなたはいつも命に至る道を私にお示しになります。あなたは、私があなたとともにいる時私を喜びで満たされます。あなたはその右の(正き)手で尽きることのない喜びをお与えになります。