March 25, 2005 • By Ed Wrather
Monday (03.21.05), in Red Lake, Minnesota there was another school shooting killing one teacher, a school security guard, five students and wounding 7 others before the gunman took his own life. Before arriving at the school Jeff Wiese also apparently killed his grandfather and his grandfather‘s companion.
This week I will be resending devotionals written in response to previous school shootings and similar tragedies. The devotional today was written after the Columbine school tragedy.
(Originally sent 12-7-99)
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. - Proverbs 14:26-27.
Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma was the scene of another school shooting yesterday morning. Four students were injured but none of the injuries is life threatening. A fourteen-year-old boy drove himself to school and with a 9mm handgun opened fire on the students waiting to enter the school. He emptied the clip and was still pulling the trigger when the gun was taken away from him. Miraculous is a word that immediately comes to mind. Miraculous that none were killed. Miraculous that more were not injured. Mary Kay Henderson, a parent being interviewed by a news organization said, “...the prayers that those parents put up every morning protected those children.”
This morning counselors will be at the school to help the students and teachers cope with this horror that has overtaken them. But last night they were in the churches of the community receiving comfort and encouragement from the Lord. Many of the parents recognized that God is the One who is our refuge. He is the only One who can provide protection in the midst of this wicked and depraved world in which we live. We all need that protection. As the father of one of the victims said “if it can happen in Ft. Gibson it can happen anywhere.”
God is a refuge for those who fear Him. In the Old Testament, cities of refuge (Numbers 35:6) were set up for those who had unintentionally killed someone. If that happened they knew their only hope of safety was to run to one of those cities to escape that wrath of the victim’s family. Our only hope of safety for our families and ourselves today is to run to the place of refuge. God is the only place of refuge. We must run to Him each day. We must pray with our families, study God’s Word with our families, and be in church faithfully with our families. Sending our children to church is not enough. They need to see our example. They must know that we do indeed have a “fear of the Lord.”