Okay, I know that title above sounds a little goofy, but I want you to think about something. What does it take to protect us?
Since there are thousands of dangers in the world, let's get to the spider and branch out from there.
Now, to put it succinctly -- or bluntly, if you prefer -- a busy spider protected the future King David when he was hiding from the current King Saul. I read a story some time ago in Hebrew literature, and I'll write it here to the best of my memory.
When King David was a boy, he enjoyed walking through the fields while taking care of his father's sheep and enjoying nature. He was thrilled to see how each creature gave something to the world. Several examples are, hens lay eggs, bees make honey, goats produce milk and sheep give us wool. But he couldn't figure out a good purpose for the lowly spider.
"What's the purpose of the spider?" David wondered. He didn't even find a good use for the web, although he must have forgotten about it catching bugs. As an answer to the question, God seemed to impress on him that everything in creation had its purpose, and that one day he would understand that the spider also had a purpose.
Years went by and David became a hero who saved his people from the enemy by killing giant Goliath. King Saul was envious of him, feared for his throne and decided to kill David.
David ran for his life and hid in the hills, but Saul with a portion of his army was hunting for him. One day, hearing that Saul was closing in on him, David hid in a nearby cave. Saul's spies told him that David was in this area and figured they would kill him within an hour or so.
David was now in mortal danger and cried out to God, "Who will help me?"
Unknown to David, as soon as he entered the cave, a spider quickly spun a beautiful, well-developed circular web across the cave's entrance. Saul's men reached the cave where they were sure David was hiding and were about to enter it. But when they saw the intricate web, they said, "If David were here, he'd have torn the web to pieces. He must be hiding somewhere else. Let's go!"
That's how David realized that the spider, like all other creatures, can be useful, and he immediately thanked God for creating spiders.
What did it take to save David's life? A spider.
That makes me stop and wonder how many times diversions, incidents, delays, etc., have saved me from danger.
Returning home from Maryland last month, I made a wrong turn somewhere in Pennsylvania, which delayed me for about thirty minutes. No big deal. We normally give ourselves extra time because we don't enjoy being in a hurry. But when we got back to the right highway, there was quite a slow-down. We eventually saw the tow trucks hauling off two mangled cars.
Would we have been in that wreck if we hadn't taken the wrong turn? I'll never know, but checking the timing of my wrong turn, that error could have saved our lives.
A spider protected David. A wrong turn might have protected us. What else protects us?
Some years ago, we were attending a local church that we enjoyed. I was a deacon, Carol and I sang in the choir, a couple of our kids were in the orchestra. But one day the idea came to me that we were supposed to leave that church.
I prayed about it and the Lord impressed me with, "It's time to go."
I didn't understand why, but I had long-since stopped questioning God. So we talked with the pastor and developed a gentle way of stepping out without raising too many eyebrows.
Within a short time, a major problem broke out in the church and reputations were hurt. But because we had already stepped away, we were not affected in any negative way. We were protected by "the still, small voice" we read about in 1 Kings 19:11-13.
Spider. Wrong turn. Still small voice. God protects us in many ways. All that's required of us is to obey the Lord. John 10:27 says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Don't allow delays and problems to ruin your day. They might prevent a bigger problem.
-- S. Eugene Linzey is an author, mentor, and speaker. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his web site at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.