Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
There is very little that creeps me out. However, there are a few things. One of them is closing down the warehouse after a ship night. When you only have a couple of guys left in building and you can not otherwise see anyone, its easy to feel a little nervous as your are closing and the locking all those doors. What is there to fear? My biggest fear is that of people who don’t belong and are intent on stealing something or causing some form of harm. As for ghosts and such I am not really so concerned.
This past weekend, I took my son and nephew one of the local “haunted” houses. This one is located in a warehouse facility that has been renovated into a shopping center. It was interesting to watch the boys jump as things jumped out at them and people dressed up as ghouls, goblins, and zombies invaded their personal space. Oddly, as scary as some of this might be to some, I wasn’t spooked. Given it was a controlled environment and I don’t actually believe in “ghosts”, I never felt threatened.
Interestingly, the Bible has its own set of “ghost stories”. However, very few have anything to do with actual ghosts. Each of these stories, in its own right, serves a purpose. However, lets take a brief look and each one and see what we have and what it means.
In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul consults with a medium, which God strictly forbids. He asks of the medium to bring the prophet Samuel back so that he may consult him, as God has turned away from Saul. Samuel makes it quite clear that God is angry with Saul and the he will soon join him in death. Sure enough, God had rejected Saul for his sin, and Saul would commit suicide rather that risk being executed by the Philistines.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples make the error of thinking that Jesus is a ghost. Yep, superstitious fishermen. The fourteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel tells of how the disciples got in a boat to head to the other side of a lake. Late in the evening, Christ Jesus came walking out to them on the water, only for the disciples to become fearful and cry out about seeing a ghost. Jesus reassured them, saying “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter was bold enough to answer him, challenging Jesus to call him to come out of the boat and onto the water. However, once out of the boat, Peter would be overwhelmed and Jesus would have to rescue him. This same event is also record in the sixth chapter of Mark’s gospel.
Another interesting instance of a ghost sighting also occurs in Acts. In the sixth chapter, Peter has been arrested, again. An angel of the Lord leads him out of the prison. Once out, Peter hurries to the house of Mary the mother of John. When they first hear his voice, they think it is his “angel” or ghost. Yep, it would seem that they had presumed Peter had been executed. However, that would actually come years later.
Now these are only three such references. However, there is another reference to bear in mind. In the sixteenth chapter of Luke’s gospel, Jesus told the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. One died and went to a place of comfort while the other went to a place of torment. The one in torment begged that a messenger (some Bibles specify Lazarus) be sent to warn of the place of torment. The terse reply makes it clear that if the people will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither would they listen if one were to rise from the dead. King Saul was a case in point.
Ultimately, God is still in control. Just like that “haunted” house I took the boys to, somebody was in charge of what happens there. In the same way, God is still in charge of what happens here on Earth. It was God, in the form of Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who rescued a sinking Peter. It was an angel sent of God who rescued Peter from prison (twice).
Yes, an empty warehouse is creepy at the end of the night. Yes, there are some real things to be mindful of. However, God is still in control. No matter how spooky or unsettling things may seem. If God can raise a man from the dead, you can know full well that he is also watching out for you. Yes, we may find ourselves in dangerous circumstances, and they may even be life threatening, but God is still there, even if you lose your life. No, you won’t be a ghost wandering the Earth. God is in control. He will raise you up on the last day, according to that which he has foreseen and ordained. I take comfort in knowing that no matter what, God is in control.
What about you?