Monday, September 28, 2009

Joel Beeke and the Russian Mafia

In January 2002, Dr. Joel Beeke traveled to Riga, Latvia to preach and teach and provide support for the Riga Reformed Theological Seminary (now known as Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary). While he was there, he was attacked by two men who claimed to be part of the Russian Mafia. He was assaulted, robbed, blindfolded, gagged and held at knifepoint against his will for an hour or so in his own apartment. He tells the story of what happened and how he escaped in an article published by Banner of Truth and his testimony to God's wonderful preservation is well worth reading: Dr. Joel Beeke's Experience in Riga Latvia (January 25, 2002). In another article, he is quoted as saying that while he lay on the floor bound and blindfolded that "I saw the goodness of God...I saw in Jesus' blood [the goodness of God]." How wonderful it is to read such a testimony. Praise the Lord for his remarkable deliverance of such a man of God. From his own account:

I cannot put into words how the Lord helped me in those forty-five minutes. For many years now, I have a practice that whenever I feel physical pain, I try to discipline my mind to think of Christ's pain. That is the best means I know to reduce one's own pain. But this time it was as if the Lord simply gave it to me. Most of the time the Holy Spirit filled my mind with sweet meditations on the sufferings of Christ. Every time that knife poked at my spine and I expected the end a knife's stroke away, God enabled me to meditate on the blood of Christ. When the knife pressed sore, I thought of Christ's sword-pierced side. I was given to surrender all my sins and my soul to the blood of our precious Mediator with such freedom that I wanted to sing with joy. I thought of Paul and Silas singing in the inner prison. I received much comfort from the text that believers should count it all joy when they suffer for Jesus' sake. Though I was acutely aware of my misery and unworthiness as I lay there, I was fully assured in my soul that my every sin was covered with the precious blood of Immanuel.

Psalm 124 (Scottish Metrical Psalter):

1 Now Israel
may say, and that truly,
If that the Lord
had not our cause maintain'd;
2 If that the Lord
had not our right sustain'd,
When cruel men
against us furiously
Rose up in wrath,
to make of us their prey;

3 Then certainly
they had devour'd us all,
And swallow'd quick,
for ought that we could deem;
Such was their rage,
as we might well esteem.
4 And as fierce floods
before them all things drown,
So had they brought
our soul to death quite down.

No comments:

Post a Comment