Updated: Dec 3, 2021
“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." ~ Proverbs 16:20
Self-defense is a lifestyle. The most important aspect to self-defense is wisdom. It has been said that “recognition” is the way of the warrior and the experienced. No matter what we call it, however, wisdom is the proper recognition of each situation we may find ourselves in and is needed in order to know when to run, when to hide and when to fight! I believe the concept of run-hide-fight has a foundation in Scripture, which I will endeavor to show you in this post.
Let us consider a good word from yesteryear and its exhortation for us in the need for wisdom :
“Wisdom is man's true strength; and, under its guidance, he best accomplishes the ends of his being. Wisely handling the matter of life gives to man the richest enjoyment, and presents the noblest occupation for his powers; hence by it he finds good in the fullest sense. Without wisdom, man is as the wild ass's colt, running hither and thither, wasting strength which might be profitably employed. Wisdom is the compass by which man is to steer across the trackless waste of life; without it he is a derelict vessel, the sport of winds and waves. A man must be prudent in such a world as this, or he will find no good, but be betrayed into unnumbered ills. The pilgrim will sorely wound his feet among the briers of the wood of life if he do not pick his steps with the utmost caution. He who is in a wilderness infested with robber bands must handle matters wisely if he would journey safely. If, trained by the Great Teacher, we follow where he leads, we shall find good, even while in this dark abode; there are celestial fruits to be gathered this side of Eden's bowers, and songs of paradise to be sung amid the groves of earth. But where shall this wisdom be found? Many have dreamed of it, but have not possessed it. Where shall we learn it? Let us listen to the voice of the Lord, for he hath declared the secret; he hath revealed to the sons of men wherein true wisdom lieth, and we have it in the text, ‘Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ The true way to handle a matter wisely is to trust in the Lord. This is the sure clue to the most intricate labyrinths of life; follow it and find eternal bliss. He who trusts in the Lord has a diploma for wisdom granted by inspiration: happy is he now, and happier shall he be above. Lord, in this sweet eventide walk with me in the garden, and teach me the wisdom of faith.” ~ Spurgeon
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Given this, please consider the following as you trust in the LORD:
There is a time to Run:
“That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.” ~ Joshua 20:3
“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto Thee to hide me.” ~ Psalms 143:9
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth....” ~ Proverbs 28:1a (this shows that there may be a time to flee when men are actually pursuing)
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” ~ Matthew 10:23
"Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:" -Matthew 24:16
"My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war." ~ Psalms 120:6-7
There is a time to run! We are not to have a heart that we are looking for a fight! Our very heart should be that we are "for peace". The carnal man loves war and loves fighting. They that trust the LORD hate war and they love peace. They that reject GOD hate peace and love war. Primarily in preaching the Gospel and storming the gates of hell in spiritual combat, we are not to fight back physically but we should flee to another place and seek to avoid the physical damage to our bodies, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through GOD to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4)! We need to be able to differentiate between physical fights that are begun over carnal matters and the physical violence men seek to commit against us due to spiritual matters. Also, even when wars seem they are started over physical issues alone, JESUS instructed His disciples to discern the dangers and flee. There is a time to run, and this time is more often than any other when it comes to physical violence against us.
There is a time to Hide:
“And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.” ~ Joshua 2:16
“And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.” ~ 1 Samuel 20:5
“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings,” ~ Psalms 17:8
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.” ~ Psalms 27:5
“Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that Trust in Thee before the sons of men!
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” ~ Psalms 31:19-20
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” ~ Matthew 24:16
“Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but JESUS hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” ~ John 8:59
We see running/fleeing and hiding sort of go hand-in-hand. If there is a need to run there is also a need to find cover and concealment. We see in Matthew 24:16 that JESUS did not only direct those being attacked to flee, but to flee into the mountains, presumably to hide themselves! Truly, our greatest hiding place is in the LORD our GOD! We ought to be continually hiding ourselves in Him! I do pray you are hiding in Him!
"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you Whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him." ~ Luke 12:4-5
His wrath is fearsome and terrible.
"For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:" ~ Deut. 10:17
Are you hidden from His wrath in Christ? Are you dead to sin or dead in sin?
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."~ Col. 3:3
There is a time to Fight:
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” ~ Proverbs 28:1
We see conversely that the righteous are bold and will not unwisely flee, but there is a time that they stand up to evil, even physical evil, and they do so as boldly as a lion!
“And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar. And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” ~ Genesis 14:1-16
I encourage you to study this phrase, “trained servants”, for it is astonishing to consider! Even so, many Christians today do not consider the ramifications of this passage for them. Who was Abraham? Was the law given to him or the promises? Is not Abraham “... the father of us all.” (Rom. 4:16) regarding our faith? Do we forget how the pre-incarnate LORD JESUS met him after this great victory and blessed him? Dear reader, have you nothing to learn from him in this and how the tyranny of the men in the world around us is possible to be addressed today? Some (such as Amish or Mennonite) have adopted a pacifist mindset in regard to Christianity while still claiming to have the faith of the New Testament. Addressing the “resist not evil” of the New Testament is assuredly the topic of another blog post/writing, but we assuredly know that we have to “wrestle” with our understanding of what this means in comparison to this Scripture (which is assuredly inspired by GOD and profitable to the man and/or woman of GOD), for we know Scripture is not contradictory. Abraham knew there was a time to fight and he had already trained 318 of his own servants for the day it may happen. We do well to consider this!
Consider also another giant of faith: Job. GOD said this about him: “Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (1:8). Consider the testimony he gave concerning his own experience in Biblical perfection and eschewing evil, and for the current purposes and topic of this writing, we will focus on a certain aspect:
“Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Oh that I were as in months past,
as in the days when God preserved me;
When his candle shined upon my head,
and when by his light I walked through darkness;
As I was in the days of my youth,
when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
When the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were about me;
When I washed my steps with butter,
and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
When I went out to the gate through the city,
when I prepared my seat in the street!
The young men saw me, and hid themselves:
and the aged arose, and stood up.
The princes refrained talking,
and laid their hand on their mouth.
The nobles held their peace,
and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me;
and when the eye saw me,
it gave witness to me:
Because I delivered the poor that cried,
and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me:
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me:
my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
I was eyes to the blind,
and feet was I to the lame.
I was a father to the poor:
and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
And I brake the jaws of the wicked,
and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
Then I said, I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
My root was spread out by the waters,
and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
My glory was fresh in me,
and my bow was renewed in my hand.” (Job 29:1-20)
No wonder the young men (who were apparently oppressing the weak) hid themselves. Job was a righteous defender and protector who would break their jaws if he saw them committing their wickedness! He hated the evil he saw in the oppression of the fatherless, the widows, the defenseless! His perfection and uprightness assuredly led him to fight in the proper time.
In closing, dear reader, please know that this is not meant to be exhaustive. If you have anything you would like to add, please comment below.
We do see, however, that the concept of “Run, Hide, Fight” is promoted in Scripture! By GOD’s grace we need to discern/recognize these times, in wisdom! We must know when we need to run, when we need to hide, and when we need to fight!