“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”
Don’t you just hate it when a sure thing suddenly – isn’t?
Those responsible for the bombing of the Boston Marathon did not plan for the survival of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They did not take into account the fact that Almighty God has plans of His own and His plans always supersede those of man. They had not the foresight to see Divine Providence stepping in to preserve Dzhokhar’s life against all odds.
“There is a living and active God who is monitoring closely the events surrounding this case and He takes specific interest, and is surely carrying out a divine plan in the life of the accused.” I wrote that in an email to Eric Holder when he had yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar. It was true then and it is true now.
Those with secrets to protect knew a guilty verdict had to be obtained at all costs. Therefore, the case was tried, one leak, one documentary, one interview, one newspaper article at a time in the two years leading up to the start of jury selection. This saturation left Boston bias-strong, ensuring the jury would not be impartial.
While those with unclean hearts and hands worked to build their version of events, God was also at work, calling together a dedicated group of thinkers, writers, researchers, attorneys, and people of faith who would challenge that narrative. I am one of them. I have heard enough stories of how these individuals came to their support of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to know this group was not created by mere coincidence. We were brought into this crusade by God, and we will not go away without accomplishing the purpose for which He has called us.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.”
His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims.
He lies in wait like a lion in cover; he lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.
He says to himself “God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.”
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself “He won’t call me to account?”
But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.
The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
The Lord led me to Psalm 10 months ago, telling me it was for Dzhokhar. I took great comfort from it then and still do. I enjoy knowing that including statements & stories like these only make those who would destroy Dzhokhar write me off as a lunatic. That works for me. Consider another story from the Bible. I excerpt this narrative on the events in 2 Samuel 5:17 – 25 from “God of the Valleys” by Mark Rutland:
What King David did not need now was another attack. His army was depleted from a bloody civil war, exhausted from constant fighting for more than a decade, and only just beginning to breathe easy after running off a superior force of Philistines. He and the whole army needed to rest and refresh themselves. They needed a season of peace in which to become a real nation with a real army and not a loose amalgamation of tribes and fighting units cobbled together into a guerrilla force largely untested by a frontal attack from a real army.
A real army is exactly what the Philistines were. Their tents were spread out across the Valley of Rephaim as far as David’s spies could see. They were well-fed, well-trained, well-equipped veterans with no inclination to give David or his fledgling nation time to recover. Furious over being surprised and defeated the last time, they attacked. The Philistines had returned with a massive host filled with blood lust and hot for revenge.
The last time they came, David’s bold assault with a lesser force had so shocked them that they had retreated back through the valley and down from the hills of Judah into the lowlands of coastal Philistia. Wisely, David had not pressed his momentary advantage. It is a military mistake to pursue a larger army in retreat with exhausted light cavalry. Instead, David had burned all the heathen idols they had left behind in the valley, confiscated all their abandoned equipment, and returned to Jerusalem. Now, evidently, the Philistines had returned, in full force, to finish what they came for the last time: the destruction of David and his infant kingdom.
David lay on his stomach overlooking the Philistine bivouac from a hillside vantage point that afforded him a view of the whole valley. It was not a comforting sight. Years of guerrilla warfare had given David the ability to size up a situation and quickly decide whether to hit and run or just run. He had done plenty of both, and now he and his beleaguered little army were too tired to do either. He studied the faces of the commanders beside him and saw the telltale signs of battle fatigue around their eyes and deep concern etched in every furrowed brow.
David prayed for wisdom, light, help from the God of Israel, but what kind of help could come? There were no reinforcements on the way. He knew his captains hoped he had some new trick up his sleeve and he also knew that he did not. Too weary to think of a plan, David prayed as he seldom had in his life.
As his eyes fell on a grove of mulberry trees to the rear of the main Philistine camp, the familiar, inner Voice came clear. There, David, there is the place from which you are to attack. Move your ragtag army to the shelter of those trees and attack from there when I give you the word.
With his human logic David resisted. But, Lord, what good is that? We are so few that any advantage we might enjoy by attacking from the rear will be momentary. A force this large will wheel around and pin us against the trees. I don’t want to be trapped in dense undergrowth.
Attack from there, came the Voice, but wait until I give the signal. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of those mulberry trees, you will know that I have already attacked the Philistines. Come down then, come down into the valley with all your army and I will show you my power.
It was all the plan David needed. Pushing back from the promontory, the king crawled back to where the animals waited with a squire. Squatting in a low circle as military men do to talk of war, David surveyed the haggard faces of his leaders. They needed great confidence – not in David alone but in the Voice of God.
Suddenly David chuckled, low, soft, and conspiratorial as men do who share some private joke at someone else’s expense. At this, their eyebrows lifted, but they neither laughed nor joined each other’s gaze. They hardly understood their king at all. Indeed, until Saul’s death, several of them had fought against him. They did not understand but they did believe in him, and they had come to know that warm, confident laugh. When David laughed, his enemies should tremble.
“They’re ours,” he said at last. “Every one of them, all that we can kill, just like mice in a cat’s paw.”
“But, Your Majesty…”
“Here we are,” David drew in the dirt with a stick. “Here’s the Valley of Rephaim. Here, along here, these are those hills over there. Now did you notice that grove of mulberries? There. Right there. Did you see them? The Lord told me to attack from there.”
“How will we…?”
“Tonight,” David laughed. “All night. We’ve marched all night before. We’ll filter through these trees. Half there, the other half over here. We’ll rejoin at the mulberry grove about dawn and wait.”
“Wait, sire? Wait for what?”
“Angels, my dear old friend. Angels.”
“Angels, my lord? Did you say angels?”
“I am thirty years old,” David announced, standing before them. “I want to see thirty-one, and I will. We all will see the years to come. Because there, right there in those mulberry trees, an army of angels is being assembled. When they attack, we attack. This will be great, just great!”
They stared at the young king’s ebullient face and barely dared to hope. It could be. He had killed Goliath, eluded Saul, and was king at thirty. Anyway, who had a better plan? David said there were angels in the mulberry trees. Maybe so. They could see no angels. Then again, who knew what David could see?
“When the angels march, we march.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. But how will you know when the angels march?”
“How would you know from hiding, if the Philistines marched?” David demanded, with a sardonic smile.
“Why, I guess when I heard them. An army that size, attacking in unison, would make quite a noise.”
“Right,” the king said. “Now, it’s almost dark. Soon we start for the trees. Tell your men they must be quiet until the angels move. Then they can make all the racket they like.”
“Yes, sire. When the angels march.”
“Cheer up. I’ll hear them. An army of angels in full attack is pretty loud business.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, of course it is.”
There is no shortcut to learning the sound of marching angels. The prodding of the Spirit, like the internal irresistible “urge to push” of a woman in labor, gives witness that supernatural forces are marshaled. That is the moment of God.
That moment is surely coming for Dzhokhar. No one, nothing can hold it back. I do not know exactly how or when God will deliver Dzhokhar. I do know angels will be involved.
I plan to be listening for the sound that tells me they are on the move. What a day that is going to be!