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AN AMAZING FACT: For 26 years after the surrender of Japan in 1945, Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi hid in the remote jungles of Guam living on berries, nuts, rats, and frogs. Following the creed of soldiers loyal to imperial Japan, he refused to surrender because he did not believe the war was really over. Two local hunters discovered him in January 1972 in a remote jungle. He was wearing a pair of burlap pants and a shirt that he had made from tree bark.
When found, Yokoi was expecting the worst from his American captors. Instead, they gave him a first-class trip back to Japan. His first words to his people were, “It is with much embarrassment that I return.” But instead, the Japanese people welcomed him back as a national hero. He became a popular commentator on survival and even ran for parliament. You can even tour his little cave home in the remote outback of Guam. Yokoi died in September 1997.
When David was being pursued by King Saul, he hid in the mountains with a small army of loyal men. Saul tried repeatedly to capture David but could never lay a hand on him. The wilderness strongholds provided the perfect defense for David’s quick and nimble army. Hiding is not an easy thing to do, especially for Yokoi, who initially hid with 10 other Japanese soldiers. Seven of them moved away, and the remaining three were together for several years before they separated. Yokoi later found them dead, apparently from starvation.
In 1 Samuel 23 we read how Saul’s army finally encircled David in the wilderness of Maon. Providentially, a messenger called Saul away to fight the Philistines, who had just invaded the land. David was spared, and the place was called “the Rock of Escape.”
We too may find a Rock in the wilderness in which to hide from the enemy. Jesus Christ is our sure Protector.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
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
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