Gospel: The Shogun’s Security System

Kyoto, Japan, was once the capital of Japan. Its imperial heritage is reflected best in its beautiful castle, Nijo Castle, built by the Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. Visitors marvel at the beauty and Oriental splendor of this 17th century masterpiece. Only those, however, who walk its floor know one of its most curious aspects. The floors have been constructed to chirp like nightingales at the lightest touch. The floors were constructed this way to serve as a security system for the Shogun. No one could stealthily come upon him from hiding or during the night to assassinate him.

This ingenious feature emphasizes two things which concerned the ruler: the fear of the unknown and personal security. These longings are not limited to the heads of state or ruling powers. They are indigenous to the hearts of all men and women. Security systems are much more advanced and ingenious today, systems ranging from the elaborate to the use of locks and bolts.

What seems so incongruous amidst all this, is that the vast majority of people take no precaution to protect their most prized possession, and ignore the ultimate security which is available to them. If we protect and secure that which we cannot keep forever, should we not place even greater emphasis upon that which is eternal? If we fear the unknown which can only affect our physical or financial well-being, should we not fear even more the eternal consequences which can touch body, soul and spirit?

The Bible is clear that what men refer to as the unknown is fully knowable. God has revealed that there is an eternity which follows this life. There is eternal life and heaven for all who have trusted His Son as Savior. There is eternal punishment and separation from God for all who have chosen their own way. A person’s destiny can be known on this side of the grave, avoiding the specter of the “unknown”.

But God through His Word has also graciously told us how to be secure in the knowledge of our eternal destinies. His Word has declared that “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). He has assured us that all who “believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (,John 3:36).

The Shogun, Tokugawa, was employing the best methods of the 17th century to insure his physical safety. How tragic for any to depend upon something less than the most reliable means of securinia spiritual security. God is not as-king you to depend upon the shifting sands of your experiences or feeling but on the certainty of the work of His Son upon Calvary and upon His Word. “These things have I written … that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). It is the work of Christ upon the cross in suffering for sins which alone fits us for heaven. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God” (1 Pet 3:18). “For when we were yet without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6).