They also went down into hell with him to them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm…
Whatever may be the primary meaning of these words, they have a very blessed application to those who have gone forth from so many Christian families into heathen lands. For no choice of their own, and simply in obedience to their King's command, hundreds of our sons and daughters have gone forth to dwell in the midst of the heathen. They have taken up their home amid conditions which they would not have chosen had it not been for the constraining love of Christ, and the imperative need of dying men; and as fond relatives and friends regard their lot from a distance, they are often filled with anxious forebodings. May they not be involved in some sudden riot, and sacrificed to a frenzy of hate? May not the sanitary conditions and methods of life be seriously detrimental to their health or morals? "Oh, if only I could be there," you sigh. Hush! Christ is there; as near them as He is to you, casting over them the shadow of His presence, beckoning them to His secret place. He is the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land; or like the canopy of cloud that hovered over the camp of Israel by day, screening it from the torrid glare. Do not fear to trust your loved ones to the immortal Lover, who fainteth not, neither is weary. The hand that would harm is arrested and paralysed when it attempts to penetrate that safe enclosure.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.).
Parallel VersesKJV: They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.