Livingstone and the Savage Chief*

When David Livingstone was exploring in Africa, he and his native companions camped at a riverside planning to cross the river in the morning. Before Livingstone retired for the night, he learned that a savage chieftain with his band was surrounding their camp.

Livingstone wrote in his diary: "My plans for exploring this region and opening it up to the gospel are in question. Savage natives are approaching our camp. I am leaning on the promise, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world' (Matt. 28:20). That is the word of a Gentleman of the most strict and sacred honor. I know I can rely upon it." And he lay down and slept in peace, secure in that promise.

The next morning the savages came and surrounded the camp. Livingstone ordered the canoes to be loaded, reserving for himself the last place in the last canoe. After they loaded the supplies and were ready to cross the river, he walked up to the chief who had come to murder him. Livingstone took him by the hand and wished him God's blessing.

When Livingstone turned his back, his men cried out in fear thinking the savages would attack him. Livingstone, still trusting in the One of the most strict and sacred honor, got into the canoe and went safely to the other side under God's protection.

Thank You, Lord, that You keep Your Word. You never make a promise that Youfail to fulfill for those who trust You.

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Num. 23:19).

*R. E. Carroll related this incident in High Conceptions of God, p. 72.