Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Refuge

Hardship, warfare, provision, peace,...



"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. God only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. God be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; Lord have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass."



Charles Spurgeon wrote, "It is poor comfort to say 'the Lord is a refuge.' but to say He is my refuge is the essence of consolation."

Psalm 91:9-11, " Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

Divine protection, safety, more appropriately security and sanctuary is what is being spoken of as refuge. A place of rest and shalom during the onslaughts of life. This is a place of safety within the context of a wartorn and frenetic existence. It is not freedom from life nor escape from life, it is a present help in time of need. It is more akin to freedom from apphrehension, worry; learning to be being anxious (careful) for nothing (Phil 1:6); dwelling in the comfort of God's presence in my life; resting, finding shalom in the strength of God's character and love. Those who are continually with God will rest in him, making His name both their temple and their strong tower, dwelling in love and dwelling in God. The duty is to be at home in God, to make following God our choice, and then to live our life in Him as our habitation, conversing with him, delighting in him, and depending upon him. The hinge, the contingency lies in the abiding, we must make the Lord our habitation, and to hope for safety and satisfaction in Him, to trust in His strength, to have faith in His promise, to believe His love has only good as its purpose. Afflictions, trials, tribulations, harms and injuries shall be a part of life, however, "...there shall be no real evil in it, for it shall come from the love of God and shall be sanctified; it shall come, not for thy hurt, but for thy good; and though, for the present, it be not joyous but grievous, yet, in the end, it shall yield so well that thou thyself shalt own no evil befell thee. It is not an evil, an only evil, but there is a mixture of good in it and a product of good by it." "No evil can befall a good man." Seneca De Providentia

Psalm 91:1,2, " He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Change, transitions, tranformations and mutations, are inevitable. The only constant in life is change. The process is anything but new, it is as old as life. The only thing that has not changed is God, Psalm 90:2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." Micah 5:2, "... The One to be the Ruler ... whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." Malachi 3:6, "For I the Lord do not change ..." This is the confidence, the refuge we may have, in that, God has lost nothing of Who He is through the passage of time. He remains, He is steadfast, His lovingkindness endures.

Exodus 15:13, "In your lovingkindness and mercy You have led forth the people who You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation."

Numbers 9:22, "Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey."

I sometimes lose sight of the fact that God is still moving people. It is His business. Regardless of my own will or where I would like to journey or stay, God is the director of traffic. Whether it is a cloud or a fire or a burning bush or a corporate aquisition or a child's wants or an illness or a death or a whatever, there resides in the Christian faith a continuity; it is the steadfast, total, complete, inexhaustible, immeasureable love of God. Whether we are aware or not it touches every aspect of every life, irregardless of the whatevers.

There may be passages of Scripture that are more explanatory, or descriptive, or demonstrative of God's love and the necessity of developing life around the fact of that love, (if there are those that touch your heart, please take time to share them with me) but for today this is my choice;

Ephesians 3:14-19, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Isiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

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