I want you to turn the clock back a little and think about what it was like as you grew up. Whenever you faced a time of difficulty or something that was frustrating or a situation that left you confused, who did you run to? Was it your Mom or Dad? I mean, didn’t they provide a place of safety and protection? They were big and strong and knew exactly how to take care of the situation. When you were lost, did they protect you from any danger or harm? They would kiss your boo-boos and everything would be all better. As a child, they were your shelter and place of refuge, right?
Now, if you think about it, a refuge is a place that provides shelter and protection, right? Geese and ducks have places where they can go where they can’t be hurt. There are bird sanctuaries which are places of protection for our “feathered friends.”
In the Old Testament, there were certain cities of refuge — the Hebrew name was Chasa, which were cities where someone who had committed a crime — like accidentally killing someone (that’s important) — could find protection until he could stand trial and be judged. You can read about it in Numbers 35:11-12:
“. . . you are to designate for yourselves cities that will be cities of refuge for you, to which anyone who kills someone by mistake can flee. 12 These cities are to be a refuge for you from the dead person’s next-of-kin, who might otherwise avenge his kinsman’s death by slaying the killer prior to his standing trial before the community. . . ” (Numbers 35:11-12)
But then, the Psalmist explains what that “chasa” was intended to symbolize:
“Yahweh is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9)
That’s right! Whenever we find ourselves in a time of trouble, we can reach out to someone who is even stronger than Mom and Dad! Yahweh is our refuge and strength. Isaiah explained:
“For you have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in distress,
shelter from the storm,
shade from the heat —
for the blast from the ruthless
was like a storm that could destroy a wall” (Isaiah 25:4)
The Psalmist proclaimed:
“I will say to Yahweh,
“You are my my Refuge, my Fortress in whom I trust.”
He is the one who will rescue you from hunters’ traps
and from deadly plagues.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge.
His truth is your shield and armor” (Psalm 91:2-4)
Oh, Glory to God, in the same way a mother hen will tuck her baby chicks under her wings, Yahweh’s protection is just as sweet and tender!
“Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, no evil befall you, nor any plague orcalamity come near your tent.
For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany anddefend andpreserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]” (Psalm 91:9-11)
Our Heavenly Father, wants us to run to Him. He is always there when we need Him to protect us, to comfort and strengthen us whenever we face times of need. So many times the Word of God tells us to not be afraid or worry about anything. He has us tucked under His wings! What a precious place to be and how thankful we are for such a place of refuge.
I want you to read Psalm 91:4 again. Try to catch a ray of hope for yourself:
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge . . .”
Oh, my friends, our Father has done some truly amazing things for us through the death of His Son! If your heart is beating, and not hardened to realities of life, being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you and then, be different because of it. Christ is Risen, let us glorify Him!
Father, what can I say? It is so difficult sometimes for me to even fathom such love and care you demonstrate daily, for me. Thank you. I know my words are small and so inadequate when I try to express my love and admiration for you. But know this Lord, I am beside myself in love with you.
I have become so intoxicated with love for you that I no longer care about the cost or the consequences of my pursuit. . . I want it to be the love of Mary, sitting at the feet of your son, enchanted by his words and grace, and deaf and blind to the frustration and fuss of her resentful sister (Luke 10:38-42).
I’m going to throw whatever spiritual pragmatism that might hold me back, out the window. I’m not coming to you this morning with any shopping basket armed with a checklist of things I need to purchase. No, no. I am looking for you to put your arms around me and draw me to yourself. I am casting aside any pursuit of spiritual performance and my spiritual needs and I surrendering myself to passion. This morning, I cast aside everything else, that I may find you!
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