When you were a kid, who did you call when you faced a situation that was overwhelming or challenging? In most cases, you ran to your Mom or Dad. [Ideally] they provided safety and protection. They were big and strong and knew exactly how to take care of us. They would protect us from any danger or harm. They would kiss our boo-boos and everything would be all better. They were often our shelter and place of refuge.
Okay, let’s talk about that. A refuge is a place that provides shelter and protection, right? Wild birds have sanctuaries which are places of protection for our “feathered friends.” Do we have such sanctuaries?
In the Old Testament, there were certain cities of refuge — the Hebrew name was Chasah — Cities where someone who had committed a crime — like accidentally killing someone — could find protection until they were able to stand trial and be judged (the key here is “accidentally.” Deliberate killing [other than in war] is murder and judged by taking the life of the one convicted). Read about those cities of refuge in Numbers 35:11-12:
“. . . these cities will be places of protection from a dead person’s relatives (kinsman redeemer) who want to avenge the death. The slayer must not be put to death before being tried by the community.”
Psalm 9:9 says,
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Ooh, wee! I want to tell you straight out that we have someone who is much stronger than Mom and Dad to go to in time of trouble. Compared to this source of rescue, our parents are mere mortals! lol. Our Heavenly Father is our refuge and strength! (Or at least, can be).
Prophet Isaiah said:
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall” (Isaiah 25:4)
So with you I will leave a faithful few, a humble and poor people. They will seek refuge in the Name of Yahweh (Zephaniah 3:12)
Then the Psalmist jumps in:
“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2)
Ooh, but then Verse 4 adds:
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4)
Wow! Just like a mother hen tucking her baby chicks under her wings! Yahweh’s protection is just as sweet and tender. Oh, he even encourages us further:
“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go . . .” (Psalm 91:9-11)
Hey! Our Father wants us to run to Him anytime we have a need. He’s always there to protect us, to comfort and strengthen us. Seriously! How many times do you read in the Word of God to not be afraid; to not worry or fret over anything? Our Father tucks us under His wings and protects us from whatever storm we face! I don’t know about you, but for me and my family, that is the perfect place to be! Oh, and how thankful we are for such a place of refuge!
Look, I realize you hear messages like this all the time, but please, don’t let skim over this message too quickly. Mother birds have been known to sacrifice themselves for the safety of their young. She will be willing to die, just to save their youngs hidden under the cover of her wings!
Read Psalm 91:4 again:
“He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings, you will find refuge . . .”
That is a perfect picture of what God has done for us through the death of Jesus Christ. Don’t be stubborn and harden you heart to this Truth! Just remember that the One who loves you was willing to sacrifice His life because of His love. 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 too intoxicated with love for you to care any more 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).
Father, 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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