Choose Your Refuge
When it comes to crises in life, it is not a matter of whether they will come but when. And when they do, our response will be to flee to a refuge—somewhere or something or someone we trust will keep us safe and protect us from the storms. So the question then will not be whether we flee but where we flee.
Some of us will take the advice of David’s friends in Psalm 11. These advisors urged him to “flee like a bird to your mountain.” Difficulty had come for David, seemingly in the form of threats to his life, with wicked people preparing to aim their arrows at him (Psalm 11:2). The counsel he received was essentially to head for the hills, to get away, to go somewhere that removed him from adversity.
David did not heed this advice. But what about you? While you likely will not face armed foes threatening you with violence, crisis will come to you someday, in one form or another. It could be social pressure to compromise biblical convictions, an unwanted diagnosis, or intense relational strife. Where will you flee? Will you head for the hills, finding some form of escapism, be it numbing yourself with endless media consumption or abusing a substance, or throwing yourself into frenetic activity in another part of your life? Or will you be able to say with David, “In the LORD I take refuge”?
David had seen God deliver him from bears, lions, and a Philistine giant. The Lord had proven Himself to be a trustworthy refuge, and David took that to heart. David knew the Lord was a mighty refuge; that had been borne out again and again in his life. His trust in God was grounded in experience, making it sturdy enough to withstand life’s darkness and the Evil One’s darts.
Have your eyes been opened to God’s trustworthiness? Have you trusted Him in response? If you are a Christian, remember that your new life began by taking refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ. You were facing the wrath of an eternal God, with no hope to be found. The only hope you had was to cast yourself on God’s mercy and embrace the salvation offered in Christ. And so you fled to Him and found eternal refuge.
God desires for you to seek refuge in Him not only at the beginning of the journey but until Christ returns or calls you home, and not only for eternal salvation but in the storms of this life. Trouble will come—and when it does, you can either head for the hills or you can lift up your eyes beyond the hills and to the Lord “who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2), facing the crisis with confidence and, yes, even joy.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Lord Is in His Holy Temple
To the choirmaster. Of David.
1In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee like a bird to your mountain,
2for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
3if the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”1
4The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord's throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
5The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
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