“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:9-10
Having a safe place in which to live is a priority for people and some times such a place is hard to come by.
Several years ago, while on a short term mission trip to India, I, together with the team I was working with, spent a few hours visiting several homes in a small, rather primitive village. There was no electricity in the village and they didn’t have a village well, they had to go to a neighboring village for water. The houses in the village were basically huts with thatched roofs and walls made of sticks woven together and covered with mud. One could imagine that such living arrangements would give you only very limited security.
One of the homes we visited was that of an elderly couple who had no children. In their long marriage together they’d only been blessed with the birth of one child, a son. His picture was hanging on the wall but only a few years before he had died as the result of being bitten by a cobra.
One night the snake had come into their house through a break in the walls, perhaps hunting for mice or seeks a warm place to rest, and had curled up in the bed of their son. I don’t know if he was waking up or just moving in his sleep but at some point the son’s movements made the snake feel threatened and the results were both predictable and tragic.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find place to stay that’s a secure refuge from the dangers in this world. In our focus text King David praises God for his righteousness and justice and the proclaims that the Lord, himself, will be a refuge to the oppressed in their time of trouble.
It occurs to me that it’s one thing for us to rely on God to provide for us security and protection and a very different thing to look to him to be our security and our protection.
When we were little children it didn’t matter where we were, we could have been in the most secure facility on the face of the earth, but if mommy, or daddy, or someone else we trusted wasn’t near by we couldn’t feel either safe or secure. Security was all about who was close by not where we were.
God promises that he’ll never leave us, he’ll always be close by to be our refuge, our place of safety. He’ll be our protection and he’s proven, both in the scriptures and in our own experiences, that he’s able to give us all the security we need if we’ll trust in him.