Recently, I saw the word “refuge” many times in my Bible reading. A word that I have, no doubt, read many times before. It is written 90 times in the Old Testament. I have always remembered it from the time I memorized Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”
In Psalm 46:1 I read, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” As I prayed this Psalm, I asked the Lord to be the refuge of many hurting in our world. From the pain of death, sickness, hurt, loss of job… the list could go on. I asked the Lord to be that refuge.
As I began to ponder about that word, “refuge.” I did a quick word study search. The word is used most often to refer to a place, or to tell others to take refuge. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary says that it is a “shelter or relief from danger or anxiety; a high rock (Is. 33:16), a secure dwelling place (Deut. 33:27), a place to flee to (Psalm 142:4), a shelter (Is. 4:6).
Think about who God is, and compare it with the definition of refuge. The Lord is our refuge and strength. See, my prayer was wrong. I was asking the Lord to be people’s refuge. What I see in Scripture is that God, in His very nature, is our refuge and strength. My prayer should be that God would turn their hearts to us Him as their refuge.
The word is used 90 times in the Old Testament, and almost half of those uses are a command to people to take refuge (not all are commands to take refuge in God, some are to go to a certain place and take refuge). The lesson? The Lord is our refuge, always has been and always will be. But will we use Him as our refuge? David asks in Psalm 16- “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”
The Lord is there as our stronghold, our place of refuge, our place of rest. He does what no political party, no person, no job, no amount of money can ever do. He preserves us; He keeps us, He protects us. Will you take refuge in the Lord?