Taking refuge in God

Psalm 91:2: “I will say of Yahweh, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.””

Throughout the Bible, and in the Psalms especially, is a phrase in Hebrew which is variously translated as refuge or trust. This term implies an action based on an intimate and deep-seated bond of faith in Yahweh as creator God.

To take refuge somewhere is to seek safety from danger. It is an action based on the belief that where one seeks refuge one will be safe. This is one of the clearest and most striking depictions of what faith in God is.

By contrast, one does not take refuge in a place where one does not feel safe or does not expect it to withstand an onslaught of aggression.

A refuge is a fortress of protection and safety. A refuge can provide calmness and reduce anxiety of risk or danger. However, a refuge only works when one is within its domain. Once a person leaves a refuge, they are exposed to danger like anyone else. They are liable to lies, dangers, and capture by the enemy.

Jeremiah 16:19: “Yahweh, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, vanity and things in which there is no profit.”

According to Jeremiah, outside of the refuge there is nothing but lies, vanity (or emptiness) and things in which there is no profit. Jeremiah continues in the next verse to speak of the tendency of men to manufacture artificial alternatives to the true refuge of Yahweh.

Jeremiah 16:20: “Shall a man make to himself gods, which yet are no gods?”

Whether the idolatry of graven images, or of placing one’s trust in the weakness of men, both options are fraught with danger.

Psalm 118:8-9: “It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in man. It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in princes.”

It is a comfort to know that Yahweh knows those who have placed their trust in him and he honors their commitment by fulfilling their needs for safety and deliverance.

Nahum 1:7: “Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him.”

Through his Messiah Yeshua, Yahweh has been shown to be a God who keeps his promises. Because he keeps his promises, we can have confidence that our trust in him is not misplaced. Our faith can be securely established in him.

Hebrews 6:11-12, 18-19: ” We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. … that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…

For believers today, we can know that our faith in God provides safety and security beyond the reaches of this world and its designs against us. God desires all men to place their faith in him, and so be under his protective care and watchful eye.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive at https://core-of-the-bible.simplecast.com/ or your favorite podcast streaming service. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

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