I Am Thy Refuge, pt.2

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust.Psalm 91:2

Verse 2 begins with the words: "I will say" which demonstrates the strongest confidence in knowing God, a grand testimony for the lost world to observe. Thinking about God’s deliverance requires some faith and believing it requires even more faith but testifying aloud for anyone to hear requires grand faith which comes from Him alone, especially in the midst of a trial. It can be tempting to think of deliverance in the way that God’s chosen people expected their Deliverer to be:  to bring deliverance from their current situation. However, God brought them a much greater, eternal Deliverer.  Will you still thank Him if the circumstances do not result as you had expected? Will you still call Him your Refuge and Fortress? Will you still trust Him and proclaim it?

"...in Him will I trust" gives us the next required heart action on our part in order to seek the most comforting Refuge who is patiently awaiting our desperate reliance on Him. It proves to God our faith in Him and our surrender to the circumstances at hand: large God, small problems or small God, large problems? In a sermon, George Hammett, a brother in the faith and missionary to Africa, stated: “Forsake idolatress affections and love Him supremely,” this includes ourselves.  The requirement of trust is reiterated throughout Psalm 91. When we’re afraid, we are outside of this secret place and lacking trust in the only Deliverer. In addition, apart from Jesus Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

The term ‘refuge’ is very interesting. According to Oxford’s Dictionary, ‘refuge’ is a “shelter from pursuit or danger.” Its synonyms are “asylum, haven, hiding place, retreat, sanctuary, shelter.” While Strong’s Definition is “a shelter (literally or figuratively): -hope, (place of) refuge, shelter, trust.” When replacing the term ‘shelter’ in the definition above with any of the synonyms below it, I am reminded by a peaceful place that is safe, inaccessible from what which desires to cause harm or a disruption of peace. This is a safe haven of rest from within that only the tested child of God can understand. 
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Throughout God's precious and perfect Word, refuge, "machaceh" in Hebrew, translates as refuge (15 times), shelter (twice), hope (twice) and trust (once). Refuge is outlined as shelter: from rain or storm, from danger or from falsehood. Looking further into the term refuge, the root word of "machaceh" is "chacah" which is a verb (Qal). The verb, Qal means to seek refuge, flee for protection; to put trust in (God), confide or hope in (God). This is used 37 times throughout scripture: "to trust" 35 times, "to make a refuge" once, and "have hope" once. Each time, this verb is used in a way that involves fleeing for protection or having hope while trusting in God. In any location and during any circumstance, with trust, we can flee to the arms of our loving, Almighty Father.

How is this possible?

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou newest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.Deuteronomy 8:2-3
There are many lessons to be learned in the wilderness with Israel, 1 being the importance of humility when seeking God’s refuge in time of need. It is only through God’s terms that we can gain access to His secret place. Our Father welcomes His children with open arms, desiring and patiently waiting for us to see our complete reliance for what only He can provide. In order for us to see our need, we need to seek Him humbly and wholeheartedly. Only in this state will we find our heavenly Refuge and sole (and soul’s) provider.
...Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.Hebrews 10:8-10

Furthermore, God cannot be in the presence of sin, let alone touch it!  In the Old Testament, a specific sacrifice without blemish and a High Priest to offer it at the mercy seat of the Most High was required to access the Holy of holies.  Praise the Lord!  We are in the age of grace and with the spotless blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been applied to cover our entire sin account, granting us potential access to the King of kings and Lord or lords.  With salvation, humility is the first prerequisite to entering the ‘most High’s secret place’ through none other but our High Priest, Jesus Christ.

To be continued...

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