The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms… (NIV).
Life is filled with uncertainty, and many are feeling uncertain now. People across the world either long for change, or have recently experienced great political change, as in Great Britain and the United States. With change comes uncertainty, and people desire a refuge or safe place for their families and themselves. They like to think that a smart plan of action will provide the refuge they crave. For example, some talk of leaving the country or buying gold or getting involved politically. Others will vent by demonstrations, or by ranting and raving, or by listening to others do the same. Some will hide, like one well-known author who decided not to send out any tweets for a while. One the other hand, others will assume that they now have a safe place, because their desired change has come. Although you still hear their uncertainty as they admit that they don’t know what the change will mean for them.
Those who follow the Lord Jesus ought not to walk into the swamp of the supposed safe places of worldly people. We need to apply our faith to whatever uncertainty we presently feel. Our verse reminds us where our true place of safety is. The words of the verse were said as Moses concluded his blessing of the tribes of Israel, God’s old covenant people. He gave this blessing as his own death approached and Israel was about to enter the land. The people were about to experience great change, along with the uncertainty that a new home with new leadership would involve. Moses said that the people of God have a safe place, but that safe place is not a place but a person, the Lord God himself! This is good to know, because we can always have a safe place in the Lord, regardless of our circumstances. God is not only our Protector, and we commonly think and speak that way. God is our Protection. He is our refuge. Let’s ponder this truth. How is the eternal God our safe place?
- The Lord is our refuge because of his covenant promises to us. The Lord never lies (Titus 1:2). We can rely on his word to forgive us (Hebrews 8:12) and to not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In Christ, we have a new and better covenant that is established by our Great High Priest’s once and forever sacrifice of himself for us. So then, we can be confident that he will be our safe place.
- The Lord is our refuge because of his perfections. God is holy or set apart from sin and far above all he created. He is sovereign, all-powerful, eternal and unchanging, all-wise and all-knowing, everywhere present, and fully self-sufficient. God is also love, good, patient, compassionate, and faithful. All that he is provides absolute safety for those who draw near to him by faith in Christ.
- The Lord is our refuge because of his presence. God is with us. The great promise of the Lord Christ before he ascended to heaven is that he would always be with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). The Holy Spirit makes Christ’s presence real to his people. With the Lord of all with us, we can be confident during every change he walks with us.
- The Lord is our refuge because of his providence. The events of life, however distressing from our vantage point, are under his control. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).
My friends, let us trust in the Lord. We have every reason to approach the changes around us with confidence, because our hope is not in circumstances but the living God.
Grace and peace, David