GOD OFFERS REFUGE
Spirit of the Living God, fan into flame the burned-down embers of my faith, and set me ablaze with your fire.
Read PSALM 11
For the director of music. Of David.
1 In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectLook back over the readings from 1 Samuel. What aspect of God’s engagement with his world has impacted you?
This psalm wonderfully rounds off the series on God’s active involvement with his people. Advisors are telling the author to flee like a bird to the mountains in search of safety (v 1). The wilderness, rather than mountains, was usually seen as a safe place of human refuge. But for a bird, looking for a safe perch, it might be a good place to hide. The opponents are acting randomly. Life feels precarious.
More secure is the refuge to be found in God (v 1). The second part of the psalm (vs 4–7) focuses on God’s intervention with his people. How far do the statements about God in these verses reinforce what we have reflected on in 1 Samuel? God is not remote. His eyes are ever watchful. (The word for ‘eyes’ (v 4) suggests eyelids which never close.) The fate of the wicked will be destruction, for he cannot associate with evil, but the faithful will behold God (v 7).
‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety’ Psalm 18:2 (NLT).
Choose one refuge image from this verse in Psalm 18, or from a reflection from 1 Samuel. In the stillness picture yourself finding safety within or behind the ever-active God. And be thankful!
Lord, when life tumbles in, my natural impulse is to flee. I ask for stabilizing strength so that I can stand firm, assured by the reminder that you are in control.
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