Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A Place of Refuge

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalm 91:2 NLT)

Did you ever have a hiding place that you ran to when you were a child? Maybe it was in a tree, a closet, or some other place where you could be alone.

God wants to be our hiding place. He wants to be the One to whom we turn in our time of need or when we’re afraid. He wants to be the One to whom we go when we can no longer cope.

The psalmist David wrote, “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety” (Psalm 61:2 NLT). God wants us to run to Him for safety, just as a small child would run to a parent in times of danger.

And we are living in dangerous times, aren’t we? There’s a constant threat of violence. We have a violent crime epidemic. There’s the constant threat of theft or robbery or even death.

Then there is a global threat as we hear of dictators and nations getting nuclear capabilities. This world is a threatening place, and it can paralyze us with fear.

Yet God promises that He will protect us if we make Him our refuge, if we make Him our hiding place. Psalm 91 is one of the greatest psalms in all the Bible; it contains God’s promises of protection and provision for believers.

It also includes a comforting promise of angelic protection: “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12 NLT).

When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, this is the Scripture he quoted. But he distorted it. He misconstrued it. Show me any cult, any group today that has aberrant teachings, and I will show you people who have taken Scripture out of its proper context.

Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus, but it was out of context. In essence, he was saying, “Jump! Go ahead! The angels will catch You. You don’t have to be afraid.”

But Jesus set the record straight. He said, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God’ ” (Matthew 4:7 NLT).

This demonstrates that we cannot do crazy, reckless things and expect to receive angelic protection. There is a vast difference between trusting the Lord and testing the Lord.

But if we walk in the center of God’s will and desire to please Him, then indeed, the Bible promises angelic protection. Psalm 34:7 tells us, “For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him” (NLT).

We just don’t know how many times angels have delivered us, protected us from harm, or perhaps even spoken directly to us. As Hebrews 1:14 points out, “Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation” (NLT).

Among other things, angels have on their itinerary a call to minister to us as children of God.

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