Bible Lesson 156

The Christian’s Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

“THE ETERNAL GOD IS YOUR REFUGE, AND UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS.” DEUTERNONMY 33:27

Everyone of us are refugees, fleeing from the wrath of God which is to come, so we need a place to find protection, safety and assurance, that only God can bring to one who has been smart enough to turn away from his enemies and seek a refuge. From the beginning of time mankind has had a need for refuge or a place of safety. Adam, and Eve began their lives with The Creator Himself, being their refuge. Then God moved them into the paradise that we refer to as The Garden of Eden. In that garden, and obedient to the Lord God, they were safe from all harm.

The secret to having a place to flee to, to know safety and security is knowing where it is and being able to enter and abide in that refuge. The Biblical idea of refuge is simply a place to flee to, and find safety. Have you got a refuge, that special place where you feel warm and dry, at peace and unafraid? Most of us have a place even though we may not see it as a refuge, but rather just our special place. Whatever it is, mankind since he lost that personal walk with His Creator, there in the Garden of Eden, has felt the need to identify such a place and to run there when the pressures of the world and our enemies began to press in upon us.

One of my favorite verses that I have shared over the years with people in trouble, especially those in the hospitals for various reasons, has been Psalms 46. In verse one of that Psalm, we are promised that we all have a refuge; and that verse goes like this, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” You cannot imagine how many people I have read and recited that verse to . People who knew that they were dying, people who faced a life of medication and surgical procedure, and people who were on the mend. It fits everyone of our situations perfectly. When any person faces personal bereavement, that moment when we feel just how small and insignificant and helpless that we really are, we need someone to say to us there is a place where you can find safety, and right now is the time for you to make sure that it is there for you.

We can’t put each other in that refuge, and can’t provide any other places that offer that strength, so we have to know where the only real refuge and strength for the day, really is.

The Word of God tells us in Psalms 18:2 where the refuge from sin and danger and hurt is found when it says to us, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliver; My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation?.my stronghold.” King David was the writer of this Psalm and we know that David was a mighty warrior in his life, and that he had many enemies beginning with Israel’ first king, Saul. You may say, well, that simply does not fit me because I am not a warrior and do not believe in fighting.

That simply shows how void you are of yourself and your situation in this world. You have a war to fight; however it is a Spiritual war. Your enemies may not ride horses and carry swords and ride under identifying flags or standards, but just as surely as you live you have sworn enemies in this world, and the fiercest of them is the Adversary Himself, that old serpent, Satan, who rides out to destroy you and take your eternal soul to hell. Satan and his minions who manifests themselves as angels of light are pressing in on you from every side.

They manifest themselves in simple suggestive insinuations that you watch on T.V. commercials, as suggestive movies or documentaries that are aired for the purpose of turning your mind from good to evil. There are identifiable people, who would kill you, for you opinion, your thought processes, your influence for good, and there are those who murder you in effect, by slandering your name and your reputation. That is just a few of the dangers that we must live with as we live and walk on this earth. What can you and I do about those dangers, ?.not much because we as regards our own strength, are helpless against them; however we have a refuge, and the omnipotent strength of our God, Jehovah, who has a place, a special place, a rock where we can run to and hide and be safe.

Noah, in the universal flood that covered the entire earth and drowned all creatures alive at that time, found refuge in the Ark, that God had caused him to build. (Genesis 6:5-8, 13-17; Genesis 7:15-24). Abram, or Abraham as he was called, found a refuge in the promised land and the Covenant of God (Genesis 15). Moses, who was born with a mission from God, but who was born under a decree of Egypt’s Pharaoh, to be killed at birth. Moses was born with many refuges, first his mother defied Pharaoh’s decree and hid Moses, then Moses found refuge in an ark or bulrushes, and was found, and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the royal palace. Later after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Jew, Moses found a refuge in Median. (Exodus chapter two). God called Moses out of Median to confront the powerful Pharaoh, and tell him to let the people of the Hebrew go, out of bondage. God was always the refuge for Moses, and he will be for us if we seek Him and Serve Him as His obedient servants.

The pages of the Word of God, the Bible, are covered with instances of God’s providence in always being a refuge for those who are in the Godly line. Many of the patriarchs had much trouble and discord before they found their refuge, some even spent time in the Valley of Baca, or the Valley of weeping. Some of us and I dare say most of us who live today have been there and done that, but there is always that place of refuge (God), and there is where dwells our peace, our strength, and our safety. We must refuse to be led astray, as Lot was when He and Abraham parted ways, and Abraham gave Lot first choice of the land that he would choose. Lot looked toward Sodom, and ended up as there until God sent a couple of angels to draw him and his family out, so that God could destroy it. Lot chose what looked good, just as Eve choose what looked like good food (but was forbidden).

There is a place, a place of unimaginable peace and security, but for everything that God does, Satan creates something that looks like it would be good but it always leads to condemnation. It can be no secret that Satan is our adversary, since we are told in 2nd Peter 5:8 that “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What that is saying is that we should be self controlled and watchful because he is out there working and may strike at us at any moment; in which event we should be prepared to flee to our refuge, which is the Lord God. The gospel of grace sets before us the refuge , and it is called by various names?..The Rock of our refuge, our strong Tower, and our impregnable fortress. That Gospel of Grace gives us a promise from God that whenever the going gets too tough, when the world is attempting to press us into it’s mold, when the storm clouds roll, and the earth begins to tremble, and we are tired and heavy laden by the cares of the world that surrounds us, we have a place of refuge, where we may depend upon the absolute strength of God to comfort us and protect us (Psalms 16:1; Psalms 7:1; Psalms 14:4-6; Psalms 57:1;

Psalms 59:16-17; Psalms 62:2,7-8; Jeremiah 16:19; Hebrews 6:18-19; Second Samuel 22:2-4;Psalms 33:20; Psalms 35:1-3.

God is our refuge and our strength, he is not our servant, but our creator, sustainer and savior. God does not require any help from anyone to be our refuge because He alone is God and does whatsoever He pleases. Nations build armies, navies, air forces and mighty weapons to make themselves safe. People make dwellings out of bomb shelters and rocks and cement, but those do not offer ultimate protection; but for those who have sought the face of God, in His Son Jesus Christ who was sacrificed for those who obey, we can claim the ultimate refuge, and that is in the Ark of Jesus Christ who died to redeem us from sin. That does not mean that God will be our refuge once we get to heaven: He is able to protect us and provide for us here on the earth. On the authority of the Word of God, I warn you not to seek any other refuge than Jesus, commit yourself to Him and receive the new birth that makes you that New Creature in Christ, that new creature, who has died to sin and the law, and lives through faith in Him who loved us and died to save us (Galatians 2:20). We have learned what a refuge is and why we need that refuge, now let’s explore the one and only way that we can ever really possess a place of ultimate refuge.

First let’s reaffirm the fact that we are speaking of the only refuge that exists in this world and the next, or heaven. We may have special places here on the earth where we seek refuge in the event of a storm. Some people have begun to build safe rooms into their homes, which will stand the impact of a tornado and that would qualify as a refuge. Others have located ruggedly constructed places such as a viaduct, or really secure building that they would run to in the event of catastrophe to be safe. That kind of refuge is sufficient, in most cases to provide us with a desired refuge, but that is temporary and provides a refuge for us only as long as God allows us to remain alive here on the earth.

What we need refuge from is from Spiritual danger. Our flesh will sicken and die, and be buried and return to dust, but our eternal Spirits which each of us has, will spend an eternity somewhere. Have you ever thought about your eternal home? Have you made preparations to find that refuge that is spoke of in the Bible, that refuge in the eternal God? If you haven’t and you are reading this Bible lesson, it means that you are still alive and as long as you are breathing you have the God given opportunity to seek God’s forgiveness of your sin by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, which will give you that ultimate refuge, which will be yours for eternity. We mentioned Psalms 7:1 before and that Psalms says “O Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me.” That is what you are look for, if you are in your right mind and that is salvation in the sense of being accounted just before your Creator. That and that alone, is that safe place that we have been attempting to paint a picture of so that you may see your need for refuge.

Every person who has ever been born is in desperate need of having and knowing that they have a permanent refuge in heaven. Only those who make the preparation to go in at the strait gate (Jesus Christ), and walk the narrow way that leads to eternal life, will enjoy their eternity; because they will live for eternity in the light of their Savior Jesus Christ in heaven; and there will be no tears, no pain, no need unfulfilled, no sickness and no handicaps in heaven only joy unspeakable and full of glory!(1st Peter 1:3-9). The long and the short of it is that everyone of us (except Jesus Christ), were born under the wrath of God because of our sin nature. We stand under the condemnation of God, unless and until, God interdicts our lives and quickens us, bring us back from death in trespass and sin (Ephesians 2:1), and saves us and places us in the only permanent refuge that will ever exist and that is, in Christ, in the Father, (John 10:29-30; John 17:20-24).

In Eternity past God the Father chose a people to give to His Son Jesus Christ, because, Jesus died for those who would obey Him, now in time, God calls, justifies, sanctifies and saves those who come to him without any reservation for salvation. Jesus paid our sin debt by dying in our place on the cross. We deserved to die because we were sinners, Jesus Christ did not die for His sins (He had no sin), He died for the sin of those who would obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9). Have you ever come to the point that you would die in order to have your sin forgiven, knowing that you were unworthy, and undeserving and wretched? Did God work in you to bring you to the only cure for your sin disease, the Cross of Christ and the Person of Christ. Did you fall at His feet and confess your sin and ask for forgiveness, devoting yourself and all things to Him if He would save you? If you did that and you are obedient to Christ’s commands, then you have a permanent refuge, you are in Christ and In God, and you can get no more permanent refuge than that.

Let me warn you right here that you cannot scam God! There are untold millions of people today who have been promised salvation for the simple act of professing Christ and joining some church group. Those poor souls were led to a false altar, claiming something that is only given by our Sovereign God. They are good church-members but they have no faith, at least not saving faith. Saving faith is a gift from our Gracious God, and if what you do, is not because of that faith, everything you do is sin. (Romans 14:23). Once you are saved you have a refuge in God.

He is always with you and able to keep you through all distress and sorrow; however that is not to say that as a Christian you will never have stress and sorrow and sickness and pain. You will get weak and die just like everyone else because the flesh is subject to sickness and death. Your refuge is a spiritual one and you live in two different worlds, in the flesh in this world but in the Spirit in eternity. When you die you will simply pass through the grave as a door, and be forever in Christ. Those who are lost will pass through that grave to spend eternity in hell where they go immediately after death. Satan and his minions have great power in this world and they are on the move and recruiting for hell every day. Satan cannot affect our eternal home but he can and does do everything that he knows how to do to hinder us or to cause us difficulty.

In fact the Prophet Isaiah wrote of Satan as being the terrible one and he said “the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall”, but God is always there to keep us from turning and to comfort us in the midst of the storm (Isaiah 25:4-5). God has sworn an oath and confirmed it two immutable things, that assures us of His protection as our refuge, (Hebrews 6:13-20). God has also promised that those who are saved are protected (John 6:37). Remember that God prepared or had the people of Israel to prepare cities of refuge, these cities were set on high hills or mountains so that they could be seen by those who had killed someone accidentally or unintentionally could flee to them as refuge from the avenger of blood. They were set high on a hill, just as the people of God should shine like lights on a hill (Matthew 5:14).

I would think that we could judge our relationships with Christ by how we let his light shine and we minister the truths of the Word of God to our communities to warn them of the coming judgment and call them to repent and rely on the only thing that can save anyone, the grace of God and the death and resurrection of the sinless Son of God?Jesus Christ.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob