“Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come…”
Reading from the Psalms today I was reminded of playing tag when I was young. There were all sorts of creative ways to play this simple game, from “Freeze Tag” to “Toilet Tag,” all with the basic premise: someone is “It,” and you don’t want them to “Tag” you.
Of course, playing tag usually always ended with an argument about who was actually “It,” who got tagged, and who was still in the game. But nothing, NOTHING, induced more arguments than “Base.” The premise of base is as simple as the game of Tag itself. Base is a safe place you can run to where you cannot be tagged. The problem with base, though, was that it’s boundaries, or it’s very existence, was always in contention. Still, if there was a “Base” in Tag, that’s where you wanted to be, and where you fought hard to return.
How did I get there from the Psalms?
In Psalm 71, the Psalmist is pleading with the Lord for a place of refuge. We don’t know the particular details that led to the Psalm, but from a surface reading it is clear that it is the prayer of a follower of the Lord who is being persecuted by wicked, unjust, and cruel men (Psalm 71:4). But the psalmist isn’t seeking a fortress or base built by man – He is asking to take refuge in God himself.
We might ask, “how could God be his refuge?” Maybe the better question would be, “what else could be his refuge?” When the accusations come from those who would seek us harm, what can save? When the doubts and fears rise to keep us from trusting and resting in the Lord, what do we need to hear? Only God can deliver us from the enemy without and the enemy within.
Only God has defeated our accuser, Satan, who would heap our sin and shame upon our heads so that we would lose all hope of following in the ways of the Lord. In his death upon the cross, Jesus has delivered us from the guilt and wrath of our sins, and has restored us to a righteous relationship with God, so that we are called the sons of God (1 John 3:1). When those accusations rise, we are led to the rock that is higher than we are, we find Christ himself is our refuge and peace.
Only God is our refuge when doubts arise. Struggling with doubt is like standing on the shore; with every crashing wave you sink deeper into the sand.
But when we stand firm in our faith in God, our feet are on solid ground. His word is true and never changing. He is more unmoving than Gibraltar, mightier than Everest, stronger than diamonds.
The psalmist prayer was that he would find his refuge in the Lord, and that he could continually return to him. The first solution to every tech problem is to restart the computer – to return it to its starting point. The goal of every player in baseball is to get back to home base. The security of every believer is to keep coming back home.
You are never too far to return to the refuge of Jesus. Turn, repent, come round again, until you find your resting place in him. Trust Him to be your salvation, to be the Rock of Ages upon which you stand!
P.S. As I wrote this today, I was listening to the Reformation Network Broadcast, and just I finished writing, this song came on the radio. Click on the link below for a treat. Enjoy!