November 3, 2014

Running to the Refuge {Day 3}: 'Refuge of' our BRF, Best Refuge Forever

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
Psalm 118:8-9

It is better.

Why?  Why is it better?  Why is running to the Refuge better than our other options?

I believe that Scripture says it this way, allow me the liberty of paraphrasing: He's a better refuge because HE IS THE BEST REFUGE!

This week we will explore a handful of descriptions of the kind of refuge God is.  We need to know what we're getting into if we're going to put our trust in Him.  It is better to take refuge in the LORD, and we're going to confirm why the Psalmist was right to say so.

Today's attribute of our Refuge is His eternity; God is our Eternal Refuge.

Man does not last forever.  Princes to not last forever.  God is forever.

When blessing the tribes of Israel, Moses said:

The eternal God is your refuge
and underneath are the everlasting arms
Deut 33:27a

The eternal God, holding them up with everlasting arms, was going with them and before them into the promised land to defeat their enemies.  Hearing those words would have strengthened my feeble spirit.  In fact, they do strengthen my spirit even now.  Do you feel that, too?  Dear reader, the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  You are not, never ever, alone, not now and not into eternity!  Take heart knowing your Refuge is eternal.

A good exercise at this point would be to compare the temporal things in which we try to take refuge with the eternal Refuge.  When life gets tough, where do you run?  Me?  Well, I am an escape artist.  I immerse myself in a television show, a novel, or some other useless-at-the-time procrastination or distraction tool.  Maybe I'll hit the kitchen for an unnecessary snack or head out to do some shopping.  None of these things or activities can help me for more than a few hours.

How about when life gets scary and fear fills your heart?  Where do you run?  Again, I tend toward real-life avoidance through entertainment or hanging out on Facebook hoping someone will post something new, quick!  But, as the Psalm above points out, there are more false-refuge options.  We can run to man or to princes, to friends and family or our rulers.  We can even turn to ourselves thinking we can control things better if we simply learn a little more and make a better plan.  Guilty!  All of these will ultimately leave us empty, because people and things cannot provide the eternal refuge we are seeking.*

But not God.

God is our eternal refuge, holding us in His everlasting arms.

Unlike the dissatisfying, temporal refuges we often run to, God always has been, is, and always will be.  He does not change in His steadfast refuge provision for His people.  He knit each of us together in our mother's womb.  He knows our names.  And He says, Come!  In His presence we will find the joy, peace, hope, protection, and shelter we are looking for, not only today, but through all eternity.

Today's Running Orders:
  • Take some time to consider the false refuges you run to in times of need.  Confess your misuse of good gifts God has given, seeking refuge in them instead of Him.  Ask Him to help you learn to run to Him.
  • Do you often think of yourself as an eternal being belonging to an eternal God?  We are safe in the Refuge forever!  In Psalm 71:3a the Psalmist says, Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go.  Praise God that He is our rock of refuge to which we can always go.  You may want to read all of Psalm 71 as a prayer to God.

*For the record, none of the things I mention are evil and are fine in their proper place.  Where we err is in elevating them to a status only God deserves by trying to use them as our safe haven, a save haven only God can truly provide.  I have often heard said that an idol is taking a good thing and making it the ultimate thing.

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