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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Psalms 31

‘……Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me.’ -Psalm 31: 2

This Psalm of David has the theme of God as our refuge. David begins this psalm with a call to seek refuge in the Lord. At different points in his life, David was on the run from those who literally wanted to kill him, but he always found refuge in God. “My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” (Psalm 62:7) David is a great example of someone who intimately knew God as his refuge, his hiding place!

In this 21st century I wonder if anyone can identify God as a “rock of refuge” or “fortress of defense”? In earlier times, the best place to build a city or fortress was on a mountain because they considered themselves unconquerable at the top. It would be extremely difficult for any army to cross the rugged mountains to conquer a city on a mountain top. Hence a city on a mountain was a premium defense against enemies; they were the ultimate place for security. Thus during tough times, it was easy for David to call God, his Rock of Refuge (Ps 31:2). We too can certainly develop a confidence in the Lord that is similar to David’s confidence.  As we go through this Psalm, we will notice two great lessons that David expresses in his confidence with God.


Trust in the Lord (Ps 31:1)

David’s enemy had laid secret nets for him (Ps 31:4), he was in great trouble (Ps 31:9), his strength failed, and his bones were weak (Ps 31:10), he was considered as a reproach among his enemies and repulsive to his acquaintances (Ps 31:11), he was unwanted and forgotten (Ps 31:12), his life was at risk (Ps 31:13)— but despite these horrible circumstances, David declares his trust in the Lord and boldly says, “You are my God!” (Ps 31:14). This is a tremendous amount of trust. 

Many times, we have gone through similar situations and God wants us to trust in Him because He is the only One who can deliver us. A righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). God also promises in 1Peter 5:10 that, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 


Great goodness to those who fear God (Ps 31:19) 

Those who trust God and take refuge in Him will find a treasure of goodness stored up for them. Ps 31:20 says that He keeps them safe by keeping them in a secret place where the plots of men and the strife of tongues will not reach them.

Safety and protection is the lowest level at which He expresses His goodness. God’s goodness comprises much more but we often tend to overlook or take them for granted. The greatest goodness of God is none other than Jesus Himself: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2Cor 1:20). Every good and perfect gift of God comes through our relationship with Jesus. If you want to appreciate God’s goodness, begin and end with Christ Jesus!

At difficult times, what do you hold on to? The safest place to be is always at the centre of God’s will. His promise as our refuge is: “I will never leave you nor forsake you…”  (Heb 13:5)

Thought: "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." (Psalms 46:1)

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