“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.” – Psalm 57:1
What do you think of when you think of a refugee? You might think of someone running from a war-torn country to another country for safety from the fighting. You might think of a woman going to the police to find safety from an abuser. Or you might think of someone being persecuted for their faith coming to a new land for safety from those wanting to kill them. These are all good examples, and they all share a common theme: leaving one place for another to find safety.
God is called our refuge often in the Bible. The Psalms alone have about 41 references of God being our refuge. Since He is so often called our refuge, then that makes us refugees. Psalm 57 is one of David’s psalms written while he was running for his life from King Saul. He mentions twice in verse one that God is his refuge, and in both cases, David is showing how God is our only hope when we are running from something in this world.
First David mentions that his soul takes refuge in God. When a war refugee finds shelter in a different country or an abused woman finds refuge with the police, they may be physically safe, but it is unlikely they have peace in their souls. There is still uncertainty in their lives that are only starting. Only God can give peace into our souls.
Next David mentions that he takes refuge in the shadow of God’s wings. We can imagine a mother eagle protecting her eaglets from predators by covering them under her wings. For the eaglets, there is no fear because they know their mother will protect them from whatever comes their way. David was being hunted down by Saul and David would not kill Saul as he was God’s anointed (1 Samuel 26:9). We may not feel like we are running for our lives, but the truth is that we are being constantly hunted by our enemy the devil (1 Peter 5:8). Who can protect us from Satan but God?
Why can we have confidence in God as our refuge? We see the answer in the next verse where David says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2).” God is sovereign. He fulfills His purpose. And we know that whatever happens to us is ultimately going to work according to God’s good plan (Romans 8:28).
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank You so much that You are our refuge. This land we are in is not our home and we do not find our ultimate safety in it now. Thank You and until You call us home, we can look to You and find our refuge in You alone. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!