There is a certain amount of comfort that comes when you simply hear the word “refuge”, isn’t there? It is a safe place to which you can flee in times of distress or danger. It might be a shelter that was built so that a family would be assured of protection from a threatening storm or tornado. It could be a large area of land, usually in another neighboring country, which is designated as a safe place for “refugees” to live temporarily. It may simply be a “hideaway” for someone who needs solitude. All who seek a refuge need a place where they will have security and relief. While there are a variety of reasons for wanting a refuge, there is most likely one common cause which is that you need a place to go and you need it as soon as possible.
There were several times in David’s life when he was desperate to find a place of refuge. King Saul wanted to kill him and sometimes he would “spare no expense” in trying to find David, so that he could satisfy his rage and his jealousy. At times, as David sat in the cave or lived in a foreign country, he must have had some questions about the providence of God. Hadn’t Samuel anointed him to be the next king of Israel? Yet, it seems that David did not doubt God’s ability or His faithfulness to fulfill His promises in His own time and in His own way, so he never took revenge on God’s anointed King or fought against him. Instead, he did what he needed to do to avoid the traps that Saul set for him. He took refuge both physically and spiritually. He trusted God to be to be his protection. The Message translates these verses like this, “I love you, God – You make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout”.
Each of us has our own “places of refuge”, places where we go or people to whom we turn when unexpected disasters are looming up in front of us or when we feel vulnerable and unprotected. However, there is only One Person who can really protect and rescue us as we go through the inevitable trials and testing in this life. Can you echo the words which are written in Psalm 91 as the Psalmist describes what God has done for him and wants to do for all those who will trust in Him? “God will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”