Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” KJV
The image you are looking at is the Castillo de San Marcos, in St. Augustine, Florida. It is the oldest masonry fort in the United States. Spain built it in the late 1600s, to protect and defend the possessions, people, and city of St. Augustine. This fort was impenetrable because of the materials used to build the walls and it’s architectural layout. The soft limestone, called coquina, was composed of broken shells. It is said that this material absorbed or deflected the enemy attacks every time. The United States eventually purchased the fort from Spain, using it until the 1900s. If you visit St. Augustine, Florida, you can take some time to tour it and learn more of its history.
The Bible tells us that God is our refuge! He is the protection of our lives, our possessions, our health, and everything that concerns us. His protection is impenetrable by the enemy when we understand that truth and allow it to give us peace in the midst of a storm. The Hebrew word for refuge is, “machăçeh”, and it means a shelter (literally or figuratively), a place of refuge, a place of hope. Throughout my life I have experienced this truth on many occasions. He is truly my refuge! Today, we the people of God, need to understand, like never before, that God is our refuge.
The coronavirus hasn’t diminished it’s attacks on the world. The effects of the virus are worldwide and has left many grieving over the loss of loved ones, jobs, shelter, peace, and hope. Not only that, we have to still be concerned about tornadoes, earthquakes, violence, and a host of other things thrown at us in the course of living. If we are not careful, we, the Body of Christ, will find ourselves disillusioned, disappointed, and fainting, as if we don’t truly believe that God is our refuge.
What the psalmist is really saying about God is that He is our only real security in this life, not our job, not our bank account, not our family tree, not our connections! Only God!
I’m an educator. I haven’t been thrilled in my position for a lot of reasons, but one of the things that colored my view of education was the lack of job security. Every single year for the first four or five years, I had to find another job because my position was cut. This was very frustrating. Then I begin teaching at a school where I was able to put down some roots and feel a part of the school community. After six years, I lost my position again. This could have been another time of frustration for me had not God forewarned me of the fact, and then reassured me that He had me. He was my refuge at that time, as He has been at so many other times in my life!
The psalmist went on to say that because God is our refuge, we will not fear! The psalm continues in this light:
- Though the world is falling apart all around us, we will not be afraid!
- Though the mountains crumble and fall into the sea, we will not be afraid!
- Though the waters roar and rage and tsunamis are coming at us, we will not be afraid!
- Though the mountains shake, and there are earthquakes all over, we will not be afraid!
It’s an attitude of trust that knows the God, who is a refuge, is there for us and is with us, no matter what comes our way!
There are many places in the Bible where God, as our refuge, is mentioned:
- Psalm 9:9- God will be a refuge for the oppressed. Is there any amongst us who are oppressed today? God is our refuge!
- Psalm 14:6-God is a refuge for the poor! Is there any amongst us who are poor? God is our refuge!
- Psalm 59:16-God is a refuge in the day of trouble! Is there any amongst us who are having trouble? God is our refuge!
- Isaiah 25:4-God is a refuge from the storm! Again, I say, is there any amongst us who are in the midst of a storm? God is our refuge!
- Jeremiah 16:19-God is a refuge in the day of affliction? Is there any amongst us who are afflicted? God is our refuge!
Here are some things that will give you confidence in God as your refuge:
- Psalm 46:7- He is the God of the angel armies and He is with us!
- Psalm 91:9- When we make Him our dwelling place, our shelter, He will be our refuge!
- Psalm 14:26- As we fear Him, (reverence Him), we have a strong confidence in Him as our refuge!
David wrote in Psalm 91,
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” KJV
David continues this psalm by giving us an entire list of situations he found shelter from in God. It’s a great psalm to commit to memory and to meditate on in this time of so much uncertainty. What is certain, is that God is our refuge and He is with us! Wonderful Jesus!