“The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:40 NIV)
Who does the Lord help and deliver? The righteous–those in right-standing with God can count on The Lord helping them and delivering them from all that attempts to hold them bound by the temptations influenced by evil. He delivers them from the wicked and saves (those in right-standing with Him) because they seek refuge in Him.
Every community should be a “safe haven” for those who live in it, but we know that does not always happen. Evil lurks, seeking whom it will attack and devour in our times, just as it did with the walled cities of old. The difference then is the cities had the watchmen walking the walls, looking for the attempts by others that meant danger to those who lived inside. When danger was seen, the alarm sounded and everyone knew what they had to do.
In addition to the walled cities for the majority of the occupants in a region, there were also cities built as a place of refuge for those who had been estranged from their place of origin or for those seeking shelter from the harm of others because they had accidentally killed someone (Numbers, Joshua).
I remember that in one neighborhood where I used to live, my home became the apparent refuge for children seeking shelter from harm by those living there who were certainly not law-abiding. There was drama unfolding on one particular evening and I looked out the door to see my porch full of children who were trying to get out of harm’s way. Most of these children participated in my “porch” bible study during the summer and I was glad they felt my house was a safe haven–a refuge from harm.
In the midst of stormy weather, we are told to seek refuge in low-lying areas and for those of us who have basements–to run to the basement for shelter. In the Midwestern regions–open ranges, they have storm cellars in which they seek shelter from the storms.
In the storms of life, filled with uncertainty and confusion, Our God is our refuge–a place where we can go and no one can harm us. When we are in right-standing with Him, there is nothing we cannot expect from Him–safety from those who would harm us, deliverance from things that would distract us, provision when we are unable to provide for ourselves, wisdom when we lack it and ask for it, mercy and grace we cannot earn, and love overflowing–when we are emptied out and need replenishing.
If ever there was a time we needed to know where we can find refuge, that time is now. Dangers are all around us–bone-chilling weather, icy road conditions, mindsets in opposition to God’s Word–all dangers that should cause us to run to The Lord, seeking refuge in Him to avoid the consequences of staying on the path of the wicked.
Don’t linger in the face of danger–RUN to the Lord and seek shelter in Him!