God, Protect Me

by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
comfort.jpgIn an age of uncertainty, we must have someone we can cling to that is perfectly dependable and wise. No human can fill the role because we are sinful and weak, despite our best intentions (Romans 3:9-18).
Christ said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV). Moses tells Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). God is a fortress of safety.
David writes, “In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me” (Psalm 31:1-3).
Psalm 31 “is a cry for deliverance out of pressing danger and trouble.” /1 We can find great solace in its message.
The word “trust” in Psalm 31:1 (KJV; NKJV) can be translated “refuge” (NIV; NASB; ASV). The word “refuge” means, “Protection or shelter, as from danger.” /2 It comes from an old French word meaning, “Taking refuge; a place to flee back to.” /3
We were born sinless but sin came into our lives and we wandered from God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2). Nevertheless, we can return to him because God is our refuge where we can feel safe from the ravages of sin. The arrows of Satan will still rain on us, but we will be protected by the armor of the Savior (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Due to the nature of freewill, we have persecutions and problems in this life (Ezekiel 18). “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). However, Scripture provides us with all that we need to handle these problems (Matthew 6:25-34, et al).
David urges God to be there for him in his struggles. He says, “Bow down Your ear to me” (Psalm 31:2). This vivid request illustrates the chaotic mind of the tormented. As the pressures of life mount, we slide to the floor, knees clutched to our chest, as we withdraw into ourselves. When someone comes to offer help, we speak in a whisper through tears. However, David pictures them bending themselves so they can hear our barely audible words before springing into action.
Nothing passes the notice of our Father. He hears and sees everything, so he is the only one who can truly help us (Deuteronomy 32:39).
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He comforts our hearts by his Word, prayer, the fellowship of the saints, his mercy and grace. He erases our tears of pain, replacing them with relief. “Be still; and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).
Moreover, there is no need to be ashamed to seek God’s wisdom above man’s so-called knowledge. David finds resolve in God to persevere. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4).
We can wander aimlessly and alone in the fields of Satan and be easy prey (1 Peter 5:8) or we can enter the fortress of God and find rest for our weary souls. Which will we choose?
1/ G. Rawlinson, Psalm, Pulpit Commentary edited by H.D.M. Spence (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950), 8:226.
2/ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/refuge
3/ Ibid.

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