A Place of Refuge
We live in a very troubled and chaotic world. Wars, hatred, unrest and sorrow fill the nations of the earth. Millions are constantly in an atmosphere of frenzy. Even in the church of the Lord, many are hectic and in despair. Violent gangs roam our streets, and there is widespread immorality and corruption in both governments and industries. Even schools in certain parts of the world are under siege from "child gunmen" so that there seems no place that is safe. Honesty and ethical standards are hard to find.
The news on television and other media is filled with bad news about man's inhumane treatment of other people. This is a sad, but true, reflection of our times. Thousands are "popping pills" and seeking peace in the midst of broken homes and shattered dreams. Sin and degradation seem to rule supreme in spite of the Prince of Peace, who came to grant us joy and happiness (Isa. 9:6; Rom. 15:13). An old gospel song tells us:
There is a place of refuge
The message of the psalmist is sorely needed now! "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1). We truly need an anchor for the soul in the boisterous seas of this life. No one can provide such stability, except Christ. Peter spoke these words of wisdom in John 6:67-68, when the Lord watched many hearers turn away, then He turned to the disciples and asked, "Do you also want to go away?" Peter's reply was, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." We certainly must find refuge from carnality, worry, selfishness and hell. If these areas could be resolved with spiritual emphasis, Satan would be thoroughly defeated and the world would be a much better place. "Blessed are those that keep his testimonies, who seek him with the whole heart" (Psa. 119:2).
Earnestly desiring to exist in such a way as to glorify our Creator would put a real dent in the efforts of the devil. The light of Scriptures would exchange light for darkness and cause the demons to tremble one more time. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9).
The apostle Paul, by inspiration, clearly tells us in Rom. 8:6 that carnality produces death, while real spirituality provides joy and peace. The end result of Satan's influence is a place called Hell, but righteousness ushers us into the beautiful realm of Heaven! A poet blessed us with this reminder:
When we absolutely and genuinely trust in the Lord, we push out of our lives that old nemesis labeled "worry." There is nothing to fret about when we allow the Savior to bear our burdens (1 Pet. 5:7). His fervent promise to be with us always (Matt. 28:20) is the best insurance policy ever given. He will stand by us in this life and be with us throughout eternity. "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).
When we crucify self and enthrone the Redeemer in our hearts, nothing can alienate us from a life of victory (Rom. 8:35-39). "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?" (Psa. 118:6). Truly, there is a place of refuge for loyal followers of Christ, regardless of what a rebellious society may do to try to overwhelm us. Can the world see in us the calm and deliberate solace and happiness? They will, if we stay close to Christ and count our blessings, regardless of external pressures brought by Satan.
Under the Old Testament, to benefit from the blessings of God's refuge, people had to travel to one of those six cities. That was matter of geography (Josh. 20). Today, we have Jesus Christ as our refuge (Heb. 6:19-20). That is a matter of relationship. Praise God for that!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.