JESUS IS OUR REFUGE
Isaiah saw Jesus as a hiding place or place of refuge. “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” (Isaiah 32:2) This man who was to be a hiding place is described as the king who reigns in righteousness. The psalmist saw God as his hiding place. “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” (Psalms 32:7) Isaiah saw a coming day when a man would be our hiding place. The man who became our hiding place is none other than, Jesus, the Son of God. He “was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) It was prophesied that Jesus would be a place of safety and defence for in people.
In a world that is trying to rip our souls to pieces, we flee to Jesus for protection from danger. Jesus is described as, (1) A hiding place from the wind, (2) A covert from the tempest (3) As rivers of water in a dry place, and (4) As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. When a person finds Jesus he is like someone in a desert who suddenly finds refreshing water. Jesus provides rest and refreshment for the weary. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) When our life has been wrecked and ruined by sin we can flee to Jesus for refuge!
When we are dealing with guilt, Jesus is our refuge. Many of God's children are living defeated lives because of guilt. Satan uses guilt to tear us down and make us feel dirty. Guilt makes us feel that we cannot and should not be forgiven of our sins. Jesus came to save us from our sins. (Luke 19:10) He also came to be our hiding place from the guilt of sin. Deacons and other Christians must be, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.” (1 Timothy 3:9) If you have obeyed the gospel you can know that your past sins have been forgiven; you can know that you are now clean in Christ Jesus. Stop dwelling on your past sins and start thinking about being a new creature in Christ, your place of refuge. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) When we are dealing with guilt, Jesus is our refuge.
When we are dealing with sickness and pain, Jesus is our refuge. Those who are in Christ find rest and peace, even in times of trouble. The Devil is the cause of death and dying. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Hebrews 2:14) We live in a world where there is sickness, death and all kinds of calamities. At times life can be very difficult; without the Lord Jesus Christ we must face those things alone. “All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.” (Ecclesiastes 5:17) Paul wrote of the sickness of Epaphroditus and showed that the Lord is our refuge. “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the more carefully, sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.” (Philippians 2:25-30) When we are dealing with sickness and pain, Jesus is our refuge.
When we are dealing with death and the grave, Jesus is our refuge. Of all the times that man needs a refuge, none is stronger than when we are dealing with death and dying. No fear is greater than the fear of death. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ is our refuge in death because He has, “abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10) In our society, people know how to kill, but they do not know how to die. Even though death has been abolished we still die. The cause of death is sin. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12) Sin always leads to death. As long as sin exists in the world, death will never be very far away. Death is a sobering and frightening reality. No wonder the Bible calls it “the last enemy” “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) In Psalm 23:4 we read, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Remember, when you or your loved one faces death, God cares! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11) When the death of our loved one comes, we feel like the psalmist, “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” (Psalms 38:6) When death comes, “We will grieve our loss, but life will go on.” When we are dealing with death and the grave, Jesus is our refuge.
There are many reasons why we should choose to serve God. One of the great reasons for so doing is that He has provided for our help and He has been our refuge. We have made ourselves blind, but God in His mercy has provided spiritual sight. We put ourselves in eternal danger, but God provided a man for our refuge. We have exposed ourselves to the wickedness and weariness of the world, but Jesus, a man, is a hiding place for us. Sense Jesus is our hiding place our challenge should be to put Him on. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14) To put on Christ you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ (Acts 8:37) and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) If you will be faithful the Lord will always be your dwelling Place. “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.” (Psalms 90:1)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037