Rules of Refuge
Monday, March 23, 2015
Psalm 7:1 O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge;
Tomorrow I leave on a mission trip with a team of men and women from our church. We will travel to South Dakota to the home base of an international mission agency that spreads the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Island of Mindanao in the Philippines. We will be doing some renovation work on the Bible Camp that sits on 20 acres of land on the edge of Watertown.
The director of the ministry will not be there. He is currently in the Philippines preparing to hand out diplomas to the graduates of the Bible College that we support there. He is also travelling to various tribal regions to visit churches and encourage pastors who live in some dangerous locations. You see, the enemies of the Gospel have chosen portions of Mindanao as their next land to conquer. Our director has already travelled through one area where insurgents attacked a military convoy and killed several soldiers.
But none of those dangers really matter when we truly know that God is our refuge and that He has called each one of us to risk everything, including life, to bring the priceless gift of grace to lost people. Not many of us will be martyred physically, but we are all called to be willing to be. Most of us cringe at verbal rejection and shy away from saying or doing anything that results in alienation from friends and family. Maybe we don’t really understand what it means to take refuge in God.
Psalm 7 is a response to a verbal attack on King David’s life that is recorded in 2 Samuel 16. Take a moment to read it. It will challenge us to consider how to respond with godliness to the attacks of people against the righteousness of God.
In response to this event, David lays out the rules of refuge if we are to truly rest in God’s righteousness.
- Turn to Him rather to our own solutions – vs. 1
- Recognize that our solutions don’t end well – vs. 2
- Take time for self-evaluation and make sure everything we have done is an honest reflection of God’s righteousness. David goes so far as to invite justice upon himself if he has done wrong – vs. 3-5
- Trust God’s justice – vs. 6-7
- Do everything in line with God’s righteousness, and let God constantly test our hearts and minds – vs. 8-9
- Let our emotional responses be absorbed into the emotional responses of God, who feels what we feel – vs. 10-11
- Trust God with the outcome, including any and all consequences that are deserved – vs. 12-16
- Praise the Lord and give Him thanks – vs. 17
Here’s a challenging thought: if we are not doing all of the above – if we are in any way breaking even one of these rules of refuge – can we really say that the Lord is our refuge?