Bible ABC’s – Refuge


Imagine you are going for a walk in the woods. After a while, it starts raining heavily, but unfortunately you have not taken a raincoat or an umbrella with you. However, you know about a nearby hut, so you start running to it through the torrential rain. Soon you have reached the hut, and you can start drying your soaked-through clothes: you have found refuge from the rain. This is what today’s word means: to find safe shelter from a danger or an uncomfortable situation.

Life offers us both sunshine and rain. Sometimes when we go through life everything around us is warmed by the sun. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to go through cold rain, too, and since we do not want to catch a cold, we need to find shelter to take off our soaked-through clothes – we need to unload life’s problems. Where can we do that?

In Psalms 46:1 we read: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”. It is God to whom we should flee. He will give us shelter from the situation that we are currently in. He is there when we are in trouble, and because we know that we need not fear the situations.

However, we sometimes forget the refuge. We rack our brains to solve our problem, try this and that and pull out all the stops to end it. Of course, we should not simply sit around and expect the problem to be solved by itself. But should we really try everything without having first unloaded all our problems with the One who has promised “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”? (Matthew 11:28) It is our privilege as children of God to come unto Him and tell Him all that worries us. Then we can join in with what the psalmist says in Psalm 91:2 and 3: “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”

Let us therefore be courageous and make use of our privilege. It is not a disgrace to take refuge with the Almighty: it is to our advantage. He will surely deliver us from Satan’s traps and from difficult circumstances.

Talking about pestilence: is not this COVID-19 situation similar to pestilence? Here we also see how the whole world tries everything to stop this virus going round. We should thank God that most governments try their best and make wise and prudent decisions in our favour to protect the population, just imagine the chaos if the governments of this world did nothing. Nevertheless, all their plans and decisions will not be as helpful as God’s intervention. It is only He who can save us from the pestilence. To seek refuge with the Lord, is the best thing anybody can do – whether believer or unbeliever.


What a Friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Saviour, still our refuge—

Take it to the Lord in prayer;

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer;

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,

Thou wilt find a solace there.

Hymn by Joseph M. Scriven (1810-1886)