In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
if the foundations are destroy,
what can the righteous do?”
David, it seems is being assaulted from two sources. His life seems to be full of problems. We probably can’t figure out which particular stress he’s dealing with now, but from the words here we can be sure that it’s pretty bad. Maybe even life threatening. The second stress seems to come from a friend. A friend, it seems, sees all the stuff David is needing to deal with and advises that he runs. Run away to the mountains! Look, your enemies are closing in on you. They’re coming and there’s nothing you can do about it! Pack up and get out of here. They’ve destroyed the foundations of the city and when the foundations go what can even a righteous man do? Run!
David seems to be a little offended by this. “How can you say this to me?” He asks. How can you even suggest something like this? Run? Are you crazy? Don’t you know that I take refuge in the Lord? Don’t you know that the Lord is in his holy temple? Don’t you know that his eyes see and test the children of men? Don’t you understand that the Lord is righteous and will always protect those who are his? How can you say all of this to me? How can you tell me to run and take refuge in mountains? Mountains are weak and flimsy. They’ll fall and melt at the breath of the one I take refuge in. I cannot take refuge in the mountains. I take refuge in he who made the mountains.
We feel we need to add a lot to our lives. We live in great fear, it seems. Over here in Pakistan it seems that people are more concerned with safety and security than they are with fulfilling their purpose in this land. Canada is exactly the same. We spend so much time and money worrying about insurance and savings and safe cars and safe foods and safe this and that and the other thing. We spend so much energy in the things we think will keep us safe that when it comes time to devote ourselves to the reason we were created we find that we’re out of time and energy. Our church planning meetings focus on offerings and insurance plans instead of prayer and the Spirit. Our missionary planning meetings focus on exit strategies and secure e-mail connections and other crap that won’t ever really keep us safe. Why are we counting on these plans and organizations to keep us safe? Why are we so scared?
“But Matthew, God gave us brains and we’re supposed to use them, not to just through caution into the wind.”
True, God gave us brains. And my brain reads the Bible and my brain tells me not to worry about what I will eat or drink or where I will live or whether I will die because if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness he’ll take care of the details.
Don’t ever be afraid to obey. Even if obedience means social stigma, physical pain or any other kind of suffering. If you really sit down and count the cost you’ll find it all worth it.