Tag Archive: refuge


This one is like a little gem of a psalm. Short and sweet and [if you read the intro and see it mentions this one should be played on string instruments] a little haunting [in the good way]. So i would just actually post the whole psalm here:

1 Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Increase the days of the king’s life,
    his years for many generations.
7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
    appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
    and fulfill my vows day after day.

‘I call as my heart grows faint” – for me it feels like this is an older person writing this. i get the feeling of a contented tiredness. this is someone who has experienced God as his refuge and as his strong tower in times of need. this is someone who knows God as the One who has heard his vows.

i’m not sure why it is particularly but i really like this psalm. it feels so peaceful, even as there is a cry and a call and this sense of long journey to the ends of the earth. there is not the same panic that exists in a number of other psalms when enemies are chasing or foes are trying to take the psalmist in. this one feels like someone who has lived a long journey, punctuated by times of Godly intervention, and is ready just to sit in the courts of God and lift up His name forever.

when i am old and nearing my time to move on, i hope this will be the kind of piece i can compose to God…

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

Another Psalm begins with David in trouble, railing against his enemies [this time we more specifically know they are men who have been sent by Saul to watch his house] and what is great again is that we see where David turns to:

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

We don’t know it’s his first point of turning [for most of us it rarely is, right?] but whether it is or not, we get the sense of his trust and reliance on God with terms like ‘fortress’ and phrases like ‘deliver me’. David always seems to end up at the feet of God when he has trouble [and fortunately when he is full of praise] as opposed to letting trouble in his life send him running away from God. If we only draw close to God when things are going well, that says a lot about our relationship with God. In the same way, if we only draw close to God when things go badly, that also says a lot. A good relationship stays consistent through good and bad. Whatever comes my way I will face it knowing God is with me.

What is great about this psalm [as it is with so many of them] is the honesty. This is not great theology David is throwing out here, it is human emotion in whatever words he has at his disposal. We can see this as he goes from show no mercy to wicked traitors [verse 5] to But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget [verse 11] and then to consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more so a little bit of contradiction happening here which just gives an indication that this is more an expression of how David is feeling right now, than an accurate portrayal of what he actually thinks God is going to do. We see this later when David has at least two opportunities in caves to kill Saul and chooses not to.

What is particularly great about this psalm is that David starts and ends with God. There appears to be a danger of him losing it during the piece and getting caught up in the enemy-bashing but it’s almost as if he checks himself and ends once more with a focus on who God is and what He will do. Reminding himself why he ended up there again.

16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.

 [To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

and on to psalm 14:

‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God!” [vs.1]

as Mr T’s B.A. Baracus from the A-Team would say, “I pity the fool!”

and that’s an apt combination of thoughts. and ‘pity’ has such strongly negative connotations where what i feel when i look at friends lives who do not know God and are going through stuff and trying to carry it all by themselves is totally a positive reaction of sadness and wishing-they-get-it’ness. even just the added effect of community when you are involved in a church or Christ-following community that understands a bit of what following Jesus is all about. to have to try and live life without that must be such a tightrope walk at times.

then the second part that this psalm gave to me was this:

‘You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.’ [vs. 6]

two sides to that – the scary question of whether ‘you evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor’ ever relates to me? does the way i live contribute to the plans of the poor being frustrated? and a bigger picture question of does the municipality or government where i live ever frustrate the plans of the poor and if so do i ever do anything about that? it’s been great being connected to the simple way where they have actively got involved where municipalities have created some really unfair to the poor and homeless rulings and even had a bunch of them changed [in partnership with other people] it is sometimes a lot easier to simply give a man a fish, or if we’re feeling generous even teach him to fish… but at some stage you have to ask the bigger question of who is polluting the pond and do we intend to do anything about that?

and the second part is comforting and speaks into the situation, that even when i [and my fellow man] are too lazy or confused or apathetic or too busy fighting about the how of it, that ‘the Lord is their refuge.’ God is on it. This shouldn’t mean that i mustn’t be. But it is still a comforting voice in the chaos of life. The poor and needy, the helpless and homeless, the naked and imprisoned and marginalised all have a place to go. and that place is a Person who Loves them very much.

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