God our Rock of refuge
“But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” — Psalm 94:22
In the far north of Sweden lies Boden. It is legendary for Boden Fortress, the fortification and defence structure consisting of several major and minor forts and fortifications surrounding the city, hewn out of solid bedrock. It is interesting to see how the natural wonder of rock has served such a means throughout history, not just as a refuge, but as a defence and protection – serving as a barrier against a barrage of attack. Many of today’s military nerve centres are hidden deep within the bowls of mountains, seemingly secure and impenetrable with their rock barrier thick, dense and sturdy. They are unmoved by whatever means of attack may come their way. When we see pictures of such fortresses, a feeling of security often fills our beings. Saints, instill such a picture in the depths of your hearts and spirits, for the LORD is our defence (our fortress); and our God is the rock of our refuge.
The glorious confidence that we have is that God’s fortress is impenetrable. Man’s creations may seem secure and enduring, but this has never been and never will be a complete confidence that can be maintained. Many an impenetrable defence has been breached and overthrown; many a fortified hill overrun; and many a security structure has become obsolete and decommissioned. The Maginot Line was overcome, and today Boden Fortress is a tourist attraction. But the LORD God remains a rock of refuge forever – for He is the everlasting God. No matter what may be taking place on the outside, we have a refuge and fortress that can and does withstand the harshest onslaught. No purposed arrow can injure; no calculated plan can conquer; and no newly created development can overpower the guardian and fortress of our souls. Our defence does not become obsolete through time; it can never become weather-beaten, nor does it become too costly to maintain.
The world can only offer what is temporal, but God provides what is everlasting. When the burdens of “war” seek to impact our lives and daily activities, let us not despair. Tumultuous clouds, brushed thick and dark across the skies, may roll in on the winds of uncertainty; the ground beneath our feet may begin to shudder from the mass of advancing artillery tanks, rolling in on the horizon of distress; and the intensifying drone and thundering roar of bomber and fighter squadrons may harry the ears as they penetrate the air, intent on dropping their ordnances of infirmity and trial. Yet, dear believer, let not your soul be moved, nor troubled. With haste, when the sirens sound, seek refuge in the Rock – the LORD our defence. Rest assured and secure, knowing that no matter what can be brought against you, our God is impenetrable. Let us seek our abode continually in the depths of His heart and proclaim as David did, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). For if this be the directive we have set for our lives, we will be accustomed to the bomb shelter of our souls and the passage ways that lead there in. With confidence and surety we will then be able to continue with David’s proclamation, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5). And when the storm clouds of conflict pass on, and we are able to come out and once again enjoy the warm rays of the sun beating against the paleness of face, our hearts will be able to confidently declare with praise and thanksgiving, “He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:6).
“O Rock of Ages, who will never cease,
Always defend us, and grant us Your peace;
When tempest clouds rise, and seek to destroy,
In Thee do we hide, O LORD, our salvation and joy.”