Where do you run when life gets tough? What do you do with other people? We are called to love, but how do we survive those who oppose us? I often retreat to music, TV, or just inside myself. Or I just freak out. Is there a Biblical answer?
Psalm 119:113-120 (CSB)113 I hate those who are double-minded,but I love your instruction.114 You are my shelter and my shield;I put my hope in your word.115 Depart from me, you evil ones,so that I may obey my God’s commands.116 Sustain me as you promised, and I will live;do not let me be ashamed of my hope.117 Sustain me so that I can be safeand always be concerned about your statutes.118 You reject all who stray from your statutes,for their deceit is a lie.119 You remove all the wicked on earthas if they were dross from metal;therefore, I love your decrees.120 I tremble in awe of you;I fear your judgments.The world is full of those who are double-minded, evil, ungodly, and wicked. The world is a difficult and dangerous. Where can we find refuge?
Cities in ancient times were walled. The walls were a refuge and a barrier to invasion. Retreating behind these walls was a safe (or safer) place. The enemy had to somehow breach the barrier in order to invade. Arrows could be lofted over the walls and rain down on the inhabitants. Shields were the barrier to the onslaught of arrows that may be launched at people either in the open or behind walls.
We are rarely attacked in this manner. I say this from the safety of my home in a land where I do not worry about someone invading my home and killing me. We face spiritual attack and spiritual arrows. We can be about our business when Satan attacks. The thoughts start through our minds. We feel the arrows launched at us in our thoughts. We need refuge whether it be spiritual or physical. We need protection from our enemy(ies). Where can we hide?
The picture drawn by the Psalmist puts God as our wall and shield. He is our protector. How can we make God our hiding place? Is He our shield when the flaming arrows of life come at us? One place to start is to fill our mind with God, rather than the cares of the world. We can learn to stand on the truths found in His Word. Are you spending time in The Word? The Psalmist found hope there. We can train ourselves to run to Him. When then enemy starts to attack, we can put up our shield of faith and extinguish those arrows. We can run to God for refuge and safety. Doing so requires some practice.
Today is a good day to start. Spend some time in your Bible. When the arrows come, turn to Him for help and shelter.
Will you pray this stanza of Psalm 119 as a prayer today?