The word “REFUGE” is from a Latin word meaning to escape and depicts a place which provides shelter or protection from trouble, danger or distress. A REFUGE is a place of safety and security. And so it is fitting for David to invite us: “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes REFUGE IN HIM [the Solid Rock]!” [Ps 34:8-] In contrast, in his classic Paradise Lost, John Milton writes “Rocks, dens and caves [of this passing world]…in none of these, find place or REFUGE.”

In the Revelation, kings, great men, commanders, rich, strong, slave and free, all hide themselves in “the rocks” of this world and say “to the rocks “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” [Rev 6:15-16-, cp Lk 23:30, Isa 2:19-] Spurgeon writes “It will be vain to call to the rocks in the Day of Judgment, but our ROCK attends to our cries!”

And so we see that every man of every age will chose to hide either in the “rocks” of this passing world or in the “everlasting ROCK” [Isa 26:4], a solid, unchanging ROCK [Heb 13:8, Mal 3:6, Ps 102:26-27]. Indeed, the believer’s sure REFUGE in this world and the next is not a place but a Person, Christ Jesus, our “ROCK in Whom [we] take REFUGE” [Ps 18:2], for “Who is a ROCK, except our God?” [Ps 18:31]. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” [Ps 118:8] Spurgeon exhorts us “to let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but we are to be like one who foresees the storm, and builds for ourselves an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.”

Ray Stedman encourages us to “Remember that, when you feel defeated, when you are under attack, when doubts come flooding into your mind. Remember that you are already encircled by the belt of truth. You have found the One who is the solid, unchanging Rock. The words of the hymn express this well: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.” Moses affirms this faith stabilizing truth declaring “The ROCK! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just. A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He” [Dt 32:4]

Moses then reminds us that the world’s “rock is not like our ROCK, as even our enemies concede.” [Dt 32:31]. Dear Father, we who are so prone to wander [and wonder!] ask that by Your sweet Spirit, you might enable us moment by moment “to fix our eyes on Jesus” [Heb 12:2], our “spiritual ROCK” [1Cor 10:4], so that we might not be like those of old who so often “neglected the ROCK” [Dt 32:18], who quickly forgot “the God of their salvation and who did not remember the ROCK of their REFUGE” [Isa 17:10, cp Hos 4:6]. Amen

Indeed, Moses affirms that “The eternal God is thy REFUGE, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee” [Dt 33:27] and “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” [1Cor 15:26]. “Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD” [Ps 104:35], our everlasting Rock of Refuge. As Spurgeon affirms “I am in a cleft of a ROCK which is so enduring that time can never dissolve it. Precious Christ, may I be found in Thee amidst the concussion of the elements when the world shall melt away [2Pe 3:10-12], and the heavens shall be dissolved [Isa 34:4]! Oh, may I stand in Thee, Thou precious cleft of the Rock, for Thou art all-in-all to my soul!” Puritan Thomas Watson writes that as “the dove hides ‘in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliffs’ [Song 2:14], Christ’s wounds are the clefts of the rock where the believing soul hides itself!”

F B Meyer adds that He “is the Rock of Ages! Time may beat upon Him, but it cannot alter Him or impair Him. Whilst this fleeting breath is drawn, when eyes close in death, when unknown worlds are entered, when the judgment throne is set, always and forever the soul may shelter in the cleft Rock of the unchanging Redeemer, and Peace, like a double window, intercepts alarm from the heart which is stayed on God and trusting in Him [Isa 26:3]


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