A Refuge for the Overwhelmed
When life unexpectedly overwhelms us and we feel we can't go on and we feel all alone—what do we do? David faced that as well as so many of God's faithful servants through the years. Just because we love and serve the Lord doesn’t mean we miss the storms and skids of life.
Open with me to one of the gravest hours in the life of David.
1 Samuel 21:10-15 “Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?” 12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. [That is the setting for Psalm 56] 13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?” [That is the setting for Psalm 34 and then later, Psalm 70].
David bottoms out emotionally; he is unable to go on because of complete fear, loneliness, and danger. So he puts on an act like he has lost his mind. Not everything David did was right—but the inspired lessons are always right. The key to this time in David’s life is found not in the short term events, but in the long term direction of his heart!
David had found a place he could always reach for safety and security—in any situation. The Lord was his refuge; the Lord is our refuge also. Christ our refuge is the safest spot in the Universe. He is the place we go when life gets tough.
Christ Is Our Lifelong Refuge from Loneliness
David was alone in a crowd sometimes, alone in a cave, alone with a flock—but never away from the presence of the Lord. His insight by God’s grace is the theme of each of these Psalms. That is what God's Word addresses--we see the situation, feel David’s loneliness and then see the solution God showed him. All of that is recorded for our use in this wonderful book—the Bible!
David turned, trusted, and triumphed—that is his pattern. Whether it was the family conflicts and dangers that left him all alone or this job loss—he always turned to God, trusts in His promises, and is led in triumph. That kind of echoes a New Testament verse we all know doesn’t it?
2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
Are you a fragrance at the unemployment office for Christ or not for Christ? Can people tell you are turning to God or to despair? Can your wife see you are trusting God or panicking? Does God see you being led in triumph or sinking in pity? Remember we can’t change most of our circumstances—but we can change our attitude in them!
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