My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Vindicate me. Judge me. Of course David is praying with an assumption of innocence, and that his aggressors to be guilty. Yet this is somewhat of a strange plea if I am honest with myself.
Let me try to explain.
How often have you sought the Lord, and asked Him to judge you? To vindicate includes the concept of judgement, and being used in this passage, must mean that David see’s himself as the offended party, the one who is “guiltless” in the conflict that he is in the middle of.
If anything can be said about King David, he was an honest soul with the Lord. He is looking for a judgement by God, declaring himself to be in the right, and pleading for a defense against the ungodly, deceitful and unjust man.
And yet, I may have spoken somewhat to early, for as I read the first verse, David does not clearly state he is innocent, but as he enters into the second verse, states the reason for his expectation of a good judgement.
Note that verse two starts with “For”. For you are the God in whom I take refuge. Notice that he doesn’t state that the reason he expects a positive judgement is based on his actions directly, but on who he takes refuge in. It is his faith in the covenant keeping God that he is claiming as his defense.
And as I type that, it occurs to me that as modern believers, we tend to use this defense without considering some of the back story to what it means to take refuge in the Lord. Some may have a mental acceptance of the truth of the gospel, and yet in their lives, they take no refuge in Him.
To Take Refuge
As David is writing this psalm, he is obviously in trouble. His enemies are seeking him out, and he is looking for deliverance. Remember my friend, he is a man of war, yet he seeks the Lord for his protection, his refuge from danger.
And that is the point.
To take refuge implies danger, stress, conflict, a storm in your life. David is a man of war, yet he is not depending on his wits, or strategic abilities, his past victories or his command of any army. No, he is taking refuge in the Lord, as opposed to his own strengths, wisdom or abilities.
Let me try to explain this as I understand it.
I was at work the other day, and had a meeting to go into, which may have become somewhat of a storm for myself, a “difficult” meeting. Admittedly, I was tempted to be quiet on a matter of importance for the group. I asked for grace to refrain from “little white lies” which in my opinion, would be taking refuge in my methods. I asked God for strength to tell the truth, though it may cause myself harm. In this minor, tiny, little itty bitty decision, looking back, I think I was taking refuge in the God of my salvation. I trusted Him to provide strength to be factual, and to bring about His will in the midst of the meeting. (By the way, the Lord gave me strength, and provided a wonderful resolution for all!)
To take refuge in Him is to seek to honor the character He displayed while on this ball of dirt and muck. To trust His word, and to practice the outworking of His word in our lives is the message I am getting from this wonderful psalm.
As a believer, if we constantly fall back to our reasonings, our methods, our defenses, and not on His revealed character as displayed in the life of our Messiah, we may have to ask ourselves if we are really following. Of course none of us follow perfectly, (as least speaking for myself), and yet there comes a confidence in trusting in His will, and in asking for the strength to perform his wishes.
So, when I read that David takes refuge in the God of Israel, I read that he is following the Lord, hearing the voice of God, and responding positively in times of danger, in the storms of his life. Did he know all doctrine, pure teaching and all truths? Not at all, and again we are in good standing with the King of Israel. But to the truth he had revealed to him, he sought to follow the will of God as opposed to his own will, though the danger was staring him flat in the face.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.