We see the words in Scripture. We hear them used in songs. We have had people pray the words over us when we are going through the trials of life. And we use them ourselves when we cannot find the words to say.
Our Refuge and Strength. Such powerful words, describing our God in both noun and verb. He IS our Refuge and Strength, which is the noun form of the words. But He is also the action of these two words used together. Giving refuge is an action. Providing strength is also an action, thus we have two actions that are both verbs. And both usages are ascribed directly to who and what God is in our lives.
The Psalms are full of praises for Him, simply because He IS these things. His people were saved from peril many times over, and always afterwards praises rang out, obedience became the way of daily life, and the psalmist wrote in divine cadences, recording the work He had done.
“Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.” (Psalm 71:3)
While the words Refuge and Strength may change, the meanings remain the same. Merriam-Webster defines the words this way:
shelter or protection from danger or trouble
the quality or state of being physically strong
the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force
Shelter and protection are commonly used throughout the Word of God to describe what God gives His children. He gives them and He is them. Strength is the same, He gives us the strength to survive any trial that comes upon us. He enables us to stand strong and unbroken in the face of the forces that push against us. He is strong, and He makes us strong.
“Therefore, say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’ ” Exodus 6:6-8
The verse above speaks of absolute protection, and great refuge. It is a promise, and the promise was realized. God did deliver them from the slavery of Egypt. He did take them as His people. And He was indeed their God. He was Refuge and He was Strength. And even more than that, He was their hope.
God is Our Hope. And when life changed forever with the birth of Jesus the Christ, the promised Messiah, that Hope was extended through Him. He was the One who came, lived among the people, and then sacrificed His own life to save them, even us today. He is Our Hope, forever more. And He still offers Refuge and Strength. You can see the words clearly now, can’t you? Refuge and Strength are the same as Our Hope. Glory!
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
When have you seen Refuge and Strength provided to you when you most needed them? Please go to www.mystoryofgrace.com and share your experience with us.