God, Our Refuge
27 The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy. (ESV)
Dwelling place” may be translated “refuge” or “abiding-place” and provides the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fullness and sweetness in the metaphor, for our home is dear to our hearts, although it may be the humblest cottage or the tiniest loft; and dearer still is our blessed God, in whom we live and move and have our being.
It is at home that we feel safe: We shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we fear no evil.
He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God when, wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to Him, and our soul dwells secure.
At home also we relax; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the Lord gives favor to the humble, then they may share their secrets with Him, confident in His love.
Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: And it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him that far outweighs all other joy.
It is also for home that we work and labor. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the hands to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home.
Love for Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His dear Son, and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to work in His cause. We feel that we must work, for there are many still to be saved, and we desire to gladden our Father’s heart by bringing home His wandering sons; we would fill with holy laughter the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy then are those who have the God of Jacob for their refuge!