“In the LORD I take refuge.” David had found a resting place for his soul. This provision was not just for him. He wrote about his faith in Almighty God to the choirmaster so that others in Israel would be able to add their “Amen” to their leader’s great hope.
Yet David struggled with advice that came to him at this difficult moment. Should a man like him actually “flee like a bird” in the face of danger? Was there ever a time when it would be right for the faithful to run away? David certainly came to the conclusion that he needed to retreat from more than one enemy over his many years of serving God. It was the only way that he could live to fight another day. God at times explicitly directed His people to flee from a place that was under divine judgment. The foundations within a once godly society might soon be gone. What could the righteous do then? They had to flee or simply face the arrows of the wicked.
Even if all of God’s people needed to run, the Lord Himself could never be in danger from even the most fierce adversaries imaginable. Though Jerusalem would perhaps be assaulted by foreign armies, the God of Israel would still be safe in His holy temple on high. Heaven was His throne. He could easily bring any enemy to an end. The God who tested the righteous might destroy violent wicked men at any moment according to His own sovereign will.
Even though God was safe in His heaven this did not mean that the Lord was detached from the sufferings of His people. He was so committed to the salvation of the upright that He squarely faced trouble for them that they could never have endured. When the time came for the Son of God to die for our sins, He did not flee to the mountains. On the cross He fought and won a battle that we could never have survived so that we might behold His face forever.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, You are the refuge of Your people. Will we be forced to run from men and angels who pursue us? You are safe in heaven and we are secure in You. We know that the day of rescue will come. We will see Your Son. We will behold His face.