We all need a place a refuge from time to time. A place of safety. A place where, no matter what and who wants to attack us, we are protected. A place where we are safe even from the penalty of our own wrongs.
God introduced this concept to the Hebrews upon coming to the promised land. Again, as a foreshadowing of Jesus, the people of God where instructed to establish cities of refuge. If someone had done something wrong, or even just accused of doing something wrong, they could escape to the city of refuge and not face harm, attack, revenge or retribution. If they chose to not be under the protection of the city, to live within its walls, then they stood on their own.
This concept of a place of refuge is repeated throughout scripture. The word appears 96 times in the NIV. But let’s compare and contrast the difference between those who seek refuge in God and those who seek it in the world.
In regard to the unbelievers, Revelation 6: 15-17 says they “hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?””
When the heavens and the earth have been shaken. When every island and every mountain has been moved. When the sun is black and stars fall from the sky. Where would someone hide from that? What good is a cave in that situation?
In comparison, here are words of those who seek their protection in the Lord:
Sam 22:3 – My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me
Ps 71:3 – Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Is 57:13b – But whoever takes refuge in me (The LORD) will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.
So, while the rest of the world is crying out for the rocks and mountains to fall on them, the ones who seek refuge in the Lord will be standing tall and firm on the Rock of God and His Holy Mountain.
Ex. mt sinai covered in smoke, billowing like a furnace, mt trembled violently
Is. all stars in sky will be dissolved, heavens rolled up like a scroll, starry host will fallJe. formless earth, no light in heavens, quaking, swaying, barren land, no people
Jo. blood and fire and billows of smoke, dark sun, blood moon
Ze. mountain splits in two forming new valley
It will be on the earth and in the heavens. It will come with great might and power. Nothing meek or humble in it.
Hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains calling the mountains to fall on them / refuge in Jesus Christ
God begins the siege and He will, in victory end it, with peace (not a compromise or treaty, but complete domination)
Jesus is our mighty fortress, our safeguard in the wrath, for in Him we are called to be on His side, and with the mighty hand of God we need not raise a sword