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God Our Refuge

I wonder whether you have ever felt trapped? King David did, and he wrote a Psalm about it.

Psalm 142 is known as a maskil Psalm; many biblical scholars believe that a maskil is meant to be meditative and to impart wisdom. When writing this Psalm King David was actually camped down in a cave while his enemies were trying to catch him.

David was in hiding, he felt trapped, stuck, forgotten and that nobody was taking notice of him. In the midst of it all, he writes this spectacularly open and heart-revealing prayer. Psalm 142:1-3, ‘With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!’

David prays on, and you can really feel the destitute and despairing place he finds himself in v4 ‘Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul’.

This is a fantastic virtue of the Psalms; they lay bare all the psalmist’s feelings, the good, the bad and the ugly. Because of this the Psalms can really help us relate, identify and even navigate the difficulties that we find ourselves in. If you are currently feeling trapped, down, forgotten, depressed or on your own, be encouraged to read the Psalms. Mediate in the Psalms, sit with them and allow God to minister to your spirit. Not only that, but God wants to hear you, even in your darkest moments, questions and pain. The Bible says in Lamentations 2:19b ‘Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!’

Another wonderful thing about the Psalms is, that after having been raw with how the Psalmist feels the writer brings it around to hoping and trusting in the Saviour. King David, having unpacked his innermost thoughts to the Lord, then cries out in V5 ‘I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”’

He makes a declaration of faith, no matter what God, no matter the situation presently, no matter what tomorrow looks like, no matter how I am feeling, (which is very real), no matter what, God – “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” His resolve is not in anything other than the Lord Himself. He ends the Psalm by praying V7, ‘Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.’

If you feel trapped, there is hope; there is always hope. Don’t give up, but do give in to sitting in His presence, reading the Psalms and reminding yourself that He is the God of breakthrough, He is your refuge and strength, and He is present in your every moment. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the Psalms to read, meditate on and encourage us in every season of life. Father, I ask that those reading who are feeling imprisoned would be set free.  That those reading who are feeling captive, alone or forgotten would be loosed. We declare You are our refuge and strength and we speak freedom and peace over our hearts, homes and lives. You are with us God, thank You. Amen.

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