The Hiding Place

The story has been told of a believer, Frederick Nolan, who was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. Pursued by them over hill and valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a wayside cave, expecting his enemies to find him soon.
Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the little bug had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived and wondered if Nolan was hiding there, but on seeing the unbroken and unmangled piece of art, thought it impossible for him to have entered the cave without dismantling the web. And so they went on. Having escaped, Nolan burst out and exclaimed:
“Where God is, a spider’s web is like a wall,
Where God is not, a wall is like a spider’s web.”1108
Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 295.
We are living in unsettling times. There is a pandemic ramping up fear and destruction all over the world. There are despotic leaders trashing major portions of the constitution with little resistance from the masses. There is prejudice, police brutality, and mob rule that threaten the safety and security of innocent folks. As we peruse the headlines, Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and surrounded with trouble… there seems to be no place to hide.
I praise God that the truth of Scripture still rings true. The words of comfort cut through the noise of the day.
“God is our refuge and strength,”
Ps 46:1.
Refuge (Heb. nouns maḥseh, mānôs, mā˒ôz, verb ḥāsâ).† Shelter or protection from danger or distress. The main thought underlying the Hebrew terms translatable as “refuge” is security.
This morning we are going to see that God is ever present, especially when we need Him most. Wen the world crashes in.. He is our Hiding Place!

A Place to Hide From Trouble

Psalm 46:1–3 KJV
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
ṣārâ 1, n.c., need, distress, anxiety; enmity. 70×
Roots: צַר 1‎; צרר 1. Cognates: מֵצַר‎; צַר 1‎; צְרוֹר 11
1 The Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).
When we experience great need… we have a hiding place
When we have great distress… we have a hiding place
When we have great anxiety… we have a hiding place.
Psalm 59:16 KJV
But I will sing of thy power; Yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: For thou hast been my defence And refuge in the day of my trouble.

A Hiding Place From Lonliness

Psalm 142:4–5 KJV
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, But there was no man that would know me: Refuge failed me; No man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge And my portion in the land of the living.
Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes Bill Gothard on Loneliness

In one of his “birthday card” mailings some years back, Bill Gothard made three observations about loneliness:

1. Loneliness is the anguish I feel when I sense that I am being cut off from the spirit of others. (“I am full of heaviness: and I looked for someone to lament with me; but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.”—Psalm 69:20)

2. Loneliness is the evidence that I was expecting others to meet my needs as only God can. (“My soul wait thou only upon God. For my expectation is from Him.”—Psalm 62:5)

3. Loneliness means that at that very moment, God feels the same anguish toward me because my basic delight is not in Him. (“I will delight myself in the Lord and He shall give me the desires of my heart.”—Psalm 37:4)

A Hiding Place From Violence

Deuteronomy 33:27 KJV
The eternal God is thy refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms: And he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; And shall say, Destroy them.
2 Samuel 22:3 KJV
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, My saviour; thou savest me from violence.

A Hiding Place From the Sorrows of Death.

Psalm 18:1–6 KJV
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: So shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, And the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: The snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, And my cry came before him, even into his ears.
Psalm 23:4 KJV
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

A Hiding Place From the Storms of Life.

Isaiah 32:2 KJV
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, And a covert from the tempest; As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Hebrews 6:17–20 KJV
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
God does not change
God cannot lie
God is our consolation/ comfort
God is our anchor in the storm
God is our refuge!
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