While in high school, my friend Sandi and I were hanging out in a nearby park on a spring afternoon when the clouds turned into a downpour. We jumped into my car, but when the rain turned to golfball-size hail, I knew we needed to find shelter. Driving through the neighborhood, I spotted a vacant garage-like awning adjacent to a house, so I drove underneath it while we waited for the storm to pass.
After the storm calmed down, I dropped off Sandi at her house and then drove home. To my astonishment, when I turned on the radio I discovered that a tornado had indeed hit Denver. In fact, it had followed a nearby freeway before skipping over us and then landing about a mile away where it continued it’s destructive path.
The awning sheltered my car from serious damage. But I also encountered another shelter during that experience…
What Made King David’s Shelter So Strong?
Although people point to him as Israel’s greatest king and a man after God’s heart, David was no stranger to adversity. We don’t know the context into which David wrote Psalm 7, but it’s obvious that his life was in danger.The psalm was likely written while he was on the run from Saul—because the title says the psalm is a response to Cush, a Benjamite, and we know Saul incited the Benjamites against David (see 1 Samuel 22:7).
Regardless, while in danger David begins the psalm by writing, “O Lord my God, I take refuge in you” (verse 1). A refuge is literally a shelter in a storm.
But how did David find refuge in God? I think it resembled my experience with the hailstorm. In the same way that I trusted the awning to protect my car, David trusted God to protect him. David still encountered opposition, but he trusted in God’s goodness and power to protect him.
In addition to that, David found a way to commune with God. Writing Psalm 7 was one way that David found refuge in God. He even wrote the psalm in the present tense: “I take refuge in you.” Not “I want to take refuge in you” or “I remember that one time when I took refuge in you.” By journaling his thoughts, David experienced the shelter of God’s love. Many of the psalms we read are journal entries of conversations (poetry!) between David and God.
Taking refuge in God involves placing our trust in God to protect and to provide, but it also includes ways for us to “take refuge in the shelter of [his] wings,” as David writes in Psalm 61:4. It means finding reassurance that can only come from being with him.
How do you find refuge in God?