“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word…. Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!” (Psalms 119:114 , 116-117 ESV)
Last Thursday we learned that we can come confidently before the Throne of Grace when we encounter temptation, that by approaching His throne we position ourselves to receive grace and mercy which help us to stand strong. Today we will look at another tool in our battle against temptation and sin.
I think that we all had our secret hiding places when we were young, places that made us feel more secure, if only a little. When I was having a bad day, when I was angry, when I was sad, when I was scared, there was comfort in running to my hiding place. Of course, as children there was only so far that we could run!
My hiding place was my closet. I would sit down on the floor and pretend that I had run away. Somehow letting my imagination take me to new and “better” places gave me comfort. I was able to transport myself to a place called Fresh Start. I was able, for just a while, to not be shy around girls, not back down from bullies, not feel the need to hide behind humor. In the corner of my closet I was able to find peace.
While it may be difficult to think of God as a hiding place, the psalmist had undoubtedly found this to be the case. “You are my hiding place.” It’s been my experience that there are innumerable things from which we may want to hide in this world–rejection, fear of the unknown, embarrassment, debts, etc.–but none more practical than temptation. Temptation is like a bully looking to “bring you around to his way of thinking”. It seeks you out so it can beat you down. I remember running into the house a time or two instructing my mom to tell anyone who might come looking for me that I wasn’t home. God is like that. He can and will keep us safe in the face of temptation if only we will come to Him!
And, of course, God is our shield. He not only hides us from temptation, but He also protects us from the devil’s attacks which try to make us more vulnerable. But God is so much more effective than any earthly shield. His technique is unequalled. His motive is pure: love!
The psalmist had this to say, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalms 27:5 ESV). I remember a time in my childhood when a couple of my cousins, Mike and Rob, provided shelter and protection for me; it was a foreshadowing of God’s protection. A bully had messed with me. I can’t remember a thing about the incident except that my cousins stepped between the bully and me. They protected me. I’m grateful to them not only for what they did at the time, but also for the reminder of God’s love and protection.Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”(ESV).
I don’t know what you may be going through right now; I only know my own circumstances. But I do know that God will “Keep [us] as the apple of [His] eye; [and] hide [us]in the shadow of [His] wings”(Psalms 17:8 ESV). Rest in the knowledge that God is your hiding place.