When God says that he is our refuge, I think he is saying that he recognizes our need to escape. Having a refuge in ancient times was a huge deal. We forget just how often nations were at war with one another, and how often threat seemed to loom just around the corner. So, escaping to safety was a real priority!
We often think of “escaping” as being cowardly. That people who “escape” to video games or the movies are less spiritual. But, when God calls Himself our refuge again and again, he is acknowledging our need to escape. He is acknowledging just how intense the warfare is. He is acknowledging just how difficult it is to live in such a hostile environment today. He understands your need to escape the pressures and the challenges of this life.
And he offers himself as a refuge… He is saying “It’s okay to escape to me.” So often we don’t run to God because we have built up such an image of God as the One who is going to give us an assignment, the One who is going to tell us what we have to do next, the One who is our boss… the One who is our Lord.
But when God says, “I am Lord”, He is offering us His protection not just demanding our allegiance! He is calling us to Himself as our hide-away!
We can escape to him. If he knows how important ‘escape’ is, then will He not show himself to us as our nourisher and protector, not just Lord and director? If he knows just how important escaping to him is, do you think he will abuse his authority by turning your ‘escape times’ into harsh correction times? Or remind us just how often we don’t live up to his expectations?
Surely if he wants us to escape to him, will he not reveal himself as our ultimate enjoyment and pleasure? And will we not find comfort in His everlasting arms? Indeed, He is our refuge… He is the Great Escape!