He reportedly wrote the hymn in that very spot:  "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee." The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”. That’s who we are in Christ. So out of thankfulness to God, David sits down to write a song… and that song is Psalm 18, which probably more than any other passage shows us why David was a man after God’s own heart. One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible is the conclusion of Romans 8 where the Apostle Paul writes: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We tell them; wow your garden is beautiful! This word appears repeatedly -- God is our refuge, and we can take refuge in God. Ps. The dictionary says that a "refuge" is a place that provides shelter or protection. David wanted what God wanted… the way God wanted it, and when he wanted it. In all other religions, “god” is seen as either someone to be feared, an impersonal force, or as the Greeks–completely unconcerned with humans. Notice she even willingly and happily sits in the picture with her face clearly identifiable! But when he was finally delivered (3) David was quick to give God the glory. In recent days we have watched helplessly from a great distance as a devastating hurricane ripped through our home state of Texas, killing people, destroying homes, and wrecking lives. We obey Christ’s commands because it brings peace and restoration to our soul… and that’s really all we need. This woman knows that God is her refuge and regardless of what happens, she is safe in his love. With God as our refuge, we need not fear -- we will not fear -- even as the earth gives way and as the waters roar. The cords of death entangled me, the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me, the cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. This very year we have watched the deteriorating political climate in both our permanent home and our 2017 home (example from this week, with no comment, at this link), with growing unease and worry. But what does that mean? 1 a b God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. So today I want to give you that same challenge. Hurricane Irma has already caused great destruction on its way to the U.S. mainland, in Barbuda, St. Martin/St. We are praying for all those affected by the storms. That does not mean the storm will magically disappear. Thus we understand that David is declaring that to his utmost ability: he sought to be obedient to God. I quickly learned -- again -- that mine is most assuredly a sheltered, privileged, and first-world perspective. What David and Paul both understood was that their relationship with God and their security with him far outweighed their physical well being. Phil recently posted this picture on Facebook; so maybe some of you have seen this already – but here is a picture of a Christian refugee near Mosul Iraq: As you’re all aware, ISIS is on the hunt for Christians and mercilessly murdering men, women and children. Intro. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.”. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. Moving to verse 16 he continues to point to God as the one gets the glory: “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. Last week we learned that God is our Mighty Fortress, or shield, between us and evil. As recently as the late 1990s, this country was still engaged in a fierce, dangerous, and violent battle. If you don't have time to hear a 22-minute sermon, here is a link to information on Covenant's website, with specific ways you can help. Our souls can find rest in God, and in God alone. We surrender our own desires to God and trust that he knows what is best … As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. This is what undergirded so much idolatry in the ancient world, even among God… From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”. And that’s what we really want as well, isn’t it? He is our refuge, our strength, and an ever-present help in troubled times. With this in mind, death shouldn’t hold any power over us, nor any trial that comes our way. Selah. (Psalm 46:1.) This was their hiding place for safety and security. They simply cling to God. I prayed, “Lord, please give the pilots the skill they need to land this plane safely!” And a sense peace came over me as I realized that regardless of what happened, even at worst the plane did crash–I could still trust that I was in the Lord’s hands…, Well the good news is that we didn’t crash… and when we touched down the plane erupted in cheers and clapping, it was like we were all best friends which was kind of awkward because the big guy next to me wanted a hug…, Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt completely and utterly powerless? As a Christian, this is the life we are called to. 4. And then, after finding our refuge in the presence of God, we roll up our sleeves and help those in need. That's what God calls us to do. But perfect love drives out fear.” We understand that in God’s care, this world is a perfectly safe place for us to be. 46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. For the last several weeks we’ve been working our way through some of the major events in David’s life, and today we’re looking at how David relied upon the Lord for the things that were completely out of his control… and he learned to trust God that way by being a man after God’s own heart. This is the same love and security that David is speaking of in Psalm 18. It's one hit after another. Yes, loving Him, having confidence in him, and giving him the glory are all pertinent–but obedience is where we live out those attributes in practical reality. Praise God for being our refuge and strength. Our souls can find rest in God, and in God alone. But finally, after 4 years of this, Saul unexpectedly died in a battle against the Philistines. He was caught in a terrible storm in a gorge known as Burrington Combe. Most of their families had used shovels to dig makeshift bomb shelters under their huts, where they could hide and protect themselves during nightly fighting. And for what felt like 20 minutes, we circled the airport feeling like at any minute we were going to fall out of the sky. The various distresses the psalmist lists are an occasion to take note of God’s help. That feeling was short lived. He admits that he was incapable of saving himself. David was running for his life, and Paul faced execution.

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