The Lord is my Refuge and Fortress!
This Psalm is quite topical as it mentions “pestilence” and we are not to be afraid of it by day or by night. We dwell in the Shadow, representing protection and resting, of Almighty God, our Father who is Abba, our Daddy.
The wings of the Cherubim covered the Ark of the Covenant and the presence of the Lord dwelt between the wings where David as Priest and King knelt to worship. The heat of the noonday sun would have been fierce in Jerusalem – therefore the Shadow of the Wings – represents much needed refuge and relief from the relentless heat of our daily fears, terrors and temptations. In Hebrew script the first and the last syllable of the Psalm represented in picture form at the time was “hand” - the hands of Jesus on the Cross were pierced for us – we are held between those strong, sacrificing hands if we choose to rest and remain within His protection.
I was given this Psalm many years ago when I was prayed for at a Healing Conference. It has remained a favourite to pray with – both for myself at desperate times and for many friends who need the protection and refuge of God. Yes – the Psalm includes commands from the Father but if we make the Lord our dwelling, there are wonderful promises for us to claim in verses 11 to 16. In these challenging and uncertain times, we so much need the reassurance of these promises that the Father will command his angels concerning us and guard us in all our ways. He will rescue and protect us, answer our prayer, be with us in trouble, deliver and honour us, give us long life and show us His saving grace. I often substitute the word “you” with a loved one’s name as I pray for that person.
I found a very moving and lovely interpretation of the Psalm in Malcolm Guite’s book, David’s Crown. Here are a few words from the poem:
“He shares our grief and wipes away our tears/ And even in this life he shelters us Beneath the shadow his wings. / Our fears and hopes are known to him….. (I have the book if you would like to borrow it to read the full version.)
May you find rest in God as your refuge and fortress!
By Sue Finlayson
Sue has been a member of St Margaret's for 37 years! She is married to Ian - they have 2 sons and 6 lovely grandchildren. Sue is currently the Bereavement Group Co-ordinator.