A Refuge, as God (Psalm 18)

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

David’s refuge is a loved refuge. An uncommon word is used for “love” here. Often translated “compassion” it carries the idea of a superior feeling pity towards and inferior. The psalm clearly indicates that David views God as God, as greater than himself. The idea then appears to be that David is deeply moved in love towards his God, such that although David clearly loves God because He is a stronghold, you know that God is indeed loved and not merely used.

God is not a fortress to be used as a means to enjoy something else. God is not a storm shelter. He is a refuge the way a wife takes refuge in her husband.

God is a refuge, but He is a refuge as God. He is not simply a refuge as a refuge. You cannot relate to God as a utilitarian thing but a relational person—a person who is the Lord of glory. You cannot flee to God to protect that which is most valuable to you. You must flee to Him as that which is most valuable.

God is not a refuge from the forces that threaten to interrupt your idolatry. God is a refuge for sinners, but not for sin. Repentant sinners find refuge in God from God. Flee to God to protect your sins and you run to your destruction. Again, God is not a vault for you to house your idols in. He is a refuge as God. There is an indestructible refuge for sinners, but there is no facility secure enough to house idols.

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