In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.”
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me. Psalm 71:1-12 (ESV)
Learning and praying the Psalms is a rich source of learning about God and His character, but even more importantly, they are a rich source of comfort and peace for us in times of crisis and trouble.
The most well known hymn of the Lutheran tradition, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” was written by Martin Luther. Luther was not a popular man during his lifetime, because he challenged the status quo of the church. Those who fight error and corruption within a system are seldom popular. Luther knew death threats, the outside influence of plague, and the personal agony of losing his own children, yet by the grace of God he was able to keep the faith and keep pointing others to Jesus and the truth of the written Word that has been given to us.
Jesus is our refuge, our fortress, our safe place. Nothing or no one else is a true refuge. No one else can defend us and save us from the natural consequence of our rebellion and our inheritance from our first parents. No one else gives us the gift of eternal life, bought and paid for in His own blood.
May we pray along with the Psalmist: Jesus, thank You for purchasing me at the cost of Your own Body and Blood. Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.