On the Gettysburg battlefield, there are two round top hills with a rocky area between known as “Devil’s Den” It became a place of refuge during the fierce battle. Following the battle, many bodies were retrieved of soldiers seeking refuge “in the cleft of the rock.” What was hoped to be protection became a vault by which they were entrapped.
We have been promised refuge during times of threat and harm which cannot be penetrated by the most cunning enemy. David had found refuge in God’s protective custody many times about which he wrote with these words: “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies” (Ps. 18:1-3). God’s glory is seen from the Rock as is expressed by the words of the old song, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee”. I find comfort in the passage where God told His people of the Exodus that “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock” (Ex. 23:21-23).
There is the story of a little bird that was being chased by a much larger bird of prey. The little bird flew to save its life, darting about while being pursued by the larger bird. The little bird quickly flew into a crevice in a rock face, inside the cleft in the rock. The larger bird gave up. The little bird had found shelter in the rock, out of reach from fearsome claws. It’s life was saved. How like the little bird are we!
Keep in mind that “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 9:1). “He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark” (Ps. 91:1).
The wonderful and warm embrace of our heavenly Father is a place of refuge and not a “Devil’s Den.” When we try to find comfort in the clutches of alcohol, drugs, sex, money or so many other cares of the world by which we are surrounded, they become a prison and not a refuge. We must take confidence and courage in knowing that our God is our protectorate and never a threat!
–Mike King, Lakeside Church of Christ