Today’s verse comes from 2 Samuel 22, and it could NOT be more fitting as we enter into this Holy Week!
David is giving thanks and praise to God during this passage. We have so much goodness to unpack just in this verse alone (bonus: all of 2 Samuel 22 would be good to read if you have the time!)
Immediately he starts off by calling God his:
- rock- “cliff”
- refuge- “escape”
- shield- “cover,surround”
- horn of his salvation- “deliverance, rescue”
- stronghold- “secure height or retreat”
- refuge (again)- “escape”
- Savior- “deliverer”
I don’t know about you, but I see a common theme here centered around escape, deliver and rescue.
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
In using “cliff” and “escape” in place of “rock” and “refuge”, we can get this mental image of being able to hide under a cliff to get away from something.
But David didn’t say he hides under the rock, he said he takes refuge, or chose to escape there.
I love this because hiding implies fear, but under God’s cliff there is shelter and safety that we purposefully seek.
So when I think of a shield I think of protection, and while God is our protector, He also surrounds us and covers us which is similar to protecting, but again the mental image for me is different.
“Shield as protection” I envision a person in armor with a shield over another person, but there is potential for something to get through on the sides, so the protection we actually have is limited. Whereas, “shield as a cover and surrounding” seems more enveloping, almost like being surrounded in a bubble.
I rather be encompassed in a bubble instead of only have a piece of metal on top of me.
As for salvation, He is the ultimate deliverer and rescuer and we can only be delivered and rescued from Him as our Savior.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
He is our retreat and escape. He is who we go to to “get away from the things of this world”. Not only can we seek rest, confidence and hope in Him as we retreat, but be re-centered and refocused.
The meaning of the prefix “re” refers to “again and again,” or “going back to”.
That’s what I need to do. Again and again is go back to my refuge, my stronghold my shield, my rock.
I take comfort as well in knowing that David felt the same, all through the rest of the passage he discusses how he runs to God and how God responds.David then praises God for who He is, not only for what He’s done. In middle of asking for things, let’s not forget to praise God for who He is, not just for what we want Him to do.
We need to praise God for who He is, not just for what we want Him to do.
“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! 2 Samuel 22:47
In what ways do you need to run to your refuge and rock today?
How can allowing God to be your deliverer or rescuer “reset” or “refocus” you?
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:1-4
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10