Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless; they shoot suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see us?
Who can search out our crimes? We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.” For the human heart and mind are deep.
But God will shoot his arrow at them; they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake with horror.
Then everyone will fear; they will tell what God has brought about, and ponder what he has done.
Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him. Let all the upright in heart glory.
There was a Queesrychë song on their Empire album that had a lyric that was something like, “how laughter looks like crying with no sound.” I think it was “Another Rainy Night.” Anyway, two actions coming out of very different emotions but definitely having a similarity between them. This Psalm has words at the beginning and end that have a similar connection. The Psalm begins with a comment about being hidden from the secret plots of the enemy and ends with a statement about the righteous rejoicing in The Lord and taking refuge in Him. Hiding and refuge. Two very similar actions, but from different motivations. To hide is often done out of fear, worry, or anxiety. It’s finding the cave, the closet, the place no one can find. To take refuge has a different feel for me. It is more a finding a place of comfort and security, more for assurance as opposed to fear. The disciples hid from the authorities after Jesus’ crucifixion and locked themselves away. They did not take refuge in the promises that Jesus had given them. Refuge feels much more like the child who comes to the arms of their parent in the midst of a thunderstorm. Fear may be there, but it’s running to a place of peace, comfort, and assurance.
An interesting thing today…traveling to Seattle today, I have been tying to find a picture to capture this but nothing seemed to fit. As I am sitting here on the flight to Seattle, I is think the picture will be when I get to where I’ll be sleeping tonight – so far all day, I’ve been away from those places of refuge (or even places to hide)…but soon I’ll be there…that’s where the image will come from.