Taking refuge - by Ben Bonython
‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ (v8) and ‘no one who takes refuge in God will be condemned’ (v22) are powerful promises that were born from uncertainty, persecution and isolation. David, the young shepherd boy had the promise of God but now he would experience the promises at work and against all the odds. The verses above captured David’s reflections in Psalm 34.
Just after his friend Jonathan farewelled him in peace, for David, it was anything but peace. Straight away, David moved to escape King Saul as an ‘enemy of the state’, only to find himself with Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. In order to escape the Philistines, he faked insanity and madness in front of King Achish of Gath, and escaped to a cave. So much for a farewell in peace – welcome to pressure.
Have you ever felt like there was pressure on all sides? A time when peace was hard to find? You are busy and when you stop, your mind is full of thoughts and your heart just races. It is difficult to sleep, and you feel wrung out, empty and exhausted. All that David had at the Cave at Adullam was the Lord.
Take a moment to read Psalm 34; you will be encouraged from the realised promises and provision of God which allowed David to escape two enemies and find refuge at Adullam (1 Sam 20:42-22:2). There are many things that can encourage us, but it was the still and quiet and refuge of the cave that allowed the art of reflection to produce Psalm 34. Only after the busy, the running, the insanity and the escaping was David able to reflect, and write a Psalm of absolute thankfulness – acknowledging the promise and peace of God.
Our prayer is that as you read Psalm 34 and reflect on the Lord, you too will find refuge and thankfulness in God. We encourage you to create space to reflect, and recapture the art of reflection – to be still and know afresh that God is God. May you taste and see that the Lord is good.