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The Only Hiding Place for the New Year

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The Only Hiding Place for the New Year

7 minuten leestijd

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

Rev. J.B. Zippro, Grand Rapids, MI

The old year has passed very quickly, and the New Year lies ahead of us. Again we and our children were privileged to begin the New Year. Others were taken away and have exchanged time for eternity. What a great comfort if we may know that they went to a better place. What a wonder also if we ourselves are prepared to meet the Lord in peace and righteousness. Empty places have come among us, and we will certainly miss our loved ones, but we have to continue without them. On the other hand, we may still be in the land of living and in the day of grace. Every New Year preaches unto us God’s goodness and longsuffering; “...I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked...” (Ezekiel 33:11).

It is a good custom to wish one another God’s blessing with the coming of a New Year, but only the Lord can give that which we really need. No one knows what the New Year will bring us whether it is in our families, in church, in the world, or in our personal lives. Perhaps we have begun the New Year with the same cares and concerns—the silent grief which is present in the life of widows and widowers— a mother or a father or brother who is no more. There may be troubles in our work, family difficulties, or serious diseases that cannot be cured. What a wonder, then, if we have a Hiding Place where we may seek refuge in the Lord with all our needs and wants. The poet of Psalm 91 testifies of such a place, saying, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” It is a rich promise for all those who cannot help themselves—a certain promise in the midst of all uncertainties. There is nothing more unsure than life, and there is nothing more certain than death although no one knows when that day will come. In the previous Psalm it is clearly stated that all will return unto the dust. Most likely it was Moses who-wrote Psalm 90 which also begins with that Refuge and Hiding Place from generation to generation.

There is nothing more unsure than life, and nothing more certain than death although no one knows when that day will come.z

Psalm 91 speaks of the wonderful care of the Lord for those who trust in Him. It is a Psalm of God’s providence. Moses, who wrote this Psalm also, speaks of a secret place— secret because it is hidden from the enemies and, therefore, can be used for a hiding place. In nature the weaker animals have a secret place where they hide themselves from the stronger animals. I also think of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who lived in Amsterdam and was kept in a secret place during the Second World War. Finally, we read of David, who hid himself in the cave of Adullam from Saul who was pursuing him. These secret places, however, are not always sure and safe. Sometimes they are discovered by the enemy or found out because of treason. Where do we find our security and safety? What is of more value in our days than safety, especially when there is a constant threat of terrorists? Can you still be safe in this world?

Psalm 91 speaks also of many dangers in this life: of the snare of the fowler, the noisome pestilence, the terror of the night, the beasts of prey, and the arrow that flies during the day. “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand...” (verse 7). As a consequence of sin, life is full of difficulties and sadness. In Psalm 90 we read that although the days of our life are seventy or eighty years, “...yet is their strength labor and sorrow” (verse 10), and who knows the power of God’s anger? By our deep fall in Adam, we have made this world a den of thieves and robbers. We left the secret place of the Garden of Eden seeking a paradise in this world. Man is surrounded by dangers, and he stands in need of a secret place where he may hide himself. A restless man seeks for peace and salvation in this world or in his religion. Man will find no rest, however, until he finds rest in God. Psalm 91 speaks of a secret place where the Lord will take care of His people. Who can give us a safer place? Who can give us better protection? Not only to save us from dangers, diseases and fears, but who can save us from the power and dominion of sin and Satan? The answer is— Christ, who is the only Refuge and Savior for His people.

Christ left His secret place with the Father. He came into this world without a hiding place. There was no room in Bethlehem, and His secret place was a stable. No one could find Him there except poor and needy shepherds. The enemy Herod sought Him, but God protected Him. The time came when even His Father left Him in order that Christ might be an eternal shelter for His people. He has experienced all of the fears and terrors for His people during nights of agony—in Gethsemane and on Golgotha. He was forsaken by His Father to redeem His people from hell and to prepare a secret place in heaven for them.

When do I need this Refuge? When do I need a hiding place? The answer is, when I see danger. As long as I do not see my need or trouble, I will not seek that Refuge in my life. God’s Spirit must show me that I am standing outside of this Hiding Place. When the sinner awakes, he cries out, “Where can I be safe from the wrath and the anger of God?” He will have no rest until it pleases the Lord to lead him to that only Refuge. In further discoveries, painful lessons have to be learned. I must be driven out and leave the bunkers of my self-made righteousness. I must be stripped of all of my strength and wisdom so that I may find refuge in Jesus. Jesus is the only Refuge, the only Hiding Place, and the Shadow where my poor soul can find shelter.

Also in the year 2008 it may be preached unto you— flee for refuge to this only Hiding Place. There is free entrance; nothing has to be paid. The door of this Hiding Place is still open. Also in the New Year it may be proclaimed that there is place and enough room for seeking souls who are burdened with the weight of sin and guilt. It is as with David at the cave of Adullam. It was a hiding place for “every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him...” (1 Samuel 22:2).

This secret place is an eternal Hiding Place, an eternal place to dwell not only for one year. “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you...” (John 14:2). Therefore, the Lord speaks to a poor and needy people—be of good courage and let not your heart be troubled. He is the only Refuge.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

— Psalter 247:1

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 2008

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

The Only Hiding Place for the New Year

Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 2008

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken