The LORD has established Zion, buy and in her his afflicted people will find refuge. Isaiah 14:32b(NIV)
This verse caught my attention early this week on my sojourn through Isaiah. The refuge for troubled people particularly caught my attention. Like many of you, treat trouble seems to have a bead on me. Often the trouble catches me unaware and my emotional response takes me by surprise. I need a refuge.
The Lord has established Zion.
Close examination of Divine forays into human experience attests to His character and nature. God is immutable – set in concrete, solid, stable, stationary – among the many thesaurus synonyms for immutable. What God establishes cannot be shaken.
Zion, a Hebrew word used in the Old Testament to refer to Jerusalem, the city of God, the place of God’s authority, the city He loves, becomes in the New Testament a reference to the Church. When God established the Church on the cornerstone of Jesus, He established an enduring place of refuge.
…in her his afflicted people will find refuge.
Will find refuge
The Good News Translation reads … his suffering people will find safety there.
When life is troubling, we need a refuge, a place of safety. Instruction, correction, and challenge have their place. But when we are suffering, afflicted, and troubled, we need the place of refuge.
A few weeks ago, Ken and I drove into Assateague National Seashore from the Maryland end of the island. Assateague is a wild life refuge famous for the wild ponies. As we turned onto the beach road, a herd of five or so wild Assateague ponies greeted us. One pony ambled down the middle of the road, straight for our car bumper. The pony kept coming until she touched the hood of our car, then turned to the side and slid up next to the driver’s side window. Amazing! No fear for these ponies. The wildlife refuge protects from outside danger.
In the city of God, His church, God provides a place of refuge and safety.
God has designed the Church to provide an environment where His unlimited power touches the brokenness of women and men resulting in personal freedom and wholeness which brings glory to His Name in a fallen world. (Ken Burtram from a sermon, The Unstoppable Church – Fueled by God’s Unlimited Power.)
Are you afflicted or suffering? Take refuge in the place God has established. Are you responsible for the care of the church? Make every effort to insure an environment where the afflicted and suffering can encounter the unlimited power of God.