Christ the Only Refuge
I suppose that every boy and girl who reads Scattered Seed knows the value of a refuge, for at all ages and all seasons a refuge of some sort is needed by everybody.
Our houses and clothing are refuges from the severity of cold and heat, and from storms and winds. Then, too, in town or country we may have been surprised by a sudden tempest, and gladly availed ourselves of a shop or shed for a temporary shelter. Such places were our refuges. These are all hiding-places for our bodies, and there are many others of which we might speak; but my desire now is to write a little about a refuge for the soul, and I will take the letters forming the word and connect with each of them a few thoughts about our subject.
First then let us think of the
I suppose we all know that a tree is not a right refuge when the lightnings flash, and thunders roar, and the rains deluge the earth. Under a tree at such times is a place of danger, for the lightning may strike the refuge and those who shelter there might be killed. A building of any kind is safer.
It is of all importance to choose a right refuge for bodies, and how much more then for our souls? Thank God He has provided such an one Himself for us, so that there need be no mistake. All His power and wisdom are on our side as we hide in the shelter He has given us. Christ is that shelter. It is written in Isaiah 32:2, “A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest.” This is none other than the Lord Jesus. He became man in order that, having died for us and risen again, He might be a refuge from the coming judgment which we so richly deserve.
Be wise then and make for this refuge without delay. Learn from the conies of which we read in Proverbs 30:26. They are but a feeble folk, but they make their houses in the rocks. They have no strength to combat their foes, but in the clefts of the huge rocks their dwellings are made, and to these they flee at the approach of danger and remain secure. Their mightiest enemy is baulked if once they gain their rocky home. It is a right refuge.
The sinner has no power of his own, and his sins and death and judgment are in pursuit of him. Christ however is the refuge for all who are in distress because of their guilt, and to Him they may flee and be at rest.
Then too He is an
for He is near to flee to, and can be reached at once.
I remember climbing into an iron cage erected on the great breakwater off Plymouth. That cage is a refuge. It has been placed upon the breakwater in order that any shipwrecked mariner, who is able to reach it, may climb in and be safe. But that is no easy refuge to reach, and when the storms roar, and the billows roll over the masonry of the breakwater, it must be most difficult to gain access to the refuge. But Christ is at hand to shelter. None who are anxious for salvation need despair of gaining an entrance to this hiding-place. It is but to look unto Him to be saved. The feeblest call is heard and the weakest faith finds a ready response, and “whosoever believeth on Him shall not be confounded.”
Then the refuge is a
There is nothing to pay. God delights to give. He said to Adam in the garden, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest FREELY eat;” and He says today, “Whosoever will let him take of the water of life FREELY.” Payment has been made by Christ, who came and did the will of God in suffering upon the cross, so that the way might be open, free, for all to come.
You may say, “I would like to enter, but I have no goodness.” None is required. It was for sinners the Saviour came. It was for sinners the Saviour died, and sinners are now invited to enter. The blessing of God is “without money and without price.”
Frequently when servants of the Lord are giving gospel books away money is offered in payment, but they answer, “I do not sell; I only give.”
God does not sell, He only gives salvation. Nothing of your own that you could bring would be acceptable; but if you draw near in the name of Christ boundless favour will be yours.
Then Christ is an
Some in sickness seek refuge in hospitals, but frequently find that these refuges fail them completely, and they have to go out unrelieved, uncured. Now Christ has never failed one soul that applied to Him in sorrow on account of sin. The vilest and the worst have come, and been welcomed and healed. No case is too desperate, no condition too hopeless, for Him. The woman who had spent all her living, and still remained uncured by the physicians, applied to Him, and found instant relief. The outcast leper approached, and was cleansed. The dead were raised. The dying robber was saved. None were refused; all were blessed.
Then will you not come? Let nothing deter you. You need Him, and He will welcome you, even you as you are now.
There is plenty of room, too, for He is a
In Christ there is room for all. Every human creature is invited to enter. It matters not what language or colour or age you are of, the Son of God Himself has said, “If any man enter in he shall be saved.” The ark was a great refuge, and beasts and birds of every kind found shelter there. None were too large or small, none too ungainly or unclean. All who came at the Lord’s bidding were housed in safety till the waters of the flood had subsided. There is room now in Christ, the true ark, for you. But do not linger, do not delay, for the door will be shut by the Master of the house, and when the floods of great waters roll you cannot come nigh unto Him.
Lastly we may think of Christ as an
It is not only from judgment that He hides His loved ones, He shelters them from the power of sin and self and Satan. Amid trouble and persecution for His name’s sake, He comforts and stays the heart of the believer, and fills Him with joy and gladness outside of the world’s knowledge altogether.
In all his difficulties the Christian can shelter in Christ, and know too that soon he will be where difficulties, temptations, and trials can never reach, for He is to be for ever with the Lord in the Father’s house on high.
What a refuge then Christ is. The
Can you say, as you look up to where He is at God’s right hand in glory,
“Thou blest rock of ages,
I’m hiding in Thee”?
Blessed indeed are you if such is the language of your heart. But if not, why is it? There is no hindrance on His side; no barrier is raised by Him. You are wronging your own soul every moment that you remain at a distance from such a shelter, such a Saviour.
Do not think you are too young. The children were welcomed to Him when He was on earth, and He welcomes the children still.
Do not think you are too old. His message is to “whosoever will,” and so embraces the most aged.
Do not think you are too sinful. “Christ died for the ungodly,” and He has said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”
Scattered Seed 1894, p. 68