“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall” Isaiah 25:4
You Of Little Faith
The disciples in many instances displayed little faith. One time while they travelled on a boat a serious storm hit and the waves swept the boat over (Matthew 8:23). Jesus was sound asleep amid all the chaos and commotion the storm caused. After they woke him up, he stood and rebuked the winds and waves and it was completely calm. Yet they did not learn to trust God. Sometime later, the disciples saw him feed five thousand with a young boy’s lunchbox. The food was multiplied right in their eyes, and the multitude ate to their fill and twelve baskets worth of leftovers were left. Jesus allowed them to leave ahead of him and he went to the mountain to pray after sending the multitudes away. In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus walked on the sea to his disciples.
Being “In” Christ
However, these same disciples were overcome with fear at the sight of Jesus. They thought he was a spirit and they cried out of fear (Matthew 14:22-27). The events and the miracles they had witnessed Jesus perform should have built their trust in God. Prophet Isaiah is reminding us that God is a “place” of refuge. Our “dwelling place” is not a matter of location or geography. It is a condition of our faith. To be “in Christ” is to be “in the Father.” The person who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under God’s shadow. This is the highest privilege as believers; our ability to commune with God.
Walking in God is where our strength comes from. Our intimate walk with Christ involves pulling down strongholds and every obstacle that rises against the knowledge of God. The journey of faith is full of many threatening terrors, but God promises to be a refuge. A place to shelter from danger for protection is a refuge. God shelters the poor, needy. He also gives us protection from the storm and the heat. With his protection, we can endure any trial with the calm assurance that He that shields us can not be moved.
God Is A Refuge
We must seek the power of the one who is in control and trust him because of his unchanging nature and purpose. On this account, our poverty is our access to him. It is only in our neediness of help that God finds the means to exercise his kindness. Blessed are poor in spirit because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Despite the strong breath of the violent enemy, even if they try to vomit fire itself, we must learn to hide under the wings of God. His faithfulness is able to defend and protect us (Psalm 57:1).
Every crisis reveals where any person’s faith is. When something threatens our peace which place do we turn to? The chicks quickly hide under the mother hen when a hawk appears. They know what to do. In the same way, we all must run to the refuge of God when our safety is threatened.
King James Version (KJV)
“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”
New International Version (NIV)
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm”
New American Bible (NASB)
“For You have been a stronghold for the helpless, A stronghold for the poor in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“But to the poor, O Lord, you are a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, a shelter from merciless men who are like a driving rain that melts down an earthen wall.”