But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
This was one of the Psalms that I read this week in my new Bible Reading Plan based of the ESV Literary Study Bible. And as I lay here and reflect on this Sunday, this Psalm encompasses my soul’s reaction to the day.
Up at 3:00 AM, I found myself unsettled and anxiously waiting for the time to go to the sanctuary–to flee from this world for a little while and take refuge amongst God’s people in the stillness of the sanctuary. But the sanctuary was not what I was seeking to provide refuge, though I didn’t know it at the time. My soul was longing for refuge that only God can provide.
“Let all you take refuge in you rejoice, let them ever sing for joy.” Pastor Dennis touched on the differences between joy and happiness. And this verse here illustrates it beautifully I think. When one is seeking refuge, there is a reason, there is a very real need. Yet those who find their refuge in God can rejoice–they can ever sing with joy. Not happiness, but joy.
There was strong joy in worship this morning! I think there was a distinct sense of many of us, fleeing to the sanctuary and ultimately to our God for refuge and He did not disappoint. We were able to sing with abandon, we were able to sing with joy, we were able to sing with passion. Because God is our refuge and strength. God is our very present help in time of trouble.
O how I love the line “and spread your protection over them”. I picture an illustration recently used in a sermon at SBC of a father wanting to make sure his children’s windows were locked, and wanting to be between them and the front door while they slept. That’s spreading protection over them. I need my God to spread His protection over me and my crew, even tonight, even right now as I lay here fearing and dreading the coming night, as I find myself worked up over having to return to my work environment tomorrow morning.
“You bless the righteous, you cover them as with a shield. Protection. Lord I want to be righteous, but so often I fall so short. Please be righteousness to me, and cover me, cover my children as with a shield. And we will rejoice, we will sing with joy, for we know that you love and cherish us.