Summary: We all at one time or another are fugitives, running, with pursuers at our heels. There is a refuge we can find in Jesus Christ
The culture of the orientals of Bible times help us to understand our text.
In a fit of anger, a man injures another citizen of his own people. In desperation, he takes off running. A group of avengers have banded together to hunt down and bring justice upon this individual. The fugitive runs out of town and into the desert. He can hear the posse with the hounds pursuing him. Finally, in the distance, he hears some other dogs, then he sees a campfire, and finally he sees the tent of a Bedouin Arab. The avengers are so close; he can barely stay ahead of them. His strength is waning. But he makes it to the tent door and pausing for just a second, he asks permision to enter the tent. Permision is granted, and the enemy is stopped at the door.
You see, the Beduoin has accepted the responsibility of becoming bodyguard for this fugitive. The practices of the culture are so strong, that no one dares to enter the tent without permision. The host begins to set up a table and makes preparation of the best food he has at hand for his guest.
"thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies"
The avengers are glaring, but dare not step inside the tent to take hold of the fugitive.
My question for you today is: What is pursuing you? and Where is your refuge?
May I suggest a few of the pursuers?
I. The sins of yesterday
Paul tells us in Phil. 3:13 to forget those things which are behind. It is not always so easy, you say.
Even Jobs’ friends did their best to remind him of all his possible failures and mistakes that had possibly led him to his problems.
But Psalms 103:12 tells us that as far as the east is from the west, that is how far God has cast our sins, to be remembered no more.
Your sins may have been bad and may have been many, but be assured that God does not remember them if you have placed them under the blood.
It is time to accept the refuge that has been offered and leave this pursuer outside.
II. The temptations of today
The temptations will always exist.
There are riches, fame, alcohol, drugs, ilicit sex, and much more. You are tempted to follow the worldly lifestyle. Everyone else is doing it, why not you?
You are tempted to leave a life of holiness and separation.
Romans 7:21-24 tells us that Paul even had this problem. The old man keeps rising up and wants to take control again. You must keep the old man crucified. Paul said "I die daily".
Yes, we are surrounded by temptation; but we have a refuge.
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe".
III. The fears of tomorrow
Debts, a doctors’ report, unfaithfulness of your loved one, losing a job, etc.
So many things about tomorow we don’t understand. Many times we are so distraught about the unknown of the future, that we cannot live in victory today.
Psalm 46:1 informs us that God is a present help in time of trouble.
Run to the Refuge and let God take over. You have been pursued long enough.
IV. What about your cup?
In the same culture, it is said that the cup of drink was continually refilled by the host for the guest. But at any given point, if the host grew tired of his guest and wished him to leave; then he simply refilled his cup only half full. This let the guest know that he needed to leave, because the host was not content with him any longer. But if the host filled the cup to the brim and even running over; it conveyed the message that the guest was welcome to stay as long as he wanted because the host was pleased with his company.
Prov. 16:7 says that when a mans’ ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. As long as you and I live a life pleasing before the Lord, our enemies have no other choice than to be at peace with us. Those pursuers are stayed at the door, and can only look on.
Seek to please the Lord. Find your way into the place of refuge and stay there.