“How important are their secrets, really?” It’s a question that came to mind as I was reading Psalm 64 – a prayer of David for protection from evil schemers who had cloaked their actions in secrecy. Listen as he presents the scenario to the Lord in the first 6 verses of the psalm:
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
Preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers,
From the tumult of those who do iniquity,
Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword.
They aimed bitter speech as their arrow,
To shoot from concealment at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear.
They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, “Who can see them?”
They devise injustices, saying,
“We are ready with a well-conceived plot”;
For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.
David is aware that his adversaries are engaged in covert activity. Secretive things are at work among them – they meet in secret counsel, shoot fromconcealment, lay snares secretly. They are expressing bold confidence in their well-conceived plot. Now if David had stopped at verse 6, we would come away with a rather bleak picture of the future; but he doesn’t. You see, what his adversaries refuse to acknowledge, David knows to be absolutely true – namely, that God is fully aware of everything that is going on behind their closed doors.He knows that when it comes to our omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (everywhere-present), omnipotent (all-powerful) God, the enemy has no real secrets! As the writer of Hebrews 4:13 penned it years later, “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.”
David knew that nothing his opponents were up to was hidden from God; and he was confident that God not only saw, but was actively involved on his behalf. His confidence in the Lord is riding high as he concludes the psalm:
But God will shoot at them with an arrow;
Suddenly they will be wounded.
So they will make him stumble;
Their own tongue is against them;
All who see them will shake the head.
Then all men will fear,
And they will declare the work of God,
And will consider what He has done.
The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him;
And all the upright in heart will glory.
That last verse reminds us that when we take refuge in the Lord we do not have to fear any of the secret counsels of evildoers, any secretly laid snares, or any well-conceived plots,
The writer of Psalm 94 exudes this same confidence in the Lord. While his angst is evident in the first seven verses (after all, he’s human), as you come to verse 8, his faith shatters their oppressive claim that “The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.” Like David in Psalm 64, he too is confident that the Lord sees all (verses 8-11) and will never fail to act on behalf of His own (verses 12-16). He concludes with a summary of the way the Lord works for us when evil confronts us (verses 17-23) :
If the Lord had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which devises mischief by decree?
They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
He has brought back their wickedness upon them
And will destroy them in their evil;
The Lord our God will destroy them.
How fitting are his words for today! We are living in a world that is changing at breakneck speed – morally, socially, and politically. Laws are being conceived, crafted, and proposed, which stand diametrically opposed to God’s ways, His righteous design, and His purpose in creation. Most likely, you and I will be confronted with real choices of bowing to godless principles or standing on the truth of God’s Word. It is imperative that we prepare for the evil day/get ready to stand by taking refuge in the Lord. How do I make the Lord my refuge? Solomon gives us the short answer:“In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26).
How can I be sure that I am walking in the fear of the Lord? David anticipated the question and answers in Psalm 34:11-15:
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
He ends in v. 22, reminding us that “none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” Solomon makes the same connection between fearing the Lord and departing from evil in Proverbs 8:13, when he has wisdom exclaim, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil, pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.“ And Psalm 119:104 highlights where the ability to discern and then hate evil is found: “From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.” Little wonder, then, that Proverbs 2 says, “If you will recieve my words and treasure my commandments within you (v 1) . . . then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God (v 5).
Add then, David’s claim in Psalm 25:14, that “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him” and you begin to see that there’s really no comparison between what the wicked claim to have and hold in secret (even if it is “a well-conceived plot”), and that which the Lord holds in secret for those who fear Him and make Him their refuge.
Finally, as we turn to the New Testament, the Old Testament concept of finding “refuge in the Lord” comes into even clearer focus, as the abiding relationship we experience in our Lord Jesus Christ through obedience to His Word and prayer:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
“Abide in me, and I in you . . . . If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” John 15:4a, 7). “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
May the Lord Jesus Christ strengthen our resolve to be much in the Word and devoted to prayer – “growing in the grace and knowledge of Him,” finding in Him our Refuge!
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
(Psalm 91:1-2, KJV)
Yours in Christ,