Refuge in the Words of God

Yael Eckstein  |  November 2, 2022

A devout man wearing a prayer shawl points to the Torah, the Word of God.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging. —
Psalm 46:1-3

Peace, shalom, is a paramount value for both Christians and Jews. Explore this elusive attribute through my devotions and what we can learn about adding it to our lives, our relationships, and our world.

A number of years ago, an art gallery ran a contest to see who could best create a painting that portrayed the idea of peace. There were many worthy submissions. There was a magnificent painting of a sun setting over the tranquil waters of a pristine beach. There was another of lush pastures with rolling green hills and a placid lake. Another depicted a scene of freshly fallen snow out in the mountains and a small log cabin glowing with the light of a warm fire within.

Yet, none of these peaceful scenes won the prize. Instead, a most unlikely contender was awarded first place. This painting was of a fierce storm — lightning flashing, winds blowing through trees atop a rocky cliff. But if you looked a bit closer, you could see why it was the winner. In the cleft of the rocks was a mother eagle with her wings spread out over her six sleeping chicks. It was the true picture of peace.

Refuge in the Words of God

In Psalms, King David taught us that when everything else in life is stormy and unstable, we can find peace when we seek refuge in God. The psalmist reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Friends, peace isn’t the absence of storms in our lives. God never promised that we would be free of hardship and struggle. On the contrary, look at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or the life of Jesus. These giants of faith faced storm after storm. But they were at peace because they were in the presence of God at all times.

Think of Noah in the ark floating above the waters of the flood in Genesis 7. All around Noah, a storm was raging. Death and destruction surrounded him. And amid this turmoil, Noah and his family found refuge in the ark. 

The Hebrew word for “ark” is tevah, but tevah can also mean “word.” Noah found rest in the “word,” and we can find rest in God’s Word. When the storm is raging around us, we can take refuge in the words of our God. We can always find peace in God’s Word and with it, weather any storm that comes our way.

Your Turn:

Find peace in God’s Word. When you feel challenged and tested in life, reach for your Bible and take refuge in the Word of God.