God’s Chosen Purpose

Psalm 31:1-5

1 In you, O LORD, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.”  NRSV

Refuges and fortresses are places we go to for safety and protection. From time to time, all of us are confronted by situations that make us fear for our safety, that threaten our well-being and that make us feel vulnerable and exposed to the dangers in our world.

The Psalmist reminds us that whenever these moments come we have a refuge and fortress in God, the “LORD, the faithful God.” To know the protection of God as refuge and fortress requires that we let God lead our lives, not just for our sakes, but for God’s sake.

But what does “for God’s sake” mean? God promised to love and care for all that God brought into being. So, providing us refuge and being our fortress against the dangers of the world is what God does, must do, to be true to God’s own self. Loving us, loving the cosmos, is God’s chosen purpose.

The image here is that God’s refuge and fortress is a place we must seek, a destiny we must pursue. Faith and trust in God, living life the way God ordained life to be lived, reveals to us the roadmap to the fortress and refuge we call God. God won’t walk it for us. That journey is ours and ours alone (but not by ourselves) to choose to make.

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