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For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
When I was a boy, one of my favorite games was Hide and Seek. I learned
it by playing with my dad when I was about three years old. He’d count
to twenty and I’d find a place to hide, usually in a closet or behind a
sofa. Then he’d cry, “Ready or not, here I come!” My poor dad always
seemed to have the hardest time finding me, even when my feet stuck out
from beneath our living room curtain. Once he found me, it was my turn
to count while he would hide.
As I got older, I’d play Hide and Seek outside with my friends.
Sometimes we’d even do it at night, turning our neighborhood into a
giant, mysterious playground. I’m not sure all of our neighbors
appreciated this, but we had a blast. I especially loved finding just
the perfect hiding place, one where I knew I’d be safe until the
vanquished seeker would finally call out, “Olly Olly Oxen free.”
Psalm 32:7 identifies God as our hiding place: “For you are my
hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of
victory.” The Hebrew word seter, translated here as “hiding
place,” can refer literally to a secret location in which to conceal
oneself. In 1 Samuel 19, for example, when King Saul sought to kill
David, Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s friend, warned him, saying, “You
must find a hiding place [seter] out in the fields” (19:2).
In Psalm 32:7, God is a hiding place in that he protects us from
trouble. He surrounds us with “songs of victory” or “songs of
deliverance.” Thus, when we trust in the Lord, we can be reassured that
our lives are safe in his hands.
This does not mean, however, that we will never experience
difficulties and challenges. But it does mean that when hard times come,
we can have confidence that God is on our side, that our lives are
ultimately secure in him. No matter what happens in this life, no matter
how it seems that God has abandoned us, he is there nevertheless. The
more we turn to him, the more we trust in him, the more we will live
securely, delighting in his presence and even shouting for joy (32:11).
He is the best hiding place of all.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When have you
experienced God as your hiding place? Have there been times in your life
when it has seemed as if God was not there for you? What did you do in
these times? Do you need to entrust your life once again into the safety
of God’s unfailing love for you?
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
“Rock of Ages” by August M. Toplady, 1776, public domain.
Here’s how . . . .
This devotional comes from The High Calling: Everyday Conversations about Work, Life, and God (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. The High Calling is associated with Laity Lodge, where I work.