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The Scriptorium

Seeking. Go Hide.

The Lord is our shelter and shield. Psalm 119.114

Psalm 119.113-120 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.114.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.

Sing Psalm 119.113-115.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Lord, those who do not trust You with all their mind and heart,
shall soon receive their just due – let them from me depart!
My shelter and my shield, Lord, I hope in all Your Word!
To all Your Law I yield, Lord, to live in full accord.

Read Psalm 119.113-120; meditate on verse 114.

1. What was God to the psalmist?

2. How did he regard God’s Word?

“Ready or not, here I come!” Remember how, hearing that call, you’d get a little shiver of excitement up your back, and hope that you’d concealed yourself sufficiently? And that you’d still be hidden when, exasperated by your stealth, they’d cry out, “All, all in free!”?

Now we don’t hear “Ready or not, here I come!” because our adversary, the devil, stalks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5.8). C. S. Lewis wrote that the devil wants nothing so much as to devour us, to consume us, so that we become completely one with him while, at the same time, maintaining our distinct identity.

He’s seeking you every moment. Better know where to go hide. Our psalmist knew: Hide in the Lord and let Him shield you from all harm. Hope in His Word and not in the alluring, tempting, self-serving suggestions of the devil. This verse is one of several (cf. Ps. 12.5-7; Eph. 6.16) that inspired Celtic Christian poets to compose lorica or “breastplate” poems. “Patrick’s Breastplate” is the best-known of these, and, while not actually by Patrick, it certainly captures his idea of what it means to shelter in the Lord and hope in His Word:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in the heart of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend or stranger.
(arr. C. F. Alexander)

Hide there, and cling to His Word, and you’ll be safe from the one who seeks to devour your soul.

 Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There are many things to be afraid of. First and foremost, would be our enemy. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6.12). Scary but true, this darkness can be living inside flesh and blood, and we can be hounded by them, too. As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz opined, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” And I would add, “Scary and angry people too, oh my!” We also fear disease, poverty, pain, suffering, broken relationships, and a zillion other things.

But God. Our God. He is our hiding place. We can dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. And He and His truth are our shield. We will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrows that fly by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday (Ps. 91.1, 4-6).

All our hope. All our confidence. All our trust is put in His Word. And what a loving Word that is! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1.1).

“I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living’” (Ps. 142.5).

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” (Ps. 32.7).

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in the LORD (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Ps. 56.3, 11, 12). 

There is no shame in seeking refuge with God. He cares about us. Peter recommended that we cast all our cares upon Him “for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5.7). He knows. He has promised to shelter us, when we put our full hope and trust in Him and His Word (Ps. 119.114). We cannot just conjure this courageous feeling, though; we must work hard to seek Him in His Word and lean into Him to remedy all our needs and fears. “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?” (Is. 51.12)

Our Protector and Comforter wants us to remember this: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” (Deut. 33.27). Go hope and hide in Him.

For reflection
1. When do you most feel like you need to shelter in the Lord and under His shield?

2. Why is it important to bear in mind that “your adversary” is seeking to devour you? How can you prepare for this each day?

3. How can believers strengthen one another against the fears and uncertainties of our lives?

The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.114

Pray Psalm 119.116, 117.
Set your day before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to uphold you in all your doings, so that you keep His Word and know His Presence with you.

Sing Psalm 119.116, 117.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Uphold me by Your Word, Lord, and keep me from all shame.
Let me live ever forward to glorify Your Name.
Lord, hold me up! Sustain me in all Your holy way.
To keep Your statutes train me, and help me to obey.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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