To start out our study Hide Me in the Shadow of Your Wings: Security, Surveillance, and the Psalms, we’ll look at an image that pervades the whole book of Psalms: refuge. The constellation of Hebrew words that sometimes are translated as refuge (other times as saving help, place of safety, and deliverance, to name a few) appear more than 100 times throughout the Psalms. Refuge is the positive side of security. It’s good to be attuned to what the Psalms think safety should be like. It can help us figure out how we fail to provide security in our communities, or when we misunderstand what we really need in terms of help.
Think about the word refuge. What does it conjure up for you? How many people are there? Can others gain access to your place of refuge or is it closed off?
You might try a Google image search for refuge. Do the images look like yours?
In Bible study on Sunday morning we noticed that a place of refuge often looks very different whether you are on the inside or the outside, not to mention how safe you already feel in your refuge.
Take a look at a few of these Psalms. How do their images of refuge compare with your own or to ones that show up as search results?
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One thought on “Bible Study Week 1: Refuge”
Interesting that all the psalms noted, except for 36 and 91–in 91 is “you” singular or plural?–appear to refer only to the individual, and none of the psalms noted have refer to refuge for any other than human beings. Can a “Biblical” sense of refuge be for one and not for all creation? Is refuge an expansive concept or a limited one?