God Provides A Refuge
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Webster's dictionary defines refuge as: “a shelter from danger, trouble; a place or source of shelter or safety”.
Oftentimes people allow their refuge to be tied to worldly possessions, vocations or dream vacations, instead of being secured to their spiritual refuge.
An example of God providing shelter and safety by using a spider, and its web, is told in the legend of Felix of Nola who was a Christian presbyter at Nola near Naples in Italy centuries ago.
According to the websites catholic.org and wikipedia.com, the legend went like this: Felix sold off his possessions in order to give to the poor, and pursued a clerical vocation, but was arrested and tortured for his Christian faith during the persecution of the Roman emperor Decius (r. 249-51).
Felix was ordained by, and worked with, bishop Maximus of Nola. When Maximus fled to the mountains to escape the persecution, Felix was arrested and beaten because of his faith.
Felix escaped prison after being freed by an angel. He went to help Maximus. When Felix found Maximus he was alone, ill, and helpless. Felix hid him from the pursuing soldiers in a vacant building. When the two of them were safely inside the building a spider quickly spun a web over the door which fooled the imperial forces into thinking it had been long abandoned, so they left without finding them.
A subsequent attempt to arrest Felix followed where once again he avoided it by hiding in a ruined building. For the second time a spider web was spun across the entrance with the same occurrence transpiring regarding the soldiers as they were once more convinced the building was abandoned. The two men managed to hide from the authorities until the persecution ended with the death of Emperor Decius.
There are numerous examples in the Bible of Almighty God being a refuge for His people. Psalm 57 authored by David regarding the time he fled into a cave to hide from Saul cried out to God: “My soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by”. In Deuteronomy Moses, before his death, blessed the people of Israel with a song that stated: “The eternal God is your refuge”.
Isaac Watts, who was born in Southampton, England in 1674, was an English Christian hymn writer, theologian, and logician expressed his faith by writing the words for a hymn that was based on Psalm 90 titled, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”. The first verse states: “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home”.
Almighty God is a refuge and He provides a shelter and safety for His people, even to the smallest of details by using a spider to form a web. Nothing goes by Him unnoticed, and absolutely nothing is out of His control, even the spiders. He is abundantly competent to supply every need.
For God's people He is their refuge; their shelter from danger and trouble. Romans 8:31b states: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Lord God, thank You for being our refuge and place of safety from all danger. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington