|This is Ebony's "again with the camera?" face.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf....
Hebrews 6:17-20a, ESV
The duties and delights of the week do not permit a longer farewell to "refuge," my word for 2014. Perhaps later I may come back and remedy that, but for now, please allow me to bid the year adieu with two "refuge" quotes from a favorite little book on the attributes and character of God.
"And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us" (88-89).
"Since God's first concern for His universe is its moral health, that is, its holiness, whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure. To preserve His creation God must destroy whatever would destroy it. When He arises to put down iniquity and save the world from irreparable moral collapse, He is said to be angry. Every wrathful judgment in the history of the world has been a holy act of preservation. The holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of creation are inseparably united. God's wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hates the polio that takes the life of her child....
"No honest man can say, 'I am holy,' but neither is any honest man willing to ignore the solemn words of the inspired writer, 'Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.'
"Caught in this dilemma, what are we Christians to do? We must like Moses cover ourselves with faith and humility while we steal a quick look at the God whom no man can see and live. The broken and contrite heart He will not despise. We must hide our unholiness in the wounds of Christ as Moses hid himself in the cleft of the rock while the glory of God passed by. We must take refuge from God in God. Above all we must believe that God sees us perfect in His Son while He disciplines and chastens and purges us that we may be partakers of His holiness" (166-167).
A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
In our storms and in our celebrations, dear friends, our God is a sure refuge to those who belong to Him through Jesus. Our Savior has dropped anchor for us in the Holy of Holies that we might always hold fast to hope, knowing He holds fast to us. Wherever this juncture of years may find you, crumble, may you hide yourself under the wings of El Shaddai, our Almighty, All-Sufficient God, and find peace and rest in Him.