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The Eternal God is Our Refuge


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The topic of our exhortation this morning is, The Eternal God is Our Refuge. God has not changed His position. He did not start to be our Refuge only today. On the day that we surrendered to Je­sus, and chose Him as our Lord and Saviour, He became our Ref­uge. We have been dwelling in Him and He too, has been dwelling in us.

 

In Deuteronomy 33:27,

 

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."

 

 Moses told the Children of Israel that they had no other Father, and they had none other than God for their portion and inheritance. In like manner, I can assure you with all confidence, that we have none other than God. God is our sufficiency. God is so abundantly enough for us that we ought not to seek any other.

 

In verse 26, He says something worthy of note: "There is none like unto God." Or is there in your life? Is there anyone like unto God? There is none like unto God in your life and in my life. We have fathers and mothers, but they are not God. For many of us, our fathers or mothers have died. There are many children who have died, but God does not die. God has existed from everlasting. He has neither beginning nor ending. God is eternal.

 

"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky" (Deuteronomy 33:26).

 

`There is none like unto the God of Israel,' said Moses. 'There is none like unto your God, thou Jeshurun, there is none like unto your God who rides from heaven to heaven in your help and in His excellency on the sky.'

 

Do you know where that is? Their God is mighty in the heaven of heavens, because He created the heaven of heavens, and the earth. He even says that the nations are as a drop in a bucket. The great God, the powerful God, the Almighty God is our God. He says there is none like unto Him in our life, in our way, in our home, any­where; there is none like unto our God. Therefore, that should give us the assurance that there is none like unto Him, there is none equal to Him, there is none to compare with Him.

 

A clause which I want us to ponder over is this: "Who rideth upon the heaven in thy help." In order to help you, there is no­where God cannot reach; He rides the heaven into the heavens for your help. I want you to mark that point seriously, that this Mighty God, Who has no beginning nor ending, Whose greatness cannot be limited at all, is the same God Who rides the heaven into the heav­ens in your help. He is right at the very high top over there, and His eyes see you down here. God's eyes reach each one of us whom He has created. It is for our sake that He rides the heaven into the heav­ens. This is very great, we really appreciate it. and it is very marvel­lous to us. Therefore, we have One we can depend on. Even if Abraham does not know us, neither acknowledges us, Jesus assures us that ever before Abraham was, He had been in existence; or is that not so? Yes, the Eternal God, Who had been before man was created, before Adam was created, has chosen to be our God, and will never forsake us. He rides the heaven into the heavens in our help. Can you do that? Can our mothers or our fathers do that for us? Can even we do that for ourselves? We cannot. But that is what God does in our help. He Who has gathered us for such an in­spiring and glorious meeting, has brought us together for our bene­fit. He has gathered us into a sure place of security. May God never allow us to go out of this refuge.

 

What help can a human being render? What does a person have that he can give? What help can our father, our mother or anybody else render us? None. Every help comes from Heaven, and God tells us that He, God, will help us: on land, over the mountain, or anywhere. It is such a One Whom we should look up to. For exam­ple, if I say that I will help you, that is not true, because I cannot help you. Likewise, if you, too, say that you will help me, I know that you do not understand what you are saying, because you cannot help me; my help is not with you, but with God. If each of us should bear it in mind that our help is with God Who is in Heaven, Who rides upon the heaven in our help, we should rest assured that the One to Whom we belong is the Almighty. Yes, God is infinitely Almighty.

 

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the ever- lasting arms." The Eternal God is our Refuge. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Refuge also. Jesus the Mighty One is our Refuge. The Word of God is our Refuge. We can safely dwell there, and no evil will befall us. Furthermore, God tells us that the new year we are beginning is another journey. He tells us that He, God, has not changed, and He will never change. He is the Eternal God Who will continue to be our Refuge, and we believe that it is in Him that we shall continue to dwell, eat, and drink until we return to Him. The world will not sever us from Him; sin will not sever us from Him; the devil will not sever us from Him, be- cause He will help us. Truly, we have no power, but He is the Al- mighty, the Omnipotent, Who saves, Who rescues. God is all these to us, therefore we have no cause to fear at all; we shall not fear because God is our portion and inheritance.

 

The choristers have rendered in a song, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, which is part of Psalm 46. I want that to sink into your soul because it is a fact that can never change. When you are seeking help, you should go to God, be- cause there is no one who can help you. People do approach us for help, but no man can help another, our help comes from God. If you are given a certain amount of money today, what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year? Will it continue to be given on and on without end? Not at all, the giver will even be fed up. But God is never fed up with us. He ever gives on and on, because we are His children. He is the Eternal God Who is our Refuge, and He can never be tired of feeding us. He just will continue to feed us. He says He will bear, He will carry to old age, even to the end. It is God Who is giving us these promises. His promises are not new, because they have been since eternity. Our fathers have proved them in their lifetime. Yet they are new be- cause we too shall prove them, and our children also will prove them. Everyone who comes into the world will prove them because they will endure till eternity.

 

"GOD is our refuge and strength." He is our Refuge, our strength, and our help in time of trouble. I congratulate you children that have known God early. You know that if God does not provide you food, your parents cannot. I am glad that you know how to pray; you do not pray to your parents saying, "My father or my mother, please give me food, give me clothes, let me do well in my studies." Can your father do all these? No. Your father cannot give you wisdom, neither can he heal you when you are sick. When you are ill or in need, you have been taught to tell your Father in Heaven. He will hear, and have mercy on you. Children who know from childhood that only God can help them are indeed blessed.

 

As a student, if some one wants to disturb your education, or you are in danger, though your parents are not there, Jesus is with you. Pray to Him, "Today, Jesus, please protect me. Deliver me from those children who cause trouble, who beat me and who slap me." Jesus will deliver you and He will keep you. He will take care of you, motor vehicles and bicycles will not hit you. No evil will befall you. He will give you wisdom and understanding. Jesus does these for those who abide in Him.

 

As a child of God, if you tell God that you want to live above sin daily, God will help you to keep your salvation to the end. You will even bring many people to the Church to seek salvation, be- cause God has helped you.

 

There comes a time when a strong man becomes weak. At such a time, we ought to lift up our eyes unto the hills from where strength and help come. It is God Who is powerful, and He is our strength; we ought to ask Him for help, dwell in Him, and He will renew our strength.

 

"Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psalm 46:2).

 

We shall not fear! All those things which the Word says will happen, are really fearlul and they happen in the world.

 

"Though the earth be removed." The earth has not yet been removed, but things are happening: there are earthquakes, the earth vibrates and sinks. "Though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." He says, we will not fear. Who will not fear? Those who dwell in the Lord, who make God their Refuge. God cannot be destroyed, neither can the children of God be destroyed, because God rides the heaven of heavens in their help. God will deliver them and help them. This is the promise which God has for us and it cannot but be fulfilled because it is the Word of God.

 

"Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. (those are earthquakes, mysterious and terrible events).

"There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early" (Psalm 46:3-5).

 

God is in all the events that we have read about, or is He not? He is, there. God is manifesting His power. Will He destroy His child? Not at all. Shall we perish in His presence? Not at all. That is what makes us to rejoice in the Gospel: we have God near us; we abide in Him, and He abides in us. If we do not leave God, we have no problem at all.

 

In order to know that God is manifesting His power, because He is Almighty, let us examine Psalm 107:8-13:

 

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

"For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."

"Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

"Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

"Therefore he brought down their heart with labour;  they fell down, and there was none to help.

"Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses."

 

That is what our Father in Heaven does. If trouble comes into your life and you call on God, He will answer. Initially, the Chil­dren of Israel rebelled against the Word of God, and rebellion causes punishment. When they rebelled, God exercised His power over them. But when they cried in their trouble, God heard, and delivered them out of their distresses.

 

"He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder" (Psalm 107:14).

 

Who can break bands? Bands! Oh, they are not bands which the physical eyes can see. There are many things which bind peo­ple. The world binds people, the devil binds people, but it is God Who breaks bands.

 

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

"For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

"Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

"Their soul abhoreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

"And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

"These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

"For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

"They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

"They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end.

"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

"Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:15-31).

 

When a person does not recognise God as God, He brings troubles, distresses, and afflictions, but if that person becomes humble, and calls upon God in deep penitence. God does answer. That is how God exercises His authority to show His power and might that He is God, and there is no other. He also shows that He is merciful. This God is our God. He has never forsaken us.

 

God is more than enough for us. People seek their fortune all over the place. They would say, "Had it been that I had a helper, or money. I would have travelled far." No, don't travel; God Whom you want to seek over there is present here. Wait on God, abide in Him, and He will strengthen your heart.

 

"Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

"He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (Psalm 46:8-11).

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:4- 7).

 

It is important for us to abide in the Gospel. It is essential for us to abide in Christ. It is also incumbent on us to abide in God — be obedient to Him, and do His will. God has promised that we shall ask whatever we need, and He will do it. This means we must abide in God if we want the blessings of the Gospel. I am not saying dwelling in the church, not at all, but dwelling in the Gospel. We must be living in it.

 

The Gospel is very narrow, the way of the Gospel is narrow and also strait, but we must remain within its limits. The City of Refuge which the Children of Israel built, where those who accidentally killed people fled to, was a tight place. Those who fled there wouldn't take their property, neither would they bring their children or wives. They fled for their lives and must remain there. They lack some things but they did not lack the righteousness of God, the Word of God, and the people of God.

 

We should not deceive ourselves, because God has not deceived us. God declares to us that the way of the Gospel is narrow. It does not admit sin at all. We must be satisfied with the narrowness. Anyone who is not content with the narrowness will sooner or later, after he has been saved, go out and fall into the hands of the avenger of blood, who will strike him dead. But as narrow as the Gospel is, it admits us comfortably and it is spacious enough for us. It is full of peace and pleasure, the peace which we cannot find elsewhere.

 

"AND the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Be- hold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us" (2 Kings 6:1).

 

That was the beginning of problems. Those were children of God. They said, 'It is too strait.' Their master was there and did not say it was strait! The Gospel should not be too strait for us. At the time of the Apostles, they did not complain that the Gospel was too strait for them. They knew that truly it was strait but they did not want any other way. Some Christians these days want to be free to do what they like. Let us beware; that may be the beginning of trouble.

 

"Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.

"And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.

"So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

"But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! For it was borrowed.

"And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

"Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it" (2 Kings 6:2-7)

 

They got into trouble. They had where they lived quietly with- out any problem, but they thought it was "too strait" — that was anxiety. Their master who ought to know did not say it was too strait. They said that they would go and cut wood, yet they feared that if they went alone and any problem arose, what would become of them? So, they begged the man of God to go with them; he agreed, and went with them. As they were cutting down wood, the axe head of one of them (the sharp iron) fell off, leaving just the wooden part of the axe in his hand. He cried, 'Alas, master! For it was borrowed.' That "axe head," that sharp iron, is a type of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God that we have, is borrowed. He is given to us by God, and can leave. He can leave if we are not careful of our choices. Elisha asked them to go but they took him along because they knew there could be trouble. If you have lost your salvation, if the Holy Spirit has slipped off, and you are merely using the 'wooden handle,' it won't work. You must again plead, "My Lord, please restore Him into my heart." My friend, that is the Gospel. If you abide in it, you will be secure, but if you dare to go to a place where you can relax, trouble will come, and you will lose the 'axe head.' If you have lost it, unless you seek and find it again, unless you beg God to help you find it again, and restore it to you, you are finished.

 

The prophet restored the axe head to them, because he went with them. The Gospel is good. Heaven is our home. We are pilgrims on our way to Heaven. May God help us not to lose Heaven for any reason. The world is not a pleasant place to dwell in for Christians, or is it? Not at all. That is why God has brought you and me, gathered us together, because He loves us, and does not want us to be destroyed with the world. We should find a way to rescue other people left in the world and bring them in. This is the best place — or do you know of a better place, better than abiding in Jesus, better than the presence of Jesus? There is none, except the devil is deceiving you. All the good things that you need in the world are in Jesus. Anywhere else is utter deception: no life, no happiness, no joy. Everything you need on earth and in Heaven is in the Gospel. May your soul not reject it.

 

Young people, who have godly parents who are striving that by all means you abide in Jesus, God forbid that you reject it. We are not telling you that it is easy, no, truly it is not easy because you cannot do what you want. All those things that your mind wants to do, which are against the Word of God are not right. Your parents keep reading the Word of God to your hearing, appealing to you not to do those things that are wrong. But there is somebody who will be deceiving you, who will be encouraging you to do them — that is the avenger of blood. He wants to lure you out so that he can have the opportunity to kill you. May you not obey him.

 

Be patient, and remain under this Refuge, and abide securely there. True, it is strait, but you will reap the benefit in future. Even after your father or mother has passed away, you will be praising God that you obeyed and remained in the Gospel. You will cer­tainly see that you will prosper. Then, you would see your mates who have left the Gospel, some might have run mental, some plagued with problems, some have lost their lives, while some have forfeited their opportunities, and lost everything completely. They have become wrecked because they despised the Doctrine, the wis­dom of God. God forbid that your lot should be like that. This Gospel is good for you. Truly the way is strait, but it will end in your prosperity and peace. May God not allow the devil to lure you away from your blessing. Please, my child, patiently wait on God. We don't claim that we can satisfy you, no, we don't say so because we know that we cannot satisfy you. But God can satisfy you, even more than what you desire. If you receive the righteous­ness of God, it will bring satisfaction, it will bring peace, it will bring life.

 

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16).

 

You have been shown the path which leads to Heaven. There is no other path to peace than abiding in Jesus, working for Jesus, praying to Jesus, occupying for Jesus. All the education and money people acquire in the world cannot compare with Jesus, neither can husband, wife or children. Everything outside Jesus has sorrow, weeping and misery in it. It is profitable to abide in Jesus.

 

You have the opportunity to talk with God, and choose to abide in Jesus. It is a tremendous privilege for you, to have Jesus abiding in you, and you in Him. Things may be difficult for you today, but it will be well tomorrow. It is certain; your future will be very prosper­ous. You would be glad that you chose Jesus. Friend, if you have grown weary, ask Jesus to help and strengthen you, and you will re­joice in Him forever.

 


By Rev T. A. Ogunnaike
 

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