Thirty Days in Psalm 91 for Busy Mamas, Day 15: A Refuge

IMG_0487Now that we’ve tiptoed into the world of Blue Letter Bible, we’re going to start using a few more of its tools today. The imagery used in Psalm 91 gives us plenty to meditate on as we study.

Assignment: Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as you study today.

  • Then open Blue Letter Bible and go to Psalm 91.
  • Scroll down to verse 2 and open the interlinear tool. (Do you remember how? If you don’t, go back and review the instructions in Day 13. I want you to learn how to do this first basic step on your own now. The goal is to help you become independent!)
  • Click on the Strong’s number for he is my refuge.
  • Go to the “Outline of Biblical Usage” section, and copy in your notebook what you learn about refuge.
  • Then look at the next section, “KJV Translation Count.” Here we see what other English words have been used to translate the original Hebrew word. The numbers in parentheses indicate how many times that particular word was used. Write these in your notebook.
  • Scroll down to the section labeled “Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon” and skim its content. Make sure to record in your notebook that refuge can mean the person to whom one flees. What a beautiful picture of the refuge God is for us!
  • Scroll down once again, this time to  “Concordance Results Using KJV.” This section lists every other verse in the Bible that includes this same Hebrew word that has been translated as refuge. It tells us that the word is used twenty times, and then shows us all twenty verses. Reading these verses can often give us a fuller picture of what a particular word means.
  • Read all the verses, taking notes on any that stand out to you. Notice what else is associated with a refuge and who is referred to as a refuge.
  • When you have finished reading, review your notes and reread verse 2. In what ways is God your refuge? Is your first inclination to flee to Him when you face the storms of life, or are you more likely to panic or turn to other people, things, or activities as your refuge?
  • Pray, asking God to help you see the ways you fail to turn to Him.

For your children:

  • Review memory work and continue memorizing new verses in Psalm 91.
  • Then read Psalm 91:1-2.
  • Then talk about the word refuge. What is a refuge? Have someone look up the word in a dictionary and read it for everyone.
  • Talk about different kinds of refuges. (You might want to look online for examples, watch Youtube videos about them, or even visit one of these types of refuge.

A wildlife refuge protects both land and wildlife. Land is preserved in its natural state, or returned to a natural state. Wildlife is safe from hunters in a refuge, and are provided with the type of living conditions they need.

  • A pet refuge protects animals who have been abandoned or given up by their owners. Pets are safe in the shelter until someone comes to adopt them.
  • A women’s refuge provides shelter and protection for women who are homeless or who have been mistreated or abandoned.
  • Mothers and fathers are also refuges. Their children go to them for protection, shelter, and care. When they’re hurt, the first people they usually want are their parents — their refuge.
  • A person who is a refugee has lost his home due to war or natural disasters, or has fled from his home to another city or country in search of protection and safety. Many people become refugees because they are Christians and are fleeing from their persecutors. (Depending on the age of your children, consider looking at websites like Voice of the Martyrs to help them understand this great need.)
  • How is God a refuge? From what and whom does He protect us?How does He protect us?
  • Emphasize that God wants us to run to Him for shelter, just like a child runs to his parent when he is hurt or frightened.
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  1. In reading the other verses that use the same word (refuge), I noticed Isaiah 28:15,17. Verse 15 says that some people make lies their refuge. In verse 17 God answers that by saying that He will cause hail to sweep that refuge away. It’s not secure! Since the opposite of lie is truth, it made me think about the contrast. Satan is the father of lies and Jesus says He himself is the truth. How many times do I take refuge in a lie- only to realize it’s not a secure and safe refuge at all! When I’m overwhelmed with kids, school, or ministry do I run to the refuge of a phone call, reading (as an escape), activity that does not align with our family priorities, or even my own thoughts? Those refuges are not secure! In Isaiah 28:17 God even references the secret place- the same word used in Psalm 91:1- saying that when it is a lie the waters will overflow it! What a challenge for me today to make sure that my refuge and my secret place is HIM! Any other place in which I seek refuge is not secure or safe-regardless of how it feels in the moment. I needed this today!

  2. I’m curious. Looking at the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, a few of the verse references do not appear to make reference to the word refuge. Can you confirm or offer your idea what might be happening?

    Thank you!!!

  3. Ah…got it. Those references are to the Jewish Bible, which has different chapter and verses for some of the references. Now it makes sense.

    • It looks like you’ve come up with a good theory. I am not familiar with Gesenius other than here on Blue Letter Bible, and can find no other helpful information to answer your question. I generally don’t look up the references in Gesenius because I read the related verses in “Concordance Results Using KJV” further down in the lexicon. So I’ve never noticed the discrepancy before.