Do You Wanna Get Away?

October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts | 1 Comment

Do you remember those Southwest Airline ads where things go horribly wrong for someone, and the narrator says, “Do you wanna get away?”  People have had the desire to fly away from tough situations for centuries, long before there was an airline claiming to make that possible.  There’s an example of that desire in Psalm 55.

In this Psalm, David expresses the trouble he is in with terms like “they drop trouble upon me,” “my heart is in anguish,” and “horror overwhelms me.” (vv3-5)  From out of that situation he expresses the get-a-way desire with “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.  I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness.” (vv6-7)  Then he adds here “Selah.”  I’ve mentioned before that my Old Testament poetry professor, the late Robert Alden, told us to read “Selah” as a musical interlude, which means, “Stop for a moment and think about that!”  David, who was called “A man after God’s own heart,” sometimes felt the need to escape from life!  “I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” (v8)  We are not the only ones who feel that way!

The next section (vv9-15) is a prayer about the enemies and friends who are causing trouble.  But in verse 16 the Psalm takes a turn as David adds these words:  “But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.  . . .  He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.  God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old.  Selah”   Think about that!  The One who will save is the One who is enthroned from of old, the One who rules over all.  He is the One in whom we can find real refuge, whether we can physically get away or not.  That is why David, who could not fly away on Southwest, then adds “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (v22).

He said a similar thing in Psalm 11:1.  “In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain’?”  Why do you tell me to fly away, he asks, when my real refuge isn’t getting away, it’s in fleeing to God?

Whatever trouble is raging around you, whatever circumstances may make you feel the need to get away, God is your true refuge.  Take your flight to him.  Mediating on these two Psalms (11 and 55) with a hot cup of tea would be a great place to begin.

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  1. These are beautiful psalms. The wicked are crafty and was it Martin Luther that said “and armed with cruel hate”? They love to undermine our love for others by attempting to completely characterize individual humans as the wicked, when in truth all have sin and fallen short of the glory of God

    “12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

    I like Stephen’s attitude as he was being stoned to death. He seemed to be aware of that truth as he spoke these words:

    ” And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60


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