The Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. Joel 3:16
A refuge is a place where you can go to find safety in the face of impending disaster. God is saying, “I am your refuge.” The Lord is the judge you should fear, and he is also the refuge you should seek.
How can God, who is the judge, be the refuge from his own judgment? That takes us to the very heart of the gospel.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). That’s why we need a refuge. Everything you have thought, said, and done is written in God’s book. Your sins are many and they are known to him. When he enters into judgment with all people, you are included.
“Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood” (3:24-25). He is the refuge, for Jew and for Gentile, for men and for women, for old and for young, for rich and for poor. God put forward Jesus as our propitiation. That means that the judgment due to sinners on the day of the Lord was passed on to Jesus when he died on the cross.
What Jesus did achieved two things:
- We have been “justified by his grace as a gift” (3:24). Justification means forgiveness and restoration of peace with God that has been lost because of our many sins.
- We have received the “redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). Redemption means that, through his death, Jesus purchased people for himself, making them his own.
These gifts are offered freely, and are “to be received by faith” (3:25). Faith is the bond of a living union in which you become Christ’s and Christ becomes yours.
Are you ready to take refuge in Christ today? Tell him.