GOD IS MY REFUGE AND MY PORTION
By Wayne S. Walker
“I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, ‘You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5). Psalm 142 is identified as “A Contemplation of David. A Prayer when he was in the cave.” There were several times while David was being hunted by Saul that he had to hide out in caves (1 Samuel 22:1, 24:3-10). Most scholars seem to think that Psalm 142 was written on the occasion of 1 Samuel 22. Imagine David’s situation. He had lived a fairly well to do life as a shepherd in the house of his father Jesse. He had served as Saul’s harp player and armor bearer. He had even defeated the Philistine giant Goliath and become son-in-law of the king. In fact, he had been anointed to become the next king of Israel. Yet, because of Saul’s jealousy, here he was, running for his life.
These incidents taught David two things. First, God was his refuge. More than once, people whom David thought would protect him ended up planning to turn him over to Saul, either to gain a reward or to escape punishment. David realized that he could not always trust in men, but he could always trust in God. Sometimes during the trials and tribulations of life we may find ourselves in circumstances where those whom we expect to help us turn out to fail us. But God will never fail us. “In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:7-8).
David also learned that God was his portion. We use the word “portion” to mean a part of something, but since the portion of a father’s inheritance received by each son was his share, in the scriptures the term is often used simply to refer to one’s share or allotment in life. While fleeing from Saul, David seemed to have no portion or share of what was rightfully his. He was cut off from his family. He was being denied his destiny. We often find ourselves in this life with less of a portion or share of things that others have and that we might think we should have. But God will take care of and provide for us as best suits our needs. “O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot” (Psalm 16:5). Thus, if I trust Him, God will be my refuge and my portion.