You Are My Hiding Place

In my previous post, The Place of Safety, I recounted how I used to believe in a place of safety given for the Church called, Petra, meaning a rocky place. This is where I used to believe the Christian church would hide and be protected from the cataclysmic Great Tribulation that will overtake the world in the very last days.

I believed most of the other Christian churches could never be chosen to be there because they did not keep, as I did, certain
holy days found in the Old Covenant
Mosaic Law such as the seventh
day (Saturday) Sabbaths. They
did not observe holy days such as the
day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), that I did.
I used to believe that the only only true
“righteous” saints, like me (sarcasm),
would be guaranteed a safe haven during the
final years of this earth in turmoil before
Christ returns.

That was how self-righteously I used to think. It
was what influenced my behavior toward God.

In a way, I was just like one of the ancient
Israelites who was thinking, to a great extent,
on his self-preservation after fleeing from the
Egyptians with God’s help.

The wings of an eagle.

Now, please consider this verse:

Revelation 12:14

The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

Note here that, because of Satan, the woman (the Church) is severely being hunted down to such an extent that God assists the church to flee to a place He specifically prepared for her in the wilderness.  The key word for me in this verse is wilderness. Other Bible translations use the word desert here. Biblically this is not new!

The Israelites, after they left Egypt by crossing the Red Sea, entered a wilderness. There were no “civilized” societies that initially aided them in the first few hours and days they traveled. The Israelites were in a unique position of totally depending on God for survival.

So what happened? They soon began to gripe and complain about not having water. They later even criticized the manna they were being fed by desiring a variety of other foods. Then they became fearful upon hearing scouting reports about the appearance of the inhabitants who were living in the land they were to possess. In other words, the Israelites were very physically mindful of themselves rather than looking to God spiritually for their needs. Yet, God still delivered them (actually, their offspring plus Joshua and Caleb) according to His will.

Well, in like fashion, so will the Christian church around the time of the Great Tribulation on the earth be given “wings of an eagle” so she could fly into a place in the wilderness. How the church will fly there is not clear. What the location of this place in the wilderness will be is not revealed. There is much here in this verse I do not know. All this may actually be highly symbolic language for all I know.

The Israelites under Moses who was under God were – in a way – in the place of safety in the wilderness.

Again, the Bible is not clear about this area about how the church will be using wings of an eagle and fly to a safe zone on earth. How exactly will that happen? How will the church be protected? Again, is all this symbolic language or will the church actually be in a location somewhere “in the wilderness” similar to ancient Israel? Will Christians there act appreciably toward God and be a contrast with the ancient Israelites by not murmuring and complaining? I believe they will very different. I believe this church in seclusion will have a tremendous attitude. They will be highly appreciative of where they are, deeply reverent in living daily from where they are and greatly relying on God’s further assistance and provision until Christ returns. Just my thoughts on this.

And why, oh why, is God doing this? He already has told us in His Word to wait for signs of His return , right? Why doesn’t God, through the Holy Spirit, tell us to hang on just a little while longer until His appearing? Why bother to provide a means for the church to escape?

Well, here are my further thoughts why God wants to do this:

1) Because that is what God wants to do. Period.

2) The church may be asleep and then need to be awaken in order to flee from total annihilation. Many will not be prepared. See the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Note: Just my thoughts here. Anything can happen to fulfill end time events.

3) God has always hated the idea of total destruction. God does not want to ever entirely wipe out all of humanity – especially the nation He established as belonging to Him – Israel. Here are some examples:

a) Out of all people on the earth, only Noah and his family were protected from drowning.  God promised (by a unilateral covenant) He would never do that again (Genesis 5:32-10:1).

b) God kept a remnant of Judah from being totally destroyed by the Babylonian Empire.

c) Instead, a remnant from the Babylonian captivity in Persia returned to Jerusalem years after Haman attempted to kill all the Jews in the  empire (the book of Esther).

4) God wants His people to actually see Jesus Christ return to earth. God wants those who have been spreading the gospel and witnessing for Christ to actually witness (see) Jesus coming back to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. This is in line with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16.

In the meantime, we Christians are not to be packing and readying ourselves to climb on rooftops waiting to be rescued when the evil days coming upon us.  We as Christians are all in the wilderness of this world. As we sojourn in the desert of  sin and darkness where there is increasing lack of spiritual food and water, God tells us in His Word that He is our hiding place. He is our place of refuge, our high Tower. He is our Strength, our Deliverer, our Provider.  And if it should be that we find ourselves NOT in a final place of safety while surrounded by a society in flames, remember God has not abandoned nor forsaken us.

With all that in mind, here is the  story behind the YouTube Christian song below, You Are My Hiding Place, by Michael Ledner:

I) One publication wrote:

“Michael Ledner, the author of this song, was going through a low point in his life. Separated from his wife, he was living in a small, rented room in Tucson, Arizona.

Seated on his bed, with his guitar on his lap and his Bible, open to Psalms, beside him, he looked for something to sing about. His eyes stopped at Psalm 32:7: “You are my hiding place”. Then he recalled a phrase in Psalm 56 that says, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in
you.” That was enough to get him started
on a new song, “You are my Hiding Place.
After it was finished, he had second thoughts.
Looking at the words….”

Source: Petersen, William J., and Ardythe E. Petersen. The Complete Book of Hymns. Tyndale House Publishers, 2006.

II) Michael Ledner is quoted in another book:

“It [the song] has some words that I felt I felt were corny – not real manly. It says ‘hiding,’ ‘afraid,’ and ‘weak’… I felt it was too vulnerable.”

…Nine months after writing the song, Michael was in Israel with a group who had volunteered to serve in a communal settlement known as a kibbutz.  One night, he came across the tape of “you Are My Hiding Place.” which he had
recorded with his two friends. Since the
meeting was about to begin, Michael
thought, Oh, I guess I’ll share this tonight.

He did, and several friends who were visiting learned the song and took it back to the United States, where they sang it in Vineyard Christian Fellowship and Calvary Chapel congregations in California.

Not long afterward, Michael. who was still in Israel, received an unexpected phone call from executives at Maranatha! Music. they wanted to record “You Are My Hiding Place” for their Praise 6 album.

“It’s pretty cool to get a phone call from the States when you’re in Israel,” he says. “Especially from a record company that’s been singing your song and wants to get your permission to publish it!”

Today, “You Are My Hiding Place” continues to win the hearts of people of all ages, from all countries.”

Source: Christensen, Phil, and Shari MacDonald. Celebrate Jesus: The Stories Behind Your Favorite Praise and Worship Songs. Kregel Publications, 2003.

 

Selah

You Are My Hiding Place   (1980)
lyrics – Michael James Ledner
music – Michael James Ledner
sung by – Selah
genre – Christian Contemporary
album – Hiding Place

LYRICS:

You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You

Album

I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong
In the strength of the Lord

You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You

I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong
In the strength of the Lord
I will trust in You

You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You

I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong
In the strength of the Lord
I will trust in You

You are my hiding place (I will trust in You)
You always fill my heart (Let the weak say I am strong)
With songs of deliverance (In the strength of the Lord)
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You

 

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