You’re My Only Hope

The scene is so iconic, you don’t even need to be a Star Wars fan to recognize it. It is a favorite meme and GIF even for those who have never seen the movie. In the 1977 movie “Star Wars,” the evil Empire attacked the planet Alderaan, and Princess Leia Organa of the Resistance sends a holographic message to General Obi-Wan Kenobi via a droid named R2-D2. Darth Vader has captured her ship and the situation is dire. “Help me, Obi-Wan. You’re my only hope” is the message. Have you ever felt that hopeless? Have you ever been someone’s only hope?

In the first three verses of Psalm 57, David made the same plea. He fled to the safety of a cave with insane Saul in hot pursuit. Saul was trying to kill him, and David was literally running for his life. We can hear his anxiety when he repeated himself in verse 1: “Have mercy on me God; have mercy on me.” He had already survived several attempts on his life and now found himself alone, discouraged, and fearful.

Psalm 57 (Common English Bible)

For the music leader. Do not destroy. A miktam of David, when he fled from Saul into the cave.

57 Have mercy on me, God;
    have mercy on me
    because I have taken refuge in you.
    I take refuge
    in the shadow of your wings
        until destruction passes by.
I call out to God Most High—
    to God, who comes through for me.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
    rebukes the one who tramples me. Selah
        God sends his loyal love and faithfulness.

Yet even in this dangerous situation, David identified himself as a beloved son of God. His cry for mercy was made with full assurance that God not only heard him but would intervene. David didn’t come from a position of childish entitlement, but rather one of trust. David understood that he didn’t deserve mercy, but that God’s grace offered it, and so he placed himself in the shadow of God’s wings.

 This beautiful word picture evokes an image of a mother bird completely encasing her young in her wings to protect them from predators, the elements, and any potential danger. Jesus used this same image when he described his love for Jerusalem in Matthew: “How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” (Matthew 23:37b, Common English Bible.)

It is interesting to note that even as David was in the relative safety of a cave, he acknowledged that God was his only place of true refuge. This is an important lesson for us today.

Have you ever felt the need to be protected by a merciful and mighty God in such a way? Have fear and anxiety overtaken you? When illness, disaster, disappointment, and other fearful things come into our lives, it is good to know that God spreads wide open the wings of refuge and help for everyone.

 Do you need that shelter today? Is God calling you to be somebody’s last hope? We can always flee to the refuge that is our almighty God and know that under those strong wings, we will be safe.

Refuge by Kathy Schumacher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s