When you think of home what image comes to your mind? Some place that is warm, cozy and inviting, filled with all the things you hold dear. A place where you can entertain friends and share God's blessings? Or is home a spot on a sidewalk somewhere, or under a bridge, or maybe, a shelter. For many people right here in America, that's what home is.
Home may be a reflection of one's personality, and I daresay, one's pocket book. But whether it's a simple structure like the others in your neighborhood, a magnificent, custom-built mansion or a box on the sidewalk, it is just a shelter. Temporary. Here today, gone tomorrow.
I think of Jonah sitting under a tree to see what would happen to Nineveh after he had preached to them. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. (Jonah 4:6). NKJV But this was only temporary, for God took it away.
For me, the word shelter brings up another image. A place where you take temporary cover from the rain, storm, or the heat of the sun. But the psalmist David speaks of another kind of shelter. For You have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Ps 61.3
And again in Psalms 18:2, he speaks of a different kind of structure: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Here we get a picture of durability, strength, dependability. Something or Someone that can hide us from our enemies and deliver us. Something that will always be there for us. It cannot be moved. Only by putting our trust in God can we find this kind of protection. Whether you are fortunate to have a place you can call home, you still need the kind of security that only God can provide. You cannot find it on your own, or look to the government for it. Neither should we become unduly attached to it, for we know it is just a shelter, something temporary. Instead we should look to one day inheriting that permanent home that is reserved for the saints of God.
As Paul says, "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens(2 Corinthians 5.1). He is