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A Man, Our Hiding Place

Sunday, April 9TH, 1989

Isaiah 32:1-2

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.


I am going to be speaking to you today on the subject:  “A Man, Our Hiding Place.” I brought a message on this subject and this text to our congregation in Ashland and it was well received.  Many people received a great blessing from this message and many ordered tapes of the message. 


We are going to be looking at Isaiah Chapter 32.  In Isaiah 32: verses 1 and 2, the Scripture says; “Behold, (let me have your attention), a king (a man) shall reign in righteousness and princes shall rule in judgment.  And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind and a shelter from the storm, as rivers (or streams) of water in a dry place as the shadow (shade) of a great rock in a weary land.” 


It may be that some of you do not feel a need for this particular message or for what I have to say today.  I encourage you to listen, because I will assure you that you will someday have a need for this message.  The need will definitely arise in your life.  Some day you are going to need a hiding place from the wind.  Some day you are going to need a shelter in the time of storm.  Some day you will need some fresh cool water in a dry and thirsty land.  Some day you will be looking for shade in the wilderness.


Did you hear the Scripture?  The first reference says, “A man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, refreshing water in a dry land and the shade of a great rock, a shelter in a weary land”.


The first reference in an initial application of this Scripture is to Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was a good king.  He was king of Israel and God is promising here through the prophet Isaiah that He would deliver Israel from the hand of their enemies, the Assyrians, through this great king Hezekiah.  This is the first reference.


Like all Scripture in the Old Testament, any time you are reading the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi, remember this, they all speak of Christ.  “To Him give all the prophets witness”.  It doesn’t matter where you are reading in the Old Testament.  You may be in the Psalms, the Major Prophets, or the Minor Prophets.  It doesn’t matter if you are reading Moses, the Proverbs, or the Ecclesiastes or wherever.  The primary purpose of that Scripture is to reveal Christ Jesus.  These things are written concerning Him. 


This Scripture refers to the Messiah, Who is the sinner’s Saviour, the sinner’s Redeemer.  Hezekiah’s victory over the enemies of Israel is only a picture of our Lord’s victories over the enemies of His church.  He is truly our hiding place from the wind of evil and sin.  Christ is our hiding place.  He is the man Christ Jesus.  He is the King and the God-man.  He is our shelter from the wrath of God against our sins. 


He is the water of life.  He said, “I am the water of life.  Come unto me and drink.”  He said to the woman at the well, “If you knew to whom you were speaking, you would ask of Me and I would give you living water.  I am the water of life.”  He is the water in a dry land.  He is the great Rock of Ages on which we build and which we hide.  He is the cleft of the rock in which we hide.


Here is where I want to camp today.  First, this Scripture says; “A man is a hiding place from the wind.  He is a shelter from the storm.  He is streams of water in a dry and thirsty land.”  He is a shade, a shelter, in the wilderness.  As I said, that is Hezekiah, king of Israel; he is a picture of Christ our Messiah, our Redeemer, the sinner’s Saviour who has delivered us effectually and sufficiently from all of these powers of evil.  There is no judgment to them who are in Christ.  There is no condemnation.


Here is where I want to look now; this Scripture is also a word of comfort to the believer.  It is a word of comfort to the child of God.  When I read this Scripture, I see here some comfort for every believer.  The words of our text are a true description of life on this earth, are they not?  There are winds, storms, dry places and a weary land.  Do those words not describe life on this earth and life here at this present time of winds, storms, dry places and a weary land? 


I will tell you this (someone wrote one time), “He, who reckons on a peaceful calm in this life from the cradle to the grave, is either a fool or a dreamer.”  That’s right!  A man who reckons on a smooth, calm and peaceful life from the cradle to the grave is either a fool or he is a dreamer.


You may start off life and you may set sail in life, on a sea as smooth as glass.  Before this journey is over, your ship is going to reel to and fro.  The journey is going to be perilous.  The fury of the storm and the power of the wind are going to be felt.  Before this journey is over you may even think that your ship is going to sink.  These are storms and trials in the lives of believers.  The Bible teaches that.


I know that it is not the popular preaching on television today.  Nevertheless, it is the teaching of God’s Word.  Our Lord said, “In this world ye shall have tribulation”.  He told His disciples, “They are going to persecute you, despise you, and say all manner of evil against you.  Men will hate you.  They will cast you out of the synagogue.  You are going to have trouble.”


Paul spoke in the Book of Acts and said this; “Believers are exhorted to continue in the faith, knowing that we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of heaven.”  That is talking to believers.  The apostles were exhorting believers to continue in the faith knowing and not giving up or fainting.  David said, “I would have fainted if I had not believed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.”  So, I’m going to wait on God.  Here, Paul says; “Believers are exhorted to continue in the faith.”  They are to go on because “We through much tribulation will enter into the kingdom of God.” 


Job said, “Man that is born of woman is a few days and full of trouble.”  The Scripture says, “They that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer.”  Peter said this, “Count it not strange when fiery trials come upon you to try your faith.”


Here, we have the promise that in these times of wind and storms, dry places and a weary land, that we have a hiding place.  “A man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, a stream of refreshing water in a dry place and a shade in a weary land.”


I have two or three points that I want to give to you.  Let’s look at this description of trials and tribulations.  These words are significant, very, very significant.  First of all, the Scripture speaks of the “wind.”  “A man shall be a hiding place from the wind.”  Secondly, there are storms and dry places.  Last of all there is the weary land.


What does the word “wind” signify in the life of a believer?  How mysterious is the wind!  Our Lord said, “Of the wind, you can’t tell whence it cometh and you can’t tell where it goes.”  Some of our troubles and trials are like this.  They are mysterious like the wind.


We are disturbed and we are depressed by causes for which we cannot account.  Someone will say, “You are not happy, why?”  They may say, “I don’t know why.”  You may even be discouraged and don’t know why.  There is confusion of mind and heart.  Do you ever experience this?  They call it nerves, they call it emotion, and they call it depression or whatever.  Have you ever been there?  David was.


In Psalm 42, David said this, “Why are you cast down my soul, why are you disquieted within me, why do you mourn?”  You are unhappy, distressed, discouraged, and fearful for no apparent reason.  The causes may be unknown.  That is the wind.  I have plenty to eat; I have good clothes to wear; I have a car to drive; I have friends or whatever.  I still have troubles.  That is the wind.


Then there are storms.  These are real.  You know where these come from.  We know about these.  These are the storms of life.  There are rocky places.  Our sins cause us great anguish and grief.  David said, “My sins are ever before me.”  Paul said, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.  O wretched man that I am.  Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”  Hezekiah was sickened to death and turned his face to the wall and wept before God.  Jacob said, I am bereaved of my children.  My children have broken my heart.” 


In the death of a loved one, can’t you just hear David when he stood out there on the mountain?  A man came to him and told him that his son Absalom was dead.  How that King loved that boy!  This is a man after God’s own heart.  This was a man who knew God.  He stood out there and looked into the heavens and said, “O Absalom, my son Absalom, would God I had died for you; I wish I had died instead of you.”


Do any of you out there know anything about old age?  Do any of you know anything about its pains, distresses, weaknesses, and difficulties?  These are storms.  There is the wind and then there are the storms.


Do you know anything about the dry places?  I’m talking to believers.  Are there times when the flesh is strong and the spirit is weak?  Our Lord accused the disciples of that.  He said, “The spirit is willing and the flesh is weak.” 


There are times when study is a chore and when reading the Bible is difficult.  Are there times when your heart is cold and the joy is gone?  Are there times when you feel that your prayers are just words, empty words and that is all? 


Are there times when the well seems so dry and God seems so far away?  I hear people singing that little silly song, “Happy All the Time.”  I don’t believe a word of it.  David wasn’t.  In Psalm 63:1, he said; “O my God, my soul thirsteth for Thee.  My flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land.”  In Psalm 77:8 and 9, he said; “Is God’s mercy clean gone, does His promise fail, has God forgotten to be gracious?”  Listen, “Has God in anger, shut up His tender mercies against me?”  This is David.


John Newton, the man who wrote “Amazing Grace” also wrote this:


Tis a point I long to know,

And often it gives me anxious thought.

Do I love the Lord or no?

Am I His or am I not?


Have you ever been there?  Do you know anything about the dry places?  He says something about a weary land.  This world does not become a weary land; it is a weary land. 


There will be times for all believers when sorrows will outnumber your joys; I promise you that.  There will be time when pain will exceed pleasure.  There will be times when you have more lonely hours than you have hours of fellowship.  There will be many times in your life.  It may not be now, but a time is coming when tears will come a lot easier than laughter.  There will be times when nights grow longer and days grow shorter.  There will come a time when you need others more than they need you.  That is a weary land. 


I reckon it is so, don’t you?  “We must through much trouble and tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”  But, with all these troubles, there is deliverance.  That is what I am saying.  I’m glad I don’t have to stop there.  I’m glad that this isn’t the end of this message.  I thank God that it is not the end because He said, “A man shall be a hiding place from that wind,” that mysterious trial that comes upon us.  There is a hiding place.  There is a place to hide.


There is a shelter when that storm comes.  When you are walking through those dry places, there is a stream.  If you knew where it is, would you take a drink?  There is a shadow of a great rock in a weary land.  I didn’t read the whole text a while ago.  Christ said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, (be of good comfort); I have overcome this world.”


I didn’t read all of what David said a while ago.  He said, “Why are you cast down my soul, why are you disquieted in me, why do you mourn and grieve my soul?”  Then he said, “Hope thou in God; those blessings will yet come to pass.”


Our Lord said, “I’ll never forsake you; I’ll never leave you.  I’ll be with you in troubles.”  The songwriter said:


I will be with you, your troubles to bless;

And I will sanctify to you your deepest distress.


My friends, the mysterious winds of trouble will blow.  When the storms of life are attacking your little vessel to where you think it won’t stay afloat, and when you walk through dry places and lonely hours in a weary land, flee to Christ.  Meet Him at the mercy seat. 


Don’t let your troubles take you away from the only hiding place.  May your troubles cause you to flee to the hiding place.  Don’t run from it, but flee to it.  May your trying times be seeking times.  Christ is the only strength, the only hiding place, the only shelter, the only refuge, water and the only shade.


From every stormy wind that blows

From every swelling tide of woe,

There is a calm, a safe retreat

And it is found in Him, our Mercy Seat.


Where can my soul flee for aid?

When troubled, desolate and dismayed?

When winds and storms would defeat

Well peace is found in Him, our Mercy Seat.


That is where the Lord said that He would meet you.  He says it over in the Book of Exodus.  I will tell you this, the Old Testament is such a beautiful picture of Christ our Lord.  God said to Moses in Exodus 25, “Moses; make a mercy seat over the ark.  Put in the ark the tables of stone, (the Ten Commandments).  Put the mercy seat over the ark make it of pure gold and I will meet you at the mercy seat.  Sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat and I will meet you there.  I will commune with you and I will meet you in affection.”


In the New Testament Paul wrote in Romans Chapter 3, “God hath set forth Christ to be our Mercy Seat.”  Christ is our Mercy Seat.


Don’t allow the trial or the storm to take you away from the only refuge and the only fountain of grace.  Allow the trial to take you to Him, to Christ.  This is when I need the Redeemer.  When the wind blows is when I need a hiding place.  When the storm rages is when I need the shelter.


There is a song, “Just When I Need Him Most.”  When do I need Him most?  I need Him when the wind blows.  When do I need Him most?  I need Him most when the storm rages.  When the ground is dry is when I need the living water.  When the sun is hot, that is when I need the shade.  Do you understand this?  Do you understand that this is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ?  This is why He came.


Paul said in First Timothy, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that He came into the world to save sinners.”  In Luke 19 it says,  “He came into the world to seek and to save the lost.”  He came into the world to redeem the lost.  He is the Saviour of sinners.  He is the Mediator for the helpless.  He is the Atonement for sinners.  He is the High Priest for the guilty.  Do you see that? 


What is a hiding place for?  A hiding place is to protect.  What is a shelter for?  I was raised in south Alabama where they have a lot of storms and tornadoes.  Many people there have storm shelters.  They build them out in the back yard.  They dig a place in the ground and put cement on it.  They put a top over it and level it with the ground.  When the storm begins to rise over in a certain area, everybody goes into his or her storm shelter.  That is what it is for.  That is why it is provided.  That is why I say to you; Christ is the shelter.


What’s the water for?  Water is for the thirsty.  What is shade for?  Shade is for the weary.  This is our Lord’s greatest glory.  What is the glory of the sun?  You see the sun shining in the heavens?  What is the greatest glory of the sun?  The sun is warm and it is to give life and to make plants grow.  That is the glory of the sun.  When the sun warms the earth and causes life and plants to grow then it is the glory of the sun. 


The glory of a hiding place is to comfort.  The glory of a shelter is to protect.  The glory of water is to satisfy.  The glory of a rock is to provide shelter.  The glory of Christ is to show mercy to His people and grace to His people and to comfort His people and to redeem His people.


 Moses said to the Lord one day, “Lord; show me your glory.”  Moses had seen some marvelous things.  Moses had seen the river turned to blood.  He had seen the sky grow black in the middle of the day.  He had seen the Red Sea part.  He had seen a whole army drowned in the sea that was trying to catch Israel.  He had seen a rock give forth water.  He had seen many things.  This man wanted to see God’s chief glory.


The Lord told Moses; “You hide over here in the cleft of the rock and I will put My hand over you and I will pass by you.  You won’t see My face.  No man can see God and live.  You will see my back parts.  You will see something of my glory, just a reflection of Me, just the back parts of it.”  There is no way I can describe it.  This is what He said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will be merciful to whom I will be merciful; that is my glory.” That is His great and chief glory to be gracious and show mercy.  Do you see that? 


“His strength is made perfect in my weakness.”  That is why Christ became a man.  He’s a Saviour because we are sinners.  He’s faithful because we are unfaithful.  He’s full because we are empty.  He supplies us with all the fullness.  “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in Him.”  He is strong because we are weak.  He is Holy because we are unholy.  We find all our need met in Him.  Do you understand that?


It is not found in the front of the church where our needs are met.  They are met in Christ.  It is not in the hand of a preacher that our needs are met; it is in a Person, a Man, the God-man, the Redeemer.  It is not in counting my beads.  It is not going to a confessional.  It is not in talking to a human being.  My needs are met in Him who is my Redeemer.  Do you understand that?  Flee to Christ. 


Don’t let your troubles take you to the arm of the flesh.  Let your troubles take you to Him who is your strength.  A man shall be a hiding place from the wind and a shelter from the storm.  A man shall be precious, refreshing water in this dry, dry, dry, famine-infested land.  He shall be a shade in a weary land, a cool refreshing shade where I can rest under the rock and be confident.


Let me ask you this, why do we have so many troubles?  I will tell you this, what makes water most precious?  The answer is draught.  Do you know what makes a shelter most precious?  The answer is a storm.  Do you know what makes shade most precious?  The answer is a burning sun. 


That is what I am saying, “To whom much is forgiven; He will love much.”  That man or woman who has gone through storms, winds, trials, trouble and has found a refuge in Christ and found satisfaction and needs in Christ, will love and appreciate Him.  He will praise Him and give Him all the glory.