Thought for the Month

"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock." (Psa.27:5)

"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." (Psa.31:20)

A pavilion is suggestive of a grand building. The Royal Pavilion in Brighton built for King George IV is a richly decorated and painted palace not in any usual British style but inspired by buildings in the Middle and Far East. The word in the Bible is more connected with a shelter and a broad one at that.

Abraham "was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb.11:10 NEB) Abram left his home in Ur of the Chaldees, which is now in Iraq to go to a land that God would show him. He was looking forward to a future kingdom of God.

Shelter especially in the winter time is a priority. With coronavirus the concern has been to get people off the streets and into hotels to avoid the problems of respiratory illnesses and avoid communal accommodation and spreading the virus. The main message has been to "stay home" to stay safe, which highlights the element of safety being associated with home.

Home is also a place to pray. This is suggested in the article on Tertius and certainly prayer is the vehicle that sustains the Christian through any crisis and prepares them to follow more closely the will of their heavenly Father.

Israel for many centuries were a race without a permanent home. The British government looked for a homeland for the Jews in the land which was then called Palestine in 1917. Later in 1921 at the Cairo Conference Winston Churchill, many years before he became Prime Minister, reaffirmed this commitment to a nation without a land that had recently come under British control after they forced out the Ottoman Empire which ruled from Constantinople in the First World War.

The Christian looks forward to their "eternal home" those "mansions" as referenced in John 14:2.

Isaiah speaking of the restoration in his day "there shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the day‑time from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain." (Isa.4:6 RV) Song of songs (2:3) uses this metaphor for the shadow of protection from the burning heat now that the bride is covered by Christ’s righteousness. It keeps us protected and gives us sweet fruit like an apple tree does.

But the sense of the word "pavilion" is as a place of protection. Protection from the worry that might otherwise overtake us, from the untruths that might mislead us. It leaves us standing upon that rock which is Christ and not earthly wisdom.