I think last week it was, I shared that I had been reading, The Hiding Place. If you haven’t read this book before, it is the life story of Corrie ten Boom and her family who lived before and during World War II.
In 1939 Corrie ten Boom was 47 years old and lived with her 82 year old father and elder sister Betsie, in Haarlem, Holland. Neither sister had married. Their family was a deeply Christian family and their house was always open to any needy person. Corrie’s father had a little watchmakers shop, over their home and Betsie ran the home, while Corrie was the first female watchmaker in Holland.
On a rainy day in November 1941, some German soldiers broke into a fur shop across the road from the ten Boom home. It was owned by a Jew named Mr. Weil. The soldiers smashed the windows and took all the furs. Then they threw Mr. Weil’s clothes into the street. Corrie ran outside and brought Mr. Weil into their home above the watch shop. He told them that his wife was staying with friends. Corrie’s brother, Willem was a pastor who had worked with Jewish people for a long time. He had a large house in Hilversum, Holland that he used for Jews who had escaped from Germany before the war. It was clear that Mr. and Mrs. Weil could not go back to their home. As they thought about the problem, Corrie and her sister Betsie both felt they must ask their brother Willem what they should do. Corrie went to his home in Hilversum that afternoon. Willem was out, but his twenty-two-year-old son, Kik, was in. Corrie explained the problem. “Tell Mr. Weil to be ready as soon as it’s dark,” said Kik. That evening at nine o’clock Kik rapped on the door, and led Mr. Weil away into the dark. About two weeks later, Corrie met Kik again. She asked where he had taken Mr. Weil. “If you are going to work with the ‘underground’, Aunt Corrie, then you must learn not to ask questions,” he answered with a smile.
Soon other Jewish people came to the ten Boom home asking for help. Although the family knew it was dangerous, they all agreed that they must help. They had several spare rooms in the old house, but it was only a hundred yards from Haarlem Police Station! Slowly the family began helping Jewish people to escape. They created a hideout in their own home and successfully saved many people from most certain death.
The hiding place in their home was a real physical place, but throughout the book, the real message is that God is the true hiding place and is based on Psalm 91.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps 91:1).
Dwelling or abiding where God abides… making one’s home or residence where God lives and sitting with Him in that secret and sacred place, that is the only safe place to hide.
The secret place of the Most High is in reference to the Holy of Holies which was a physical place of worship. He who entered the Holy of Holies legitimately was covered with the cloud of God’s glory, which is the protection of the all-sufficient God. This was the privilege of the high priest only, under the law: but under the new covenant all believers, you and I in Christ have boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies, a spiritual place of worship, by the blood of Jesus; and those who enter, are safe from every evil.
When we choose to live a life of communion with God, to abide, we are constantly safe under His protection, and may therefore preserve a holy serenity and security of mind at all times. If you do not know Christ, this may seem very confusing and rather ridiculous when facing real dangers and overwhelming fears. However, if you are interested… curious… intrigued… and want to know more… read Psalms 91 in its entirety and the book of John in the New Testament. If you earnestly seek the living, lovely God, He will reveal Himself to you and show you about abiding with Him in the secret place.
“May God bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance on you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).