Grace For The Journey
Yesterday, we looked at how we need God’s help in our lives. We looked at the first verse of Psalm 46 and saw that God wants to be our shelter, strength, and help us survive life. Today, we will look at verses 2-6 of Psalm 46 and discover additional truths that will lead us to let God help us in every area of our lives.
The Bible says in Psalm 46:2-3, “Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”
Notice at the end of verse 3 the psalmist says “selah.” This word means “to pause a moment, to think it over and let it all sink in.” The truths the palmist is writing about are so important that the writer does not want us to skim over it.
First, these verses tell us the response we are to have during every season of life.
In light of God’s provision how should we respond to uncertainty, trials and conflict?
We should respond in faith, not in fear.
If God is our refuge, strength and help shouldn’t we trust Him to take care of us?
If calamity takes place on the earth, hasn’t God caused it or allowed it to happen? Therefore, we must respond in faith when turmoil comes into our lives. This is exactly what Job did when encountered wave after wave of calamity. He trusted in God’s goodness. He knew that the Lord would not let him down. The Psalmist says that even if the world was turned upside down he knew that God would take care of him.
The story is told of Hudson Taylor first trip to China on a sailing vessel. Very close to the shore of cannibal islands the ship was still in the water, and it was slowly drifting toward shore, unable to go about, and the savages were eagerly anticipating a feast. The captain came to Mr. Taylor and sought his assistance to pray for the help of God. “I will,” said Taylor, “provided you set your sails to catch the breeze.” The captain declined to make himself a laughing stock by unfurling the sails in a dead calm. Taylor said, “I will not undertake to pray for the vessel unless you will prepare the sails.” The captain gave order to do it. While engaged in prayer, there was a knock at the door of his stateroom. “Who is there?” Hudson Taylor asked. The captain’s voice responded, “Are you still praying for wind?” “Yes,” Hudson replied. “Well,” said the captain, “You’d better stop praying, for we have more wind than we can manage.” Hudson Taylor responded to this trial with faith not fear. We must do the same. Fear comes from Satan not from God.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” and in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When life becomes uncertain what do you do? What do I do? When world events threaten to change our lives how do we handle it? Do we have a shelter for life’s storms? Is the Lord our refuge? Does He give us strength to stand? Or do we try and make it on your own? When your world is turned upside down how do you respond, with fear or with faith?
Secondly, these verses tells us God’s redemption that He offers to help us during every season of life.
Psalm 46:4-6 says, “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.”
Even though the seas may rage and the earth be shaken, God’s people are secure because He is with them. There is a clear parallel between verses 1 and 5. In verse 1 the Psalmist says that God is our refuge. In verse 5 he says that God is in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. The psalmist is literally saying that God makes the city a refuge. His presence brings security. In verse 1 he says God is our strength. In verse 5 he says that the city will not be moved. This is because God gives Jerusalem the strength to stand. In verse 1 he says that God is a very present help in time of trouble. In verse 5 he says that God will help her. In verses 4 to 6 the Psalmist backs up his claim that God is a shelter to His people.
He cites an example that they knew about. This example fits the invasion of King Sennacherib from Assyria. He came to Jerusalem and boasted that he would destroy it. But King Hezekiah called on the Lord to deliver them. God protected Jerusalem from this raging king. In fact, the Lord destroyed the Assyrian army in the early part of the morning just like it says in Psalm 46 verse 5. The nations raged against Jerusalem and then the Lord spoke to defend them. The earth melted before the Lord.
The Bible says in Isaiah 37:33-36, “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, says the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.’ Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. Then the king returned to Assyria in shame!.”
Man can plan and scheme. He can even bring some of his wicked works to fulfillment. But God has the final say. Men have learned this throughout the course of history. King Sennacherib conquered many nations before he threatened Jerusalem. When he attempted to overthrow Jerusalem God destroyed his army. King Nebuchadnezzar boasted about his great accomplishments only to be humbled before God. He was made to live like a beast in the field until he acknowledged God’s sovereignty. This is what one of the most powerful kings in the world said after God had humbled him: “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, what have You done?” Daniel 4:34-35.
Currently world leaders are making threats against each other. But God is still sovereign. His plans will surely come to pass. We must choose to trust Him! The book of Esther doesn’t mention God even once. Yet, all the way through, the writer shows us that the Lord is working quietly to save His people.
We will conclude our thoughts on Psalm 46 on Monday. May these truths encourage you in your faith walk.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”