Monday, September 1, 2008

Psalms 46-47 - God: Our Refuge, Strength, and KING!

LINK: Psalms 46 - 47

BACKGROUND

Psalm 46 is the psalm that inspired Martin Luther to write his wonderful hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Both these psalms dwell on the sovereignty and might of God.

REFLECTION

As I type this, Hurricane Gustav barrels toward my state. We have spent a large part of the past two days preparing for its onslaught. Right now I hear helicopters droning overhead, flying special needs evacuees to a shelter less than a mile from our home. These two psalms are just what I need to reflect on right now.

Are those of us who belong to God promised an absence of difficulties or struggles? No, of course not.

What we are promised is that God is our refuge and strength IN trouble, no matter what the trouble is. It could be a hurricane! It could be illness. It could be a country in chaos – a failure of the political system. It could be family problems. It could be spiritual attack.

The main point of these two chapters is that God is King. He is the peaceful river of life to those who are His, even in the midst of hard circumstances, even in the midst of chaos. It has been good for me to take some moments to be still and silent, as Psalm 46:10 says, to take a deep breath and realize that He is God, that He is among us and in us.

We live in a broken world – broken physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We will know trouble. But in Christ we have have a sure and certain refuge.

I am low on time for this post, so I’ll end with the words of Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress”:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe –
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.
Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He –
Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him –
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure:
One little Word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also –
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever!!

APPLICATION

What troubles you? Be still and know that God is LORD and KING! Turn to Him.

PRAYER

Father, help us to trust you, to live for You. Help us not to worry about anything, but to turn to you in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; help us to turn to you with our heart cares. Thank-you for your peace – a peace that passes all understanding. We are trusting you to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus so that we can truly say, no matter what our circumstances, that all is well.
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