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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Learning from Psalm 46

Perhaps one of the most familiar beginnings to a Psalm is this one: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. I love this. It uses the words refuge, strength, and help. God is that for us. He is there for us in trouble. He’s present.

It’s interesting to note that the first part of this Psalm is the title: “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.” It was a special song to be sung by soprano voices (Alamoth).

What comes next? Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. I have some friends who have lived through mudslides and floods. Even in those awful situations, the Lord is there. He alone can keep us from fear. God is our refuge in trouble.

The next verse changes our focus to heaven. I think most of us lose sight of heaven when we’re going through hard times. But, look at this contrast with the last verse about mountains being carried out to sea: There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. This is peaceful, beautiful, and glorious—and God’s presence is there, too. He is just as present in our troubles as He is in Glory. Wow!

Now, the Psalm moves to a historical view of God’s power and His sovereign care. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

An invitation follows: to gaze on our victorious God. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. He brings peace.

Then, this invitation is even more beautiful: Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The wrap-up? The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Is the Lord of hosts your refuge? Do you know that He is God? Are you pausing for a moment to drink these truths into your soul?

I can only imagine beautiful, young soprano voices proclaiming God’s being there—and everywhere—for us. It must have been amazing.

Notice, Psalm 46 doesn’t say God can be a refuge and strength. It says He is. What a wonderful concept! God is our refuge, strength, and help. May we be ever mindful of Him.

And, may we never lose sight of heaven.

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