July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
July 21, 2021

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Selah
“Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Selah

Psalm 46.

I would think that next to Psalm 23, this psalm might be one of the go to psalms for most of God’s people when life gets hard and trials come our way. It’s a good psalm to quiet the heart and quiet our fears. It’s even called the Martin Luther psalm because A Mighty Fortress is our God is based upon Psalm 46. He actually captures some of the flood injuries from this psalm when he wrote, “Our helper amidst the floods of mortal ills prevailing.”

It’s cataclysmic language. Verse 3 tells us the waters roar and foam. Not only are the waters raging and roaring, but the mountains are being moved into the heart of the sea. It almost looks like two storms are working in unison. A hurricane and a tornado or probably a tsunami and maybe this is the tsunami of tsunamis. Look at what is happening here, the very foundations of the earth are breaking up. Let’s be honest, it would be very easy to be afraid. The ground is breaking beneath your feet. You don’t know if your neighborhood is going to get swept away. The psalmist is telling us not to press panic buttons. Look again at verse 2, “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way.”

This is figurative language but it could easily be applied to the world we live in. I can remember how this country seemed to tremor and shake when the twin towers in New York City came crashing to the ground. We are witnessing the very foundations and institutions that have shaped western civilization for hundreds of years; they seem to be crumbling before our very eyes and ears. Marriage has been redefined by the Supreme Court; fatherless homes; families are disappearing in the midst of flood waters. I read recently that 20 churches in Canada have been burned to the ground in the last month or so. Governments across western civilization are changing their view on gender; we are witnessing not only a sexual revolution, but now what you could call a gender revolution. Storm clouds are gathering and our safety and security as Christians is going to be more and more threatened in all kinds of different ways.

One of our greatest battles, Brethren, will take place on the turf of our own hearts. As I said before, the commandment that is mentioned most in all of Scripture is “Do not be afraid,” (300 times). Why does God have to tell us 300 times not to be afraid? Because we easily get afraid.

The psalms make it clear again with clear resolve and determination not to be afraid. Verse 2, “Therefore we will not fear.” How can he say that? Well it is pretty simple, he has God as his god. Notice how God is described here. Not under personal images of a friend, a husband, but unmovable, solid, fixed objects. Images of safety and security, “He is immutable and impregnable, a very present help in trouble.” Luther had it right, “A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.” He is the ultimate god. He is not found in our marriages, not found in our families, not found in our bank accounts not even found in a church. Churches have closed their doors, perhaps more during COVID19 than any other time in the history of this country. Don’t be afraid Christian, our trust must be in God.

The last two verses really give us the remedy to combat our fears, “Be still and know that I am God,” and “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” There is probably nothing better to do, Brethren, than exercise faith, grab hold of God; he is the one anchor, the refuge that never fails. Remember he is sovereign, he is in control of everything that happens in your life and everything that happens in the world.

Dr. John MacArthur was recently talking about leadership and what makes a leader a leader. He said, “A leader embraces divine providence.” Someone asked him this question, “Dr. MacArthur, if you could change anything in your life, what would you change?” He said, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.” The person said, “Why?” Dr. MacArthur said, “I have embraced divine providence. God knows what he is doing, I don’t. God is wiser than I am.”

Let’s praise God for who he is, unchanging, immutable, omnipotent, all powerful, all-wise and sovereign