Two Truths For Troubled Times: A Meditation on Psalm 46

battle

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.
10  “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11  The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
— 
Psalm 46:8–11 —

Has the election season of 2016 brought unusual stress? If so, consider the words of Psalm 46, a psalm which gives us to truths for troubled times.

In that passage, the Sons of Korah — a people whose own existence depended on the sheer grace of God in the face of cataclysmic judgment (see Numbers 16) — speak of fearlessness in the face of a crumbling world. They write,

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

My question: Where do they find the grace to say “we will not fear though the earth and that is in it gives way”? To most of us when the foundations shake and the rafters rock, we tremble. And in that trembling we look for cover, yet hasty searches for safety in tremulous times often leads to devastating results.

The answer comes to us in verse 1, “God is our refuge and strength.” Because he is a refuge, we don’t need to look for another. And because he is present with us in the chaos of this fallen world (“a very present help in trouble”), therefore we will not fear. Still, such fearlessness takes more than the right answers to theology exam; it takes personal knowledge of a God who is with us and for us. Continue reading