Be Still and Know

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Just over a week ago, Pastor Dave spoke on Psalm 23. This past weekend he spoke on Psalm 46.  in both of these sermons he immediately introduced us to the grand subject. In Psalm 23 – he emphasized that the Lord is my shepherd.

In Psalm 46 the first word is God – it is God who is our refuge and strength. Psalm 23 is a Psalm for everyone on all occasions. Psalm 46 speaks of a great event that was still quite vivid in the minds of those for whom it was written.

There were many great historical events in the history of Israel – to which event do we relate this Psalm? In his exposition of the Psalms, HC Leupoldo refers to the great deliverance that took place in the days of Jehoshaphat when the choir went before the army. The other, in the days of Hezekiah when Sennecharib’s army was disastrously destroyed after having directly threatened the city of Jerusalem.

Leupold also sees the order of the words in the Hebrew which places emphasis on the word GOD. He and nothing else is our refuge in the face of calamities of every sort.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. This is the basic truth on which the whole Psalm rests.

It should not surprise us that Luther concentrated his famous hymn “A mighty Fortress is our God” on this thought and ignored the rest of the Psalm. In Psalm 121, verse 8 we read the Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in. We have to live in God’s peace.

I read a story of a mother who woke up during a thunderstorm and hurried to her son’s room after a very bright flash of lightning, thinking her son would be terrified. To her surprise he was standing at the window looking outside. He said: you’ll never guess what happened, God just took my picture. This little boy was convinced, and so should we be, that God is present, therefore this world is a perfectly safe place to be in.

In Psalm 46:8 there is an invitation to look at the evidence of God’s mighty works. Verse 8 says “come behold the works of the Lord, what outstanding things He has done in the earth”. But this verse with a specific reference to a recent event, can be put in general terms which might express what men can and should continually see. The world is full of testimonies of God’s wonderful works.

Verse 10 has been written to God’s people and to God’s enemies. “Be still and know that I am God” for God’s people it is an invitation to slow down, be anxious for nothing, just cast all your cares upon Him. We are facing a situation that even world leaders say we have never faced before.

Prime Minister Trudeau sees it as a global problem and needs a global solution. We are going to have to work together and care for each other.

I read a story of a farmer and his son who were traveling from the countryside to the city to sell their produce. It was a long journey, but the dad was relaxed while his son goaded the oxen to go faster. When they passed a friend’s house the father insisted they stop and visit. Later back on the road, he took the slow scenic route. At dusk he stopped for the night. Frustrated and angry the son said, “you’re more interested in sunsets and flowers than making money”.

“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me” replied his father. Next morning as they traveled, in the distance a blinding flash split the clouds followed by a long low rumble. Then the sky grew very black.

“If we had hurried, we would be in the city by now and would miss this storm” grumbled the boy. “Slow down son you will last longer” his dad replied. By late afternoon they reached a hill overlooking the city in the valley. After staring down at it for what seemed like an eternity the boy finally turned and said

“I see what you mean dad”. Slowly they turned around and headed home from what remained of the city of Hiroshima.

“Be still and know that I am God”. He knows what is happening, He knows what’s around the next corner. We must learn to trust him more, worry less and rush less. God is our refuge.

Thank you, Pastor Dave, for your teaching from the psalms.