The Lord Speaks Into Our Crisis

Bible Book: Psalms  46
Subject: Crisis; Trouble; God's Presence; Peace; Trouble
Introduction

Psalm 46 is a Psalm of Triumph. It extols the adequacy of God in facing great threats from nature and the nations as we have seen in history.

In James 4:6 the Bible teaches that “He gives more grace.

He Giveth More Grace

“He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

Proverbs 12:25: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” 

This Psalm celebrates the presence of Almighty God. As we read it we quickly sense the spirit that inspired Martin Luther to write, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” This psalm served as Martin Luther’s favorite psalm.

This passage relates to a people in need. Only when they are in distress do they need his special protection. They always need Him, but they experience His presence especially when they go through a period filled with anguish and distress. 

Psalm 46 reminds us that our God, in times of trouble, is tried and true. This psalm describes a crisis that involves meditation on the part of God’s people and God’s response. This passage creates a reminder of the instability and insecurity of this life.

The historical context may be that of the Assyrian army marching southward through Syria into the land of Israel and south into Judah. Remember, God dealt with the Assyrians by sending down an angel to deal with the besieging army. One angel! One night! And the mighty army was no more. The jubilant city sang with hymns of thanksgiving and praise.

“Is there any word from the Lord?” “There is!” Jeremiah 37:17 - “then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, "’Is there any word from the Lord?’" And Jeremiah said, "’There is.’" Then he said, "’You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon!’"

I. GOD’S PROMISE FOR OUR DISTRESS. 1-3

A. HIS CLOSENESS.

In times of trouble you can count on the Lord. This is a biblical testimony and a personal testimony.

1. HE IS OUR SHELTER. 1a

“refuge” – shield of protection; a place to go quietly for protection; a place of safety.

When the rains come God protects us. Isaiah promises that after Israel is cleansed the Lord will guard Zion with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, as in the exodus. He says, “For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime for the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rains.” Isaiah 4:5-6

2. HE IS OUR STRENGTH. 1b

His might is exerted against the enemy; He is our shield and our sword; He protects us and fights for us.

3. HE IS OUR SUFFICIENCY. 1c

“A very present help” – an abundantly available help.

“trouble” – distress, cramped quarters, a constricted feeling. God is here to help when the pressure mounts, when the world closes in upon us.

4. HE IS OUR SECURITY. 2-3

Our refuge in God is so secure that we have nothing to fear though invasions come. Verses 2 & 3 are pictures of a land in upheaval. Symbolic way of telling us not to fear even insurrections and invasions. Neither natural or national disaster can touch the refuge. These verses describe a fearsome disaster. The verb “removal” means changed. It could describe an earthquake or an eruption such as a volcano. It’s something out of our control.

V3 Whether a hurricane or tidal wave, they cannot touch us. Through it all, God, Creator and sustainer of this lively planet, holds us fast.

“He’s got the whole world, In His hands,

He’s got you and me brother, In His hands,”

B. HIS CONFIDENCE. 2-3

Therefore, since Almighty God is our Shelter, our Strength, our Sufficiency, and our Security, we will not fear; in trouble. Christians have a God-given privilege of wearing a tee shirt with bold print – NO FEAR!This fear springs from an apprehension of danger and a sense of our own weakness. To fear in the biblical sense is to worship God; to be religiously reverent.

NOTE: “SELAH” – What do you think about that!

Through it all, God, the Creator and Sustainer of this planet, holds us fast.

II. GOD’S PROVISION FOR OUR DAILY WALK. 4-

I am so grateful that in times of uncertainty we have a God that has promised assured protection and His abiding presence.According to v.4, in Him is the secret source and the sufficient supply.

A. THE RIVER. 4

There was a river in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, and there will be a river in the end in the City of God. Might I be quick to say, there is a river now. In Jerusalem’s history, Hezekiah diverted an ancient spring through the deep Kidron Valley through 1,777 feet of conduit, hewn out of a solid rock, into a reservoir inside the city walls. When enemies from the outside attempted to besiege the city, they knew nothing of this unfailing source of inner refreshment without which the city could not have lasted more than a month or two. Without that hidden river, Jerusalem would have fallen, not from the strength of the foe without, but from weakness and failure within. Instead, the city had a secret river that kept it strong.

God, the Holy Spirit, is set before us as a well of living water. We, as Christians, have a river within. The Holy Spirit has come down from the throne of God to fill our hearts and provide us with a deep, unfailing reservoir of spiritual supply. No enemy can stop Him from flowing into us and through us.

John 7:38-39: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive

PROBLEM: Jeremiah 2:13, “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

B. THE RESIDENT. 5

“God is in the midst” – we have within the same resident who dwelt in Jerusalem. Now, instead of living in the temple built by Solomon, He lives in the temple built by God; our hearts and lives serve as the Holy of Holies.

Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

“midst” – hollow of the hand. (Till the storm passes by)

Till The Storm Passes By

“In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face;
While the storm howls above me,
And there's no hiding place;
'Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry;
"Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

'Til the storm passes over,
'Til the thunder sounds no more;
'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispers,
"There is no need to try;
For there's no end of sorrow,
There's no hope by and by";
But I know Thou art with me,
And tomorrow I'll rise;
Where the storms never darken the skies.

'Til the storm passes over,
'Til the thunder sounds no more;
'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

When the long night has ended,
And the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence.
On that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest
Never comes, Lord may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

'Til the storm passes over,
'Til the thunder sounds no more;
'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

Hold me fast, Let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

'Til the storm passes by.”

v.7 “the Lord of hosts is with us” – armies and battles.

NOTE: “SELAH” – what do you think about that!

C. THE ROARING 6

“raged” – describes the waters roaring as in v3 “Kingdoms were moved,” like nature, then, history also bears its chaos. However, the voice of God is greater than the voice of the planet. “He uttered His voice, the earth melted”

2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

III. GOD’S PERSPECTIVE FOR OUR DEVOTION. 8-11

A. AN INVITATION TO SEE HIM. 8-9

“Come, behold the works of the Lord”

1. GOD HAS WORKED IN THE PAST.

2. GOD IS AT WORK IN THE PRESENT.

3. GOD WILL WORK IN PROPHECY.

Here the chaos of history becomes the cosmos of God.

B. AN INVITATION TO KNOW HIM. 10

“Be still, and know that I am God.” –To experience Him; speaks relationally, not theologically. It is letting God’s peace settle down upon us.

GREAT TRUTH: God is not going to let the enemy win. He is determined to bring glory to Himself in our circumstances. God has brought particular circumstances into our lives so that in them we can trust in God and His plan for our lives.

SPECIAL NOTE: v.10-11 -“exalted” – means to be lifted up

Philippians 2:10-11: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

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.

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.

“I will be exalted” - (2 Corinthians 12:7) - “The Lord of hosts is with us”

CONCLUSION

Do you see Him?

Do you know Him?

A. Acknowledge Him
B. Believe Him
C. Confess Him
D. Be Devoted To Him
E. Get To Know Him
F. Trust Him