God is here, so do not fear! Part 1

”God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging . . . Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. the Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46: 1-3, 5-7.

I thought we would look at each verse one at a time (or chew one bit at a time). First, ”God is our refuge and strength.” Well, a refuge is a shelter or protection, as from the weather or danger. So, God is our shelter and protection from the weather and danger of our lives. That means we go to God when we’re in trouble, but not all the time, otherwise we can’t go out and tell others of Jesus. We would become private Christians.

I now want to point out the next bit: ” an ever-present help in trouble.” Ever-present means ‘always there’. So, God is ‘always there’ as a ‘shelter and protection’ in trouble. To be specific on what puts you in trouble, I’ll say this: If you’re confused, discouraged, worried, or sad, those are the emotions that put you in trouble, but God is always there to help.

”Therefore we will not fear . . .” That bit, I think is saying; is whatever happens to us and around us, we shall not fear with God as our refuge and strength! ”Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea . . . ” the writer is probably talking about earthquakes there. And, back then, around the time of Psalms, earthquakes would have caused much more damage, since they didn’t have seismic wave trackers, so they couldn’t prepare for earthquakes long before they came. Plus, some buildings wouldn’t be as strong as today. ”Though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” They must be tsunamis; which were and are mammoth waves  powerful enough to destroy half a city! Again, the writer is pointing out an example of a devastating natural disaster that often occurs.

”Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts.” ‘Nations are in uproar’. Well, uproar would mean in turmoil, or a mess! This may have been prophetic, since it’s like that today! ‘Kingdoms fall’. This would probably mean: kingdoms were being conquered, destroyed, falling apart, things like that. And if a kingdom fell, or ended, it could mean the end of an entire nation!

The next part is quite interesting. ‘He lifts His voice, the earth melts’. To lift your voice is to start speaking. After looking into the word ‘melt’, I found out it means to make or become fearful (my thought through paraphrase). So, when God speaks, the earth becomes fearful, because the earth knows how mighty God is.

The next bit is: ”The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” First of all, it’s saying God is with us, which repeats part B of verse 1: ‘God is . . . an ever-present help in trouble’. Then there is part A of verse 1: ‘ God is our refuge and strength’, which is the same statement as part B of verse 7: ‘The God of Jacob is our fortress’. Both verses are saying the Lord is with us and can and will help us. ‘The God of Jacob’. I want to point that bit out because it often says in the Bible, ‘the God of so & so’. Plus, it often says the God of Jacob specifically, since Jacob was the father of the Israelites – the main nation in the Bible. There are reasons that statements are repeated in Scripture. 1. To get the point across. 2. To make clear we need to pay special attention to something.

I’ll end with a challenge for you; when you feel sad, upset, alone, or hurt, remember and act upon the fact: ‘God is our refuge and strength . . . the Lord Almighty is with us’.

Nathan


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