Summary: Psalm 46 is a powerful source of comfort and assurance for God's people. In this message Dr. Tow expounds verses 1-3, laying the foundation of why we can be fearless during the storms of life.
I want to speak with you this morning from Psalm 46. That passage offers to us both consolation and instruction for times like these. We should always be looking to the word of God for wisdom in our lives.
In prosperous, easy times we need wisdom to not presume upon God’s goodness and provision. That was a mistake Israel made over and over. It is an easy mistake to make. One antidote to that mistake is thanksgiving. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord!i It is a good reminder of the source of all that we are enjoying. James says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (1:17).ii Have some things gone right in your life? Give God the glory for that. Have you recently experienced some success? That’s only possible by His grace. Take time to thank the Lord for it. It’s not that God needs the affirmation. It’s because we need to keep the right orientation during those good times.
But our text today focuses on times of crisis. Especially then we should be digging into the word of God for His counsel. I appreciate the practical instruction that comes from various experts. We are being inundated through the media with their advice. A wise person will listen and weigh counsel. We need counsel from the medical field. We want counsel from the financial advisers. In the multitude of counselors there is safety (Prov. 24:6).
I also appreciate the insights coming from the prophets. That is a valid gift in the church. Remember Peter’s words on the Day of Pentecost: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
We are not to despise prophesying. However, prophesy has to be judged. iii Even when people are hearing the Lord, it is easy for them to inject some of their own thinking in the interpretation of their experience. Do not put all your confidence in prophecies that come through mortal men. Hear what the prophets say. Take it seriously. But test it in your own spirit and with the word of God. “We have a more sure word of prophecy” in Scripture (2 Pet. 1:19). Make sure you tale heed to that. Psalm 12:6 addresses the reliability of Scripture when it says, “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” The Bible I hold in my hand has been tested and proven over hundreds of years. Let it be the foundation of your thinking. Let it be the standard you use to test the current words.
We all have a natural curiosity about the future. In His wisdom God does not tell us all about the future. But in His word, He gives us information about that which we need to know.iv From Scripture we know where this world is headed and how it will all end up. We are given a general framework of the future. More importantly we are given instruction on how we are to live our lives in the now: attitudes that we are to cultivate in our hearts; behaviors that are right, and behaviors that are wrong. God has given us everything we need to know to live lives pleasing to Him—to live lives that will end well v. In times like these we need to keep all that in perspective.
Today let’s look into Psalm 46 and draw courage from the assurances God gives us there. In this
message we will examine Declaration near the beginning of the text. Then next week we will
consider a Directive toward the end of the passage.
In verse 2 the Psalmist makes this DECLARATION: “Therefore we will not fear.”
Can you agree with that? Can you personalize it? “Therefore I will not be afraid”? “For God has
not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7). Fear
torments the mind.vi Fear is not the portion for God’s people. It is not the will of God that you be
tormented with fears. It is not the will of God that you dread the future. In God, your future is
bright. God’s thoughts toward you are good. His plans for you are good.vii We can trust Him with
We are told again and again in Scripture to not fear. People do dumb things when they are driven