Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Be secure in life. God is our help, do not fear. God is with us, stand strong. God is Almighty, trust Him.

Praise the Lord for the beautiful music we had this morning.

• I believe this is the first time we have so many musical instruments, being played at the same time in this sanctuary.

• It reminds me of the psalms in the Bible. The psalmist often says let us make music to the Lord with musical instruments.

Psalm 33:2 “Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

• Why? For we have a good God. Verse 4: “For the Word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.”

King David of ancient Israel organises the musicians and singers as they gather in the Temple of God, to play music and give praise to God.

• The Levite clans were trained in music and they use different instruments like cymbals, lyres and harps (cf. 1 Chron 25:6) to make music, similar to what we are doing today.

• The instruments may be different, the sounds they make are different, but together they harmonise and become beautiful music to our ears.

And with music, people sing. King David organises “four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.” (1 Chron 23:5)

• David himself is a great singer. 2 Sam 23:1 says he is “Israel’s singer of songs.”

• Why do they want to make music and sing? They sing to praise God. They sing to give thanks to God because God is good. They sing to celebrate God’s love and His mercy.

This morning, we want to take a look at one of the songs they sing – Psalm 46.

• We do not know how they sing this – whether it’s a major or minor key, fast or slow, but we do know what they sing about. Let’s read Psalm 46.

The psalms are not just nice songs; they flow out of the people’s life experiences.

• The Israelites sing of their experiences with God and their relationship with Him.

• In the light of what the psalmist wrote, he was apparently facing some trouble. The nation was at war and facing an enemy.

• But God saved them, and he wrote it into a song.

The word “Selah” means rest or pause, so this psalm has 3 stanzas and each tells something about our God.

• 1st - Natural disasters, changes that we cannot control – God is our refuge

• 2nd – the city where the psalmist and his people dwell in and God is with them.

• 3rd – God helped them to gain victory in their war against the enemies.

The first stanza tells us: (1) GOD IS OUR HELP, DO NOT FEAR

The psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

The reason a refuge is needed is because of fear. It’s a place we hide from danger, a place of protection.

• When the unexpected happens, when things look bad and hopeless, the emotion that fills our heart is fear.

• We fear because we lose control. We fear because we are not in control, of our health, our finances, our future. The fact is we are never in control actually.

With God, we need not fear. “…though the earth can give way, the mountains fall into the sea, and the waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake.”

• These are all descriptions of natural disasters. They are beyond us. You have no control over them. There is nothing we can do.

• This is how we feel when life gets too difficult, when we are overwhelmed by our troubles.

The world we live in changes every day. It has changed, and it will continue to change.

• Where can we find security in life? In God! We need to return to the One who is in control. When we are in trouble, there is always someone we can run to.

• God is our “ever-present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear…”

• We can face life with God’s help. We don’t have to do it alone.

• With God, we can have peace in our heart and rest for our soul. Our security is in God, not in this world.

The second stanza tells us: (2) GOD IS WITH US, STAY STRONG

The Psalmist describes in verse 4 that there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells.

• The city of God, Jerusalem, has no river. The psalmist deliberately uses this description to express that God is like a river of life and joy to the city.

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