Summary: Believers can live in a state of calm assurance no matter what is going on around them. Dr. Tow speaks from Ps 46 focusing on the exhortation: "Be still and know that I am God." Guidance for living in this principle and examples in Scripture are explored.
Our text today is from Psalm 46. We take as our subject: Calm Assurance in Any Storm. We will begin by making a few comments as we read the text.
"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.” That was our text last week. “
Verses 4-6: " There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”
His intervention will always be timely: “just at the break of dawn.” There may be some weeping in the night, but joy comes in the morning.i
Job wondered where God went. But God was there all the time--even in Job's deepest hour of sorrow. A breakthrough did come, not a minute too soon, and not a minute too late: Only after the trial had done it refining work in Job; only after the silver had been refined by fire; only when God had shaped and prepared the man for eternity. Then God showed up in a special way. Then God revealed Himself in ways Job had never known. The intervention must not come too early, or God's purposes cannot be fully realized. But that intervention will never come a second too late. In your life and in mine, God will always be right on time. James comments on Job's ordeal, "You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord -- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful." Are you in a trial? Keep trusting God. You may be one second away from breakthrough.
Verse 4 of this Psalm speaks of a city. It is a reference to Jerusalem, the city where God's people dwell and worship. You will understand this Psalm better if you first interpret it the way an ancient Jew would understand it. Then apply it to yourself and the church. Nothing is more important for a city than its water supply. The flow of a river into a city is its lifeline. In those days, cities were surrounded by walls that protected the people from invaders. It was a refuge they ran into when there was trouble. If a city was under siege, the primary concern was preserving its water supply. In this Psalm God is not only the "Refuge" we run into for safety, but He is also the River that refreshes us and preserves us. "There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, "Nothing can block that river. No enemy can poison that river. Not only are you safe in God as your refuge, but He will make you glad with His presence. He will refresh your soul and strengthen your heart. The devil can rage. The nations can rage. But God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.
Verses 6-7: “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Selah is a musical rest. It gives singers a time to breath. It gives us as readers a signal to pause and meditate on what has been said. We need more Selahs in our lives. We need more time spent considering the weighty matters of life: time to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.ii Wisdom is more than knowledge. We have more knowledge than any other generation. You can Google almost any subject and find knowledge. Knowledge is available on YouTube.
But wisdom is knowledge properly processed and applied. It takes time spent with God to get wisdom. It takes meditation in God's word. The statements in this Psalm are food for thought. They must be processed in the heart to get full nourishment from them. The word Selah naturally breaks this Psalm into three sections: vs 1-3; 4-7; and 8-11. Verses 8-11: “Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.”iii That Psalm begins and ends with God as our refuge.iv