Summary: A pastoral sermon from Psalm 46 responding to the present crisis in USA
Some thoughts from Mark Calder about the US crisis
* The events of the last 12 hours have stunned the world. Susan and I were watching Channel 10 late news when it came through at about 11pm. We then watched the television coverage till around 2am...
* We were speechless mostly... perhaps a little scared... it seemed impossible... and we looked at the footage of the 2nd plane going in to the tower in disbelief every time they showed it.
* Friends, this happened because the world we live in - on the whole - has rejected God... that is to say... This happened because people who have rejected God and are therefore running their own lives according to their own agendas, and are filled with rage and hate, decided to lash out in this most amazing act of violence.
* If you reject God you see, anything goes... there is no need for love... mercy... compassion... no rules... no standards... you decide... you become your own God.
* The Bible is not surprised by this violence, and makes it clear that terrible things will continue to happen in a world that has pushed God out...
* Now of course its very natural at times such as these to ask... well ’why didn’t God stop this’, ’surely he is powerful, surely it wouldn’t be outside of his control...?’
* And I want to say that I don’t have any easy slick answers to that today... I cannot know God’s mind and all that God is doing and why... so I’m not about to pretend to second guess God...
* But what we can do is turn to his word and see what we can know... and I have a Psalm to share through which God speaks to our situation and give us some comfort and some hope.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with 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 Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
* There are four brief points the Psalm makes
1 God is a refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble
* we are in trouble... the people of New York and Washington and all over the States are in trouble.
* And where is God in all this? Right with us... always with us...
* You know what a refuge is.. a place of safety and protection, a place to run to, a shelter... in our hearts we run to him... for Jesus promises that by His Spirit he actually lives with us and in us... that is how close he is...
* And because he lives in the believer, he knows our needs and struggles and knows our pain today... so run to him and as it were feel his loving arms around you consoling, comforting and protecting...
* And he is a strength... through him we can have strength to go on... strength to face the challenges, strength to face the loss and sadness...
* Who among us isn’t disturbed by the events overnight... run to God as a refuge and strength, know that he is always with you
* And the result... the result you see in v2 - you will not fear... not fear says the verse even though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the see.... Not fear even though buildings collapse and there is debris and devastation... because you are safe in your refuge... the always present arms of God himself
2 There is city which is always safe...
* vv3-6 - it’s the city of God. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day... The Old Testament city of Jerusalem... was always an anticipation of the heavenly city of Jerusalem.