Summary: God is our strength and refuge in the gloomiest moments of our lives. Let’s run to Him for shelter from the storm, and in the case of tragedy, especially so. Pray for those affected in the Norway shootings, that they may find their refuge in God.
Text: Psalm 46
Open with me to Psalm 46.
This week, Norway has been ravaged with the shootings of over 90 children at the hands of a madman. Families are shattered, friendships irrecoverable. Though this seemed to be a politically and racially motivated crime, many sources of media call this man a ’Right Wing Fundamentalist Christian.’ Yet there are still odd utilitarian and freemason allegiances that bring into question that assertion. Name one authentic Jesus-following church that celebrates the actions of this man today. Clearly this was a sinful act that grieved the heart of God and led to the loss of many lives. Let us have hearts that grieve for the families of the victims, and let us pray that they seek Jesus for refuge through this time.
This man’s actions do not represent Jesus. Jesus desired that His followers bless even those who curse them! According to the book of Acts, we are ’One Blood’ -- so essentially, we are all members of one race: the Human Race. There is diversity within the human race in ethnicities, but even so, Jesus called us to reach all of them, as He does not discriminate. He wants all to know Him. Both Jew and Gentile are able to know Him. There’s no room for racism today in a pleasing relationship before God.
So with this tragedy in mind, let’s pray for those affected, and in whatever situation we are brought to, let’s look to God as our refuge. Let’s read Psalm 46 together:
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.
1 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
4 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.
6 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
8 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. Selah
Before we discuss further, let’s open in prayer.
I. Life is Crazy
II. God is our Peace
Refuge - shelter from rain or storm
Proverbs 18:10 - The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
Strength - Might, Power
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Very Present - Literally "very findable"
In our deepest and darkest valley, we simply need to call on the Lord -- He hears!
Whatever distress we come across in life, we can find help in our God.
…and as a result, we don’t have to fear, even in the worst situations:
- Even if the world ends
- Even if the mountains are thrown into the sea
- Even if the rivers rage
- Even if the mountains are shaken by the raging rivers
Mountains: Very strong and majestic -- high altitude, rugged.
Jesus said that faith can move even mountains. Mountains were seen as something close to permanent, and it would require QUITE a feat to move them!
Matthew 17:20 - "…Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ’Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."
Here in Psalm 46, the Psalmist is saying that even if those symbols of strength and majesty completely topple, we will not need to fear -- the Lord is where our strength, comfort, and protection come from.
Though everything is in disarray and commotion, the Lord is our peace and our anchor.
Barnes - "Nothing is more sublime and fearful than the ocean in a storm"
Whatever comes our way in life, and regardless of how much it shakes us and seems to be out of control, the Lord is our peace and our unmovable shelter.