Summary: The security and safety of being firmly grounded on our Solid Rock, Jesus Christ.
OUR MIGHTY FORTRESS
Psalm 46:1-11 "God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah."
Those who flee to the Word of God for succor in situations of struggle and stress, have long recognized Psalm 46 as a vital source of strength and support. When Martin Luther was under serious and severe stress brought about by continuing satanic attack, he saw in his study of this great Psalm that, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." As he was tried in the test tube of trial and crushed in the crucible of crisis, he was moved to write the grand old hymn of the grand old faith entitled, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God, a Bulwark Never Failing."
If there has ever been a time in which God’s people need to read and heed the words of this Psalm and renew a personal and practical acquaintance with the God exalted by the hymn, this is the day. We live in a time of unceasing hustle and bustle. A hectic time of rushing to and fro on the face of God’s green earth. Our world seems to be ever seeking but never arriving at a place of peace and rest. In our perpetual quest for real and lasting release from life’s stresses and struggles we are somewhat like the dog chasing his tail. We spin around in endless circles, always seeking some sort of new, satisfying and stress free situation.
This restlessness and ceaseless seeking is reflected in a statistical study released just this week in Australia. It seems that the average age of those being married in our society has increased to twenty-eight. Seventy-five percent of those getting married have been living together for a significant period of time before marriage. But their separation and divorce rate over two times as frequent as among the remaining twenty-five percent who chose to please God by living singly before marriage.
Someone has said, "Three words describe our times: hurry, worry, and bury." There’s an oft-repeated saying that seems to characterize the effect of such a secular cultural philosophy upon our culture I have frequently heard it expressed in this manner by the average macho male in my door to door visitation, "I only plan to go to church three times in my life. The first time I went, they threw water in my face. The second time they threw rice. They third time they will throw dirt." This dismissive attitude is understandable among those who know not God. But we who know Him should take more time for Him.
There can be no doubt we live in stressful times. One scholar did considerable research in the area of human stress a number of years ago and came up with a stress scale relative to life change events. On this scale the death of a spouse rated 100 units. Divorce rated 73 units. Pregnancy rated 40 units. Remodeling or moving home rated 25 units. Christmas rated 12 units- etc. His study further indicated that no one in his own strength could successfully handle more than 300 units in a year without severe physical and/or emotional consequences.
It would seem that we not only do not take time to stop and smell the roses of life, but often seem oblivious to the beauty of the garden in which they grow. In this day of trouble and woe, we desperately need to pause and get our spiritual bearings once more. We need to rediscover Who God really is, what He wants for us and how He can and will bring it to pass.
We find the theme of our time as well as the solution for our troubles in the very first verse of this Psalm. We certainly live in a time of terrible troubles. I have read that the word "trouble" found here means "to be cramped, squeezed, pressed down" etc. We had a common saying in the South where I grew up that reflected the sort of stress and trouble that seemed to have no real or easy solution. We would say, "I’m caught between a rock and a hard place." We also had another apt expression, "He put the squeeze upon him." Those finding themselves in such stressful situations certainly knew what it meant to be squeezed and pressed on every side.