Summary: The search for security in the wake of disaster such the the recent terrorist attack on America.
OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH
Psalms 46:1-11 (010916m)
The worst tragedy in American history struck this past Tuesday morning just before 9:00 A.M. With out any warning or sane reasoning, thousands of lives were taken. All looking forward to a new day, no one realizing that only moments separated them from eternity. There is no way to describe the horror or the monstrosity of this unthinkable act of terrorism. Even the television reports can only give us a fragmentary glimpse of the total reality of such a disaster.
In what we have always felt was the safest and greatest country on earth, we now must ask the question, "In whom is our trust? From whence comes our strength? Where do we seek refuge?"
We trust in technology, medical science, the economy, the stock market, and many other things we consider "safe." Technology is moving so fast that what is trustworthy today is obsolete tomorrow. Medical science tells us that a particular medicine will "cure" our problems and then we find that it causes other problems in the future. The economy or stock market that allows us to thrive today may very well be our ruin on another day. What can we trust?
In America we have always felt secure. Our strength has been in our nation and the armed forces that protect us. We must now remind ourselves that every great nation that has come into power has at some time later fell to ruin or siege. Today we are asking ourselves if America could be the exception or if it too will one day fall.
Refuge is something we all try to prepare for and something we all seek when disaster strikes. Refuge is defined as a protection from danger or distress. In the sixties we built bomb shelters, we build our homes to withstand high winds, or we put them up in the air to protect us from floods. The World Trade Center towers were built to withstand the direct impact of a passenger plane. With all our efforts, do any of our plans completely protect us?
Ultimately, there is only one place to turn in times of disaster. There is only one "Rock" that cannot be moved or shaken. Our place of "refuge" and "strength" is God.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Psalm 46 assures us that there is no element, natural or man-made, that God is not aware of and in control of.
I. God is Our Refuge and Strength Against the Elements of Nature Itself. (v.1-3)
A. Every day we hear of floods, droughts, volcanos, earthquakes, etc.
1. Thousands are killed by these disasters.
2. Many times there is little or no warning. Man can do nothing, not even hide!
3. Many ask, "Where is God in all of this?"
B. God is in control of the elements of nature.
1. He dried up a path through the Red Sea and Israel walked on dry ground.
He drowned an entire Egyptian army in the exact spot!
2. Jesus calmed a sea that threatened His disciples.
3. Mountains shook and rocks split at His death!
What can we say about the threat of nature when all our efforts fail us?"
"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;"
II. God is Our Refuge and Strength Against Nations. (v.6)
A. America was born with the motto, "In God We Trust."
1. We have helped nearly every nation in the world at one time or another.
2. Not all of them have offered friendship in return. Many nations will not ally with us because of our history of allegiance to Israel.
Some nations have declared war on us openly, others through terrorist acts such as the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon attacks.
B. We have boasted a strong and powerful defense (armed forces).
1. They are very necessary and have maintained peace and freedom in America.
2. They are not impenetrable. They can only prevent so much. We need only to consider Pearl Harbor or this recent terrorist attack on New York and Washington to realize this truth.
What can we say to the threat of national forces upon us? "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
III. God is All Powerful (v.8-9)
A. God is not surprised by what happens on planet earth. He knows tomorrow better than we remember yesterday.
B. God has blessed nations and built them up. He has removed His mighty hand and allowed them to fall again.
"Behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth."
C. He will send His Son to put an end to all wars and He alone will be exalted.