In Part One, we talked about God’s sovereign control over physical catastrophes. But there is more, much more, in Psalm 46. What about warfare? All Hebrews looked upon Jerusalem, especially in those days, as “the city of God” (46:4). The psalmist imagines a river that flows into the channels that irrigate the soil. He pictures in his mind’s eye the crops and plants that grow there in that desert-like region, thanks to the flowing water. He calls the city the “holy dwelling places of the Most High” (v. 4). And again God emerges as paramount…God is the star of the event. “God is in the midst of her,” he exclaims.
“God,” verse five continues, “will help her when morning dawns” (when the attack comes from the enemy). See how he puts it? When “the nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered” (v. 6). It’s the picture of the Assyrians, the Egyptians, and the other enemies as they would come in and tromp over Israel with heavy boots, assaulting and attempting to blast her into nonexistence. But it never happened. Why? Because of her refuge. God is in the midst of her. And the result is this: “She will not be moved” (v. 5).
We are not moved either. We are not moved; even though we may have endured an assault that was damaging, we have no reason to fear or to be moved. Verse seven says, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah”
When atrocities occur in our nation or around the world, your tendency is to read the news more than you read your Bible. We know the faces of the newscasters on CNN better than we know the inspired and encouraging words in the Psalms. And because that is true we forget, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold” (v. 7).
How can I be sure?
How can I not be moved?
How can I not fear?
How can I face an uncertain future?
Verse eight announces, “Come.” It says, in effect, “Come here, psst, come here…come here.” It’s an invitation asking us to go back into history. Return to another time, a former era. Blow the dust off your memory.
Behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
[Remember the past.]
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire. (vs. 8-9)
Those accounts of God’s former deliverance are all written in the chronicles of history. You can read them for yourself. Consider our own nation’s history, beginning with the Revolutionary War. You’ll get renewed courage all over again. You’ll hear George Washington quoting verses of Scripture like a preacher in a pulpit. You will read incredible statements of faith from other political leaders from that era right on into the Civil War. The speeches of our national leaders were shaped with words about the Living God. How do you think Lincoln kept his senses in a time like that? He had the most unenviable presidential experience in the history of our nation. But he was not moved. And he did not fear, thanks to his numerous selah moments. Selah.
God says, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (v. 10). As the psalmist ends this section, he makes the same statement as when he concluded the psalm: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”
We will not fear, though catastrophes occur. We will not be moved, though we are at war. Why? Because God—the omnipotent, all-powerful, magnificent God—is our refuge and strength.
Excerpted from Why God? Calming Words for Chaotic Times, Copyright 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by Permission.
About the Author:
Chuck Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Active as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Texas, Chuck’s trademark humour, integrity, and authenticity have made him one of this century’s most beloved and trusted preachers. His international radio program Insight for Living has aired for more than 35 years. Want Chuck Swindoll’s insights delivered to your inbox seven days a week? Claim your free subscription to Insight for Today.