psalm 46

Psalm 46

 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots 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 of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Once again,  I find myself captivated by Selah.  I read this Psalm last week as part of our church’s sermon series, and it has really stuck with me.  This psalm paints such a picture of tumult, of mountains tottering, seas roaring, nations at war, chaos everywhere.  And yet, in the midst of it, God is our fortress.  When I hear the news lately, I find myself just wanting to turn it back off. There is so much hate, strife, death, upheaval, disaster and pain in our world today.  I want to find a safe place for me and my little family and just run away from it all.  But this is not the way of believers.  Instead, we are called to make our haven in the midst of the storms.  Why?  Because God is our fortress.  He is our present help in times of trouble.  He is with us wherever we go.

Each stanza in this Psalm paints a bleak picture, one of chaos, fear, insecurity.  One characterized by stress and unrest.  And yet in each stanza, God reminds us that he is present.  That he is our refuge, our source of strength.  How often in the midst of the chaos do you feel God’s presence?  For me, not much.  It is only in retrospect that I can see his sustenance, his provision for me.  In the middle of it, I am too afraid, moving too fast, too distracted to even look for God.  But even still… he is there.

I think that God put the Selahs in this Psalm in very strategic places.  Right in the midst of the teeming chaos, the frenetic pace, the sky is falling emotions, God inserts a simple selah.  Stop.  Think on this.  God is telling us he is here, that he is protecting us, but we have to stop and stand in trust in order to feel His presence. In verse 10, he even says it flat out.  BE STILL, and know that I am God.  I am in control.  Not you.  I am a fortress.  You are safe within my walls.  Be still and trust me.  Be still and remember.  Stop.  And think on my faithfulness.  Stop your striving and remember that I am the one who sustains you.  I hold your tomorrows in my hand.

When is the last time you stopped?

When were you last still?


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