Living Word Reformed Church

September 11, 2012

As we recognize the 11 year anniversary of September 11th today, we remember those who were killed; we remember those who gave their lives to help others; we remember those who served selflessly; we remember our country that we love. But as we remember those events of 11 years ago and the aftermath that has, in many ways, shaped who we are we must also remember the One who is our only, true Refuge and Strength. We must never, ever forget Him.

Listen to Psalm 46:
[1] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. [2] Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, [3] though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

[4] There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. [5] God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. [6] The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. [7] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

[8] Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. [9] 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
(ESV, English Standard Version, Crossway)

This psalm teaches us that the people of God are secure, even in times of trouble and danger and upheaval, because God is our refuge and strength. Luther’s famous hymn states, “A mighty fortress is our God a bulwark never failing.” God is our protective fortification and our sure defense. God is a safe place to hide. That hymn goes on, “Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” God is in the midst of the flood of problems we face. He is present in trouble. What does that mean? It means that we don’t have to be afraid, 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 – in everything and anything we face, no matter how small or how large – because God is our refuge and strength and God is with us. That is THE greatest promise.

And God is present in his city. That “city” serves to symbolize God’s people as a whole. And so, since God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns (His faithfulness is new every morning). He protects us in every circumstance. Nations rage and kingdoms collapse. But the might of the nations can’t stand against the power of the Lord, for if He but utters His voice, the earth melts. And so, even in the midst of political turmoil, we don’t have to fear, because the LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Though the mountains move, the city of God (Mount Zion) “shall not be moved”. Though the waters roar and foam, there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.

Though our world rages with wars and rumors of wars and unrest and fighting and hatred and violence and terrorism, God is nonetheless in control and he restrains evil – though evil rages, it cannot overwhelm; it cannot win. And there will come a Day when God makes wars cease to the end of the earth; when he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; when he burns the chariots with fire.

And so, in this midst of a world like ours – with its dangers, natural disasters, political unrest, warfare, cruelty, perversion, and evil – what do we do? Live in fear? Join in the evil? Fight evil with evil? Live in a cave? Freak out?

No.
The Lord tells us: Be still, and know that I am God.
The Lord promises us: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

We can’t count God out. He is on the move. He will act. He wins!

In our world of fear and uncertainty and insecurity, we must not fear, for the LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. He will be exalted among the nations, He will be exalted in the earth.

And so, may we today and every day remember our Sovereign, gracious and loving Lord, who is strong to save and who is with us.

You may have noticed that at three different places in Psalm 46, there is a word: Selah. To the best of our knowledge, Selah refers to a musical pause in a psalm, where the listeners are to reflect on what they have just heard. I want to provide for you a Selah of sorts. I invite you to click here http://youngoceans.bandcamp.com/track/i-will-be-still and listen to the song “I Will Be Still” by Young Oceans. The lyrics are:

I will be still, I will be still
And know, and know
And know You are God

Though the earth give way
Though the mountains fall to the sea
Though its waters roar
I will cling to Thee
Though the nations rage
And creation yearns for the Lord
Though the earth may melt
I’m forever Yours

There is no fear, as I look upon You

I will be still, I will be still
And know, and know
And know You are God

Forever, my Refuge
Forever, my Strength
Forever, my Helper
Forever, my Friend

words and music by Eric Marshall (c) 2011 Scot Family Reunion Songs (BMI)

One Response

  1. Bob Rice says:

    bless you Pastor and thanks for bringing His Word on this day, when the evil one aims to cast despair upon us. May he miss his mark, shielded as we are by Him Who promises to be with us always

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