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The Scriptorium

Help in Times of Trouble

Always there, always ready to shelter and help. Psalm 46

Psalms of the Sons of Korah: Introduction (4)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 46.1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

Psalm 46.1-3
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Now Know Thee As We Ought)
God is our refuge and our strength; He is our help in times of need.
Thus though the earth beneath us should change, the sea consume the mountain range;
waters may roar with raging speed; yet God will rescue us at length.

Read Psalm 46

1. How do the psalmists refer to God in this psalm?

2. How do they depict the sovereign might of God?

We can imagine that, as gatekeepers in the temple, the sons of Korah observed many people coming and going. Doubtless, many of those people were in deep distress about one thing or another. The sons of Korah saw it on their faces, heard it in their weeping, and felt it in their sorrow, grief, or uncertainty as they walked by.

They must have said to themselves, “They’ve come to the right place.”

When your soul is cheerless and in mourning (Ps. 43.1-4); when oppressors and enemies threaten to undo you (Ps. 44.4-8); when it seems as if the entire earth is conspiring to overwhelm and destroy you (Ps. 46.1-3); or when you are all alone in your sinfulness and distress (Ps. 88) – God can be your Refuge and Strength (Ps. 46.7, 11).

The psalms composed by this band of brothers would have been excellent reminders to the people of God that He is always available to them, always willing to receive and comfort them, and always available in all His strength to help them. Singing these psalms today can bring us to rest in God’s Presence, promise, and power in our times of need.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The sons of Korah were good gatekeepers. They kept watch on the comings and goings of the people, and on their spiritual and physical well-being. They were adept observers of action and attitude.

When we long for a “son of Korah” to observe and care about us, we might be left feeling bereft. However, when God asks us to be good observers of others, we must be ready to do the work.

But God is there for us both to be a comfort and to teach us how to comfort. His best advice is to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46.10).

Job suggests that we “Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37.14) to echo what the sons of Korah say to “Come, behold the works of the LORD…” (Ps. 46.8).

We want to receive help from the LORD in times of trouble and we want to give help for the same. When we truly love others, we want them to know that God is God. And that through Him only, will be found the safety that we seek for our souls and for theirs.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Ps. 46.1-3).

As we seek to be a “son of Korah” to those in our Personal Mission Field, we can eagerly come before the face of God to request help, to be a help. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4.16).

1. How do you experience God’s help in your times of need? How would you advise a fellow believer to seek the Lord’s help in a time of need?

2. In what sense are we as believers like the sons of Korah in our Personal Mission Fields?

3. How can you better prepare to help other believers know the help of the Lord in their times of need?

…the psalmist consoles us by saying, “God is our refuge and fortress.” For, although powers of this world do not defend us, nevertheless God protects us and keeps us from harm.
Viktorin Strigel (1524-1569), Hyponemata in All the Psalms 8

Closing Prayer: Psalm 46.4-11
Turn your trials, fears, and doubts over to the Lord. Shelter in Him, and find strength to serve Him in whatever is before you today.

Psalm 46.4-11
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
God’s everlasting, joyous grace gladdens the city where He dwells.
Safely in Him, we will not be moved; when morning dawns, His love will be proved.
Fears and distresses Jesus dispels for His beloved, chosen race.

Kingdoms arise and rage and roar, threat’ning the earth with sore distress;
nations may fall, earth melt away, His Word is yet our hope and stay.
God is among us, ever to bless; He is our stronghold evermore.

Come see the works of God’s Right Hand! He breaks the nations of the earth,
shatters their foolish weapons and pride, sets all their sinful strength aside;
them He will show His infinite worth as they before His judgment stand.

Rest in the Lord and be at peace, all who are mired in sore travail:
Lift up our God, praise Jesus our Lord; proclaim to all the earth His Word!
God is our stronghold, never to fail: thus may our hope and joy increase!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

Praying the Psalms
In this series, we are examining twelve psalms, learning their content, drawing on their wisdom, and praying and singing them to the Lord. For a fuller explanation of how to pray the psalms, order a copy of our book, God’s Prayer Program. It’s free by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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