Our Refuge and Strength (3)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 46.4, 5
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
Sing Psalm 46.4, 5
(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.
Read Psalm 46.4, 5
1. What promise do these verses hold out?
2. What keeps God’s city from being “moved”?
Water was seen as a threat in the first three verses of this psalm. Here it is depicted as tamed and channeled for blessing in and through God’s city (v. 4).
Moving water is refreshing. It contains life, offers power, indicates direction, overcomes obstacles, and rushes forward with endless beauty. The river that does this for the city of God is God Himself, dwelling in the midst of His people (v. 5) in the Person of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7.37-39). Jesus Himself sets this glorious river flowing to, within, through, and among us (Jn. 4.10, 14). It is by His own Presence in us that God can be our ever-present help in times of trouble (vv. 1, 5).
The city of God, where God Himself dwells, is a holy place, set apart for God to glorify Him in all its ways. We who are the City of God today, and who eagerly look forward to the City which is to come (Heb. 11.8-10, 13-16) have been set apart by God as holy (1 Pet. 2.9). He calls us to drink of the river of His delights so that His power to refresh, renew, illuminate, and bring life to the world can flow from us to the people in our life (Ps. 36.7-9).
God has power to help us at every moment and to use us as agents of His blessing to the world. Let the break of each new dawn find you drinking from that river and setting your soul to channel God’s grace to your world.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Jesus is the stream of living water that makes the entirety of His people glad.
We are glad because our sins are forgiven, and we are inhabitants of the city of God.
We live in a city whose center is God.
And we are safe.
“Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the LORD your God and there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame” (Joel 2.27).
“The LORD has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall see disaster no more” (Zeph. 3.15).
As we revel in our earthly habitation, we can also envision that small step between here and there, that we will all one day take to the new heavens and the new earth. And as we should be doing now, we will be doing perfectly then: “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7.15-17).
From this holy city, full of grace and gladness, we will never be moved. (Ps. 46. 5)
1. In what sense does “drinking” from the river of God bring us “delight”? How would you counsel a new believer to drink from that river?
2. How does the idea of believers as channels of living water help us to think about our purpose in life?
3. What do we mean by the “City to Come”? Why do we “wait” for this?
The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God’s sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word dwelling richly in us, we shall be established, we shall be helped; let us trust and not be afraid. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 46.1-5
Closing Prayer: Psalm 46.10, 11
Pray that God will fill you with the living water of His Spirit, and overflow from you to others today.
Sing Psalm 46.10, 11
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
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.
God intends to flow His grace through us to the world. We who are refreshed in His joy must offer that joy to the people around us. Our book, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to become more consistent and fruitful in channeling living water to your world. Order several free copies and give them as stocking-stuffers for Christmas (click here).
If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
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.