Our Refuge and Strength (5)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 46.8, 9
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
Sing Psalm 46.8, 9
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
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.
Read Psalm 46.8, 9
1. What are the “works of the LORD” according to these verses?
2. What are we supposed to do concerning those works?
We may summarize these verses succinctly: Sin has consequences, often horrible ones; but God is greater than all our sin.
The sons of Korah call us to come and see the works of the LORD (v. 8). Then they write that He has made appalling and horrible desolations in all the earth. That doesn’t sound like God, does it?
Oh, but yes it does. Because sin has consequences, often horrible ones. God told our first parents that disobedience and sin would lead to death; and they did. The entire earth groans and travails under the weight of our sin (Rom. 8.19-22). Humankind’s persistence in sin leads to ever more terrible consequences, as God gives them up to wickedness of every sort (Rom. 1.18-32).
And all these are the works of God, by which He warns, disciplines, and calls the world to repentance.
But He does not allow our sinfulness to destroy us or His creation utterly. In His time and at His pleasure, He intervenes against the greatest horrors of sin to open a window of peace, that the world might show gratitude, and turn and seek Him (v. 9).
The most horrible and appalling consequences of our sin fell on Jesus on that terrible cross. But the peace of salvation can be ours by that same means; and God has shown the world grace that is greater than all our sins.
Hey world, come and see.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
One fourth of July, years ago, we were observing neighborhood fireworks with our granddaughter Reagan. Due to the meager display this comment came from the three-year-old, “I see the fire, but where are the works?” Classic, no?
We will never make this comment about the works of the LORD that we are called to observe. “Come, behold the works of the LORD” (Ps. 46.8). His works are glorious, dreadful, appalling, horrible, beautiful, and majestic! And these spectacular works, good and bad, lead people to glorify the Creator God.
David sums it up beautifully in Psalm 19.1-4: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”
When we say, “Hey world, come and see”, we must be sure that our own lives are showing forth the glory of God. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).
May it never be said of us: “I see you, but where are your works?”
1. Why is it important that we consider and understand the works of God in all their forms?
2. Why is the work of Jesus the most important work of God?
3. How can believers use the works of God to encourage one another in our walk with and work for the Lord?
He it is who routs all the enemy when he wishes and brings peace to the earth to the degree he wants.… He is the God who does away with the enemy with their own weapons when he wishes. Diodore of Tarsus (died ca. 394), Commentary on Psalm 46
Closing Prayer: Psalm 46.4-7
Pray for the nations and peoples of the world, that the grace of God would overwhelm their sin and lead them to know, love, and serve Jesus.
Sing Psalm 46.4-7
(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.
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.
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.