Our Refuge and Strength (6)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 46.10, 11
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
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!
Read Psalm 46.10, 11
1. Who is speaking in these verses?
2. What does God command us to do?
At the end of our psalm, the Lord Himself speaks, telling us how to approach the tumultuous times in which we live (v. 10). This is followed by the sons of Korah leading us to rejoice in the Lord’s Presence and care (v. 11).
The Lord gives two commands and two expectations. First, He calls the reader to “Be still”. This translation doesn’t quite get at the meaning of the Hebrew verb הַרְפּ֣וּ, harphu, to “let drop” (as the hand), to “relax”, “refrain”, and even to “sink in”.
We might say, “Chill out!” Don’t be so anxious, so frantic and frenetic, so distracted, so embroiled in busyness. Relax, rest, sink in, chill out.
And then know God. Come to Him. See Him in His beauty and majesty and power. Commune with Him. Delight in Him. Contemplate Him in silence. Enter His pleasure and joy. Let thanks and praise flow from your soul because of the greatness of God and His love for you. This is what our lives should be now. It’s what they will certainly be once we’ve seen Jesus face to face (1 Jn. 3.1-3).
Then, what does God expect? That He will be exalted throughout the earth and in every nation. God looks both to the impersonal creation (cf. Ps. 96.11-13) and the peoples of the nations to acknowledge and praise Him. This exalting of God comes about when those who truly know Him overflow in their own Personal Mission Fields with love for and worship of the Lord, expressed as love and witness to their neighbors.
The psalm ends where it began, with God’s Presence keeping and guarding us as we take refuge in Him (v. 11). Come what may, happen whatever will, God is still our God, to be heard, known, enjoyed, adored, and proclaimed to the world.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There is war.
There is sickness and death.
There are troubles and hardships.
There are sorrows and disappointments.
There are tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, and drought.
There broken hearts because of broken Commandments.
Then, there is God.
He is our refuge and strength.
He is a very present help.
He is the King of kings and LORD of lords.
He is the Savior of the world.
He is the Bread of Life.
He is the Light of the world.
He is the Prince of Peace.
Be still. Rest in Him.
There is a river whose streams shall make us glad.
He uttered His voice.
“Be still, and know that I am GOD.”
“The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul…” (Ps. 23.1-3).
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).
Be still. Know. Chill.
1. God made no promises; He merely pointed to Himself. Why is that sufficient for our times of need?
2. How should you practice the discipline of “being still” before the Lord? What do you expect to gain from practicing this discipline?
3. What does it mean for you to know that God is your refuge, strength, and very present help in times of trouble?
When the labors and hardships of this age come to an end, and our debts, [that is] all our faults, have been forgiven, the entire people of the elect will rejoice eternally in the sole contemplation of the divine vision, and that most longed-for command of our Lord and Savior will be fulfilled: “Be still and see that I am God.” The Venerable Bede (672-235), Homilies on the Gospels 2.17
Closing Prayer: Psalm 46.1-3, 6-9
Pray for God’s people to rest in Him and to seek Him for revival, renewal, and awakening in our day.
Sing Psalm 46.1-3, 6-9
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known 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.
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.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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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.