There is nothing as comforting to me as this truth: God is God, and He abides with us. He has committed Himself to His people, and will not turn His back on us! He is all powerful, but also completely devoted to those He has redeemed.
Are you included in that group?
This week, we’ve been walking through Psalm 46 together and now we’ve come to the conclusion and my favorite part of this passage. It begins with an invitation to look and wonder:
[box]Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Cease striving 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 stronghold. Selah. (Ps. 46:8–11)[/box]
This portion of the Psalm lays out the case for God’s power over the earth’s elements and over the nations. He reminds us of the truth that His glory will fill the earth. He will not be overcome by men’s mockery or disdain of Him, but He will be exalted.
The Psalmist includes the key to peace in this final portion: “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Knowing “that He is God,” in an experiential sense that appreciates all that we can know about Him, is the kind of knowledge that is always growing and deepening. Knowing that He is the Alpha and Omega, He knows the end from the beginning, He is trustworthy and yet terrifying in His potency, He is justifiable in His wrath yet lays down His own life to provide our salvation, He is the God who can open His mouth and melt the universe, yet He is the One who placed Himself in the vulnerable form of an infant.
It is a curious thing, the immense paradoxes of this Holy and awesome God. And “knowing Him” requires being still. Listening. Waiting. Seeking His face in the quiet.
Knowing that He is God and meditating on that reality provides the strength and help we need to face every battle.
He is our stronghold.
Did you know that Martin Luther’s classic hymn: “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” was written based on this Psalm?
Do you know what a stronghold is?
How have you experienced God as your stronghold?
I think it is appropriate to include the words of Luther’s hymn today. Also, I hope you’ll check out Tim Challies’ post with the story of Luther’s writing of this hymn by clicking here.
A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our shelter He, amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name, From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim — We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs — No thanks to them — abideth:
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thro’ Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
I hope you’ll take time to “be still” and meditate on the reassuring words of this hymn as well as on Psalm 46 today. His kingdom is forever! Take courage knowing that He is God. Be still and reflect on His reality, power, and grace.
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net