"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble."
Here are the first 3 reasons David gives us to not fear:
God is our refuge -- he is our place of safety. We can always go to him no matter how bad things are, no matter how fearful we may be. He is always ready to place his protecting arms around us, to shield us from the attacks of the enemy. He is there to soothe our fears, and calm our spirit.
God is our strength -- We may be weak in ourselves,
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Paul wrote these words in Philippians because he had learned them from experience. In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, Paul wrote about his physical infirmity. He prayed three times for God to heal him. But the Lord told him no and explained to Paul in verse 9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
No matter how weak and powerless you may feel, realize that God is your strength. He will not fail you, just as he did not fail Paul.
An ever present help -- The Hebrew for this phrase "ever present help" nmtza mod means literally "help is found in abundance." Gods help is not just barely enough, but in abundance. He is ever willing to place all the resources of the universe at our side to help us through our trouble. He does not say he will keep us from all trouble, but he is there to help us through it.
"Therefore will we not fear, though the earth do change, And though the mountains be moved into the heart of the seas; Though the waters thereof roar and foam, Though the mountains shake at the swelling thereof. Selah." (JPS)
Because our trust is in God, we will not fear no matter what disasters may occur around us. Fear is our biggest enemy. It is the opposite of faith. When we allow fear to grip our hearts, we find our faith slipping away. As long as we have faith that God is in control, no disaster can cause us to fear.
The more we inspect the storms around us, the less we think of Gods help, and soon we discover full-blown fear engulfing us.
Proverbs 3:25-26, "Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."
Here in verses 2-3 ... Psalmist lists 4 events ... cause the strongest person to fear.
All of these events would certainly be cause for fear, but no matter how fearful they may be, we are to still place our trust in God. But in spite of all these violent events which could happen to us, verse 2 tells us, "Therefore will we not fear." This is the key. Terrible things may happen to us. They may change our life and wreak havoc on our family or our mental well-being. But Psalm 46 tells us "Therefore will we not fear." It is interesting that each of these four events, given here as examples of fear, are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible as examples of faith.
First example -- the earth changing. KJV- "though the earth be removed" NIV- "though the earth give way." The Hebrew for this phrase hamyr aretz means literally "changing of the earth," and this is the meaning I want to use.
Noah experienced this changing of the earth when, according to Genesis 7:11, "the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."
Noah had never seen rain before, let alone a flood, but his faith carried him and his family through the earth being changed. A great cause for fear became to Noah an opportunity for faith.
What is changing in your life? Does it feel that the your whole world is in upheaval around you? Have forces beyond your control changed things, and you are afraid? Take comfort. God caused these words to be written in Psalm 46 so you would know not to be afraid.
Billy Graham wrote (The Faithful Christian pg. 242), "The world we live in is like a hurricane -- ever-changing, ever changeable, always unpredictable, and frequently destructive -- but there are some things that never change: The love of God. His matchless grace and mercy. His boundless forgiveness."
Next we have the waters roaring. Paul was in a ship that looked like it was doomed. The sea was raging.
Acts 27:18 tells us the ship was "being exceedingly tossed with a tempest."
But Paul stood up in the midst and in faith declared that none would be lost. A great cause for fear became to Paul an opportunity for faith.
What storm are you facing? Are the winds howling all around you, and do you fear that you will drown in the waves of sorrow and despair which are all around you? Jesus will quiet your storm. And just as he did for Paul, he will bring you through it safely. Dont be afraid.
The next event is the mountains shaking. Moses was at Mount Sinai when according to Exodus 19:18, "the whole mount quaked greatly."
Instead of turning away in fear, he climbed the Mount in faith, and it was there he, and all of us, received the ten commandments. A great cause for fear became to Moses an opportunity for faith.
Do you feel the very foundations shaking? Are you facing a financial earthquake, or is the solid ground of your health starting to feel shaky? Do you fear that the days or months or years ahead may be unstable ground? Dont be afraid. Trust in God. Thats why he caused David 3000 years ago to write this wonderful psalm. So that we would know to not fear.
The last example for us to look at is the mountains falling in the sea. I purposely saved this one for last because the very thing the psalmist declares is a great cause for fear (and we have to agree with him), Jesus uses as an expression of faith
in Matthew 21:21, "If ye have faith...ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done."
A great cause for fear according to Jesus is an opportunity for faith.
So what mountain are you facing? What obstacle has been placed in your way that has caused fear to grip your heart? Ask yourself: are you spending most of your time looking at the mountain in fear, or are you looking to Jesus in faith? He will remove that mountain out of your way. No matter how large, or insurmountable it may seem. We just need to learn to place our trust in God, and not fear.
Though Storms May Howl (Psalm 46:1-3)
"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells."
This verse could be referring to Jerusalem as the city of God.
But it seems to me this verse is talking about more than a river and more than Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an example of the city of God, but only because God is there. Any place we find ourselves fighting the enemy can be the city of God -- the important thing is to allow God to be in charge of the situation. The river of Gods blessing and protection will make us glad because we have the assurance that the Most High is dwelling with us.
The Hebrew in this verse refers literally to the "holy dwelling place of the Most High" in the city of God. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSV) Paul asks us a question which will help us understand this verse.
"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"
Paul is clearly teaching us that we are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. So where is the city of God? It is where he dwells. We are the city of God! So what does Psalm 46:4 teach us? It tells us there is a river of blessings which flows through us. This river of blessings causes us to be glad and rejoice. And a further cause of rejoicing is that God has chosen us to be his dwelling place: he abides with us, helping us along the way.
"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early."
This verse is really a continuation of the previous one where we learned that we are the dwelling-place of the Lord. So the promises in this verse can be claimed as our own..
There are four promises:
Lets take a look at each of these 4 promises which the Lord had made to us.
First, God will be in our midst, he will be with us.
As Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
God will never leave us, he will never forsake us. He is always with us. Do you sometimes feel helpless and all alone? When you do, remember this promise in Psalm 46:5 -- God is with you, he is in our midst.
The next promise is: we shall not be moved. This is because we are standing on a firm foundation, the rock which is Jesus.
As our Lord told us in Luke 6:47-48, "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the streams beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock."
We are anchored to that firm foundation. So even though the storms rage around us, we will not be moved. Are there storms beating on you causing you to fear? Stand on the firm foundation of Gods word, and you will not be moved.
The next promise is: God shall help us. It seems were often in need of Gods help, and he is always there.
Psalm 121 is a great assurance of Gods help. You may want to read the entire psalm. Here are some of its promises:
"My help comes from the Lord Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow you foot to be moved. ... The Lord is your keeper.... The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore."
When we are in need, when we are hurting the most, when we have nowhere else to turn, we can remember this promise in Psalm 46:5 that God will help us. He cares about us, he loves us, and he wants to help us.
The final promise in this verse is: and that right early. God speedily comes to our aid.
The Hebrew for this phrase "and that right early" means literally "to turning of the morning."
I like Matthew Pooles interpretation of the original Hebrew. He wrote in 1690, "speedily, after a short night of affliction."
It is true that we may endure periods of affliction, but the Lord speedily comes to our aid. As David said in
Psalm 30:5, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
So when you are overtaken by feelings of fear remember these lessons from Psalm 46:
From verse 1:
From verses 2-3
Therefore we will not fear in spite of:
From verse 4
we learned that God sends us his river of blessings which makes us to be glad because he dwells with us
From verse 5
This study on Psalm 46:1-5 © 1996 - 1998 by David Humpal. All rights reserved.