Thanks for coming back for seconds and finishing out this psalm with me. (If you missed Part 1 you can find it here: https://taravinson.com/2021/01/13/meditating-and-memorizing–psalm-46-part-1/(opens in a new tab) ) This second part very much “flows” from the first part. I would recommend reading the first seven verses of Psalm 46 before you get going. . .
“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.”Psalm 46:8-9 ESV
When I started verse 8, I wanted to take the author up on his invitation to “Come, behold the works of the Lord.” My mind instantly jumped to the Grand Canyon and then the Smokey Mountains and then our favorite beach. I wanted to worship God for His amazing creativity on grand scales and in microscopic details. But this is not that kind of invitation.
Instead, we are invited to see the “desolations on the earth” that He has brought. We are invited to remember to fear God. The same God that split the water and shut the mouths of lions also turned Lot’s wife to salt and brought destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah. While we may not be able to understand or begin to justify His judgements, we can trust the Bible that He is always good and working good. We just can’t assume that His definition of what needs to be done is our own. It is right for us to have a healthy fear of Him.
Also, notice that God is the One who has the ability to actually achieve world peace. He has dominion over all the weapons and He has the ability to lay waste as well. THIS is the God who protects us. No weapon formed against Him (and by extension, us) can prosper. Whether our enemies are physical or spiritual, it matters not. He cannot be out maneuvered or His will undone.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10 ESV
It seems simple. “Be still, and know.” Yet, it is SO hard. Still is the place where we shove all the noise and distraction aside. I have trouble stopping the unceasing parade of thoughts inside my head. Right now I am reading Jennie Allen’s “Get Out of Your Head.” She devotes a whole chapter to fighting the specific lie that Satan tells us – that we will feel better if we are distracted. Our discontentment with our lives is fueled by the idea that we need some other knowledge than that of knowing the “I am God.”
Right now, living in a pandemic with so many activities being altered, postponed and canceled, one might think it is easier to be still. In one sense, that is true, but I have still managed to find plenty within the four walls of my house to distract me. The phone I won’t leave my house without provides more than enough temptation to waste away mindless HOURS of numbing distractions.
Being still and knowing is a choice for us now. As we learn that it is indeed better to spend one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere, we see that He is indeed all that we need. Contentment, peace, faith, joy – the Fruit of the Spirit are ours to claim and experience from being in Him, our refuge and strength.
The knowledge of Who He is will one day be common. He WILL be exalted among the nations. He WILL be exalted in the earth. One day EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess His identity. He is Lord. This is a promise we can claim and trust. This is more than a hope. This is what we can have faith in. Our fortress is on the winning side of the battle. Let’s rejoice!
“The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”Psalm 46:11 ESV
Like one of our worship hymns or praise songs today, this song writer repeats verse 7 as a chorus. This repetition sends home, one last time, the truth we need not forget.
We are not facing this world and its struggles alone. Jesus told us Himself that we would have trouble, but we are take heart because He has defeated the world. Our victory is secure and sure. The Lord is with us.
I don’t know about you, but this passage gives me a fuel for praise. It takes our focus off our world, our issues and our problems. It reminds us of God’s sovereignty and reassures us that He is control. It clearly shows this life isn’t all about us. He is the subject, the main character, the purpose of it all.
This Psalm is evidence of my pastor’s sermon Sunday. God’s Word is most definitely still reliable and relevant today. We need it. We need to know it. We need to believe it and we need to apply it.
I have a strong feeling that I will be reciting and recalling this passage for a long time. It has given me truth to hang onto throughout 2020 and now with the commencement of 2021, I don’t see that changing.
What about you?
What passages are you finding hope in?
What scripture are you meditating and memorizing?
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