Discovering God Pt 5: The God who protects:
Read Psalm 46
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Every day we read the news, and the world seems to be getting crazier. Just when you think it cannot become more insane, people seem to rise to the challenge and take it to a new level. Consequently, it is easy to become anxious about what is transpiring around us. Sit down with a friend, and the conversation will inevitably lead to discussions about Covid-19, the hidden agendas of political parties, the moral upheaval, and confusion of our age. As Christians, it is easy to get caught up in all the turmoil. However, this uncertainty and apprehension we feel is nothing new. The writer of Psalms experienced the same anxiety.
In verses 2-3, he speaks of the world being thrown into upheaval. He compares it to an earthquake or the tumultuous crashing of a storm-tossed sea. Yet, typically, when we speak metaphorically of the mountains and the earth, it describes the epitome of stability. The Columbia River still flows, and the hills and valleys remain the same. Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “The mountains were his masters. They rimmed in life. They were the cup of reality, beyond growth, beyond struggle and death. They were his absolute unity in the midst of eternal change.” But what happens when even the mountains are thrown into turmoil?
In verse 6, the Psalmist turns to the nations and kingdoms. The nations are in an uproar. The word “uproar” is a strong word emphasizing unrest and commotion. We see literally what the word is describing metaphorically in the angry voices shouting our streets today as people destroy buildings and businesses. We hear the uproar of parents expressing their frustration over the school curriculum that violates their values. We hear it in the frustration of those who have experienced racial inequities. In the end, the earth that once was marked by stability and firmness melts and becomes soft and liquid. The word “melt” is often used to describe the feeling people have when they lose courage and are panic-stricken.
However, even as fear grips the world in confusing times, it should not be for the child of God. Our security is not found in the politician or the wisdom and affairs of man. Our security is found in God Himself. He is our refuge and strength, abundantly bringing His help in times of trouble (verse 1). Although the nations are in an uproar, God still dwells on the Most High, and His rule does not change. He governs all affairs of the world and is moving all things according to His design.
It is no wonder that the Psalmist concludes, “cease striving and know that I am God.” The word translated “cease” can be translated, “let it go, to abandon and forsake something.” In other words, forsake the fear and apprehension, forsake the constant fretting and worrying about something, forsake the preoccupation with the things causing anxiety. Thus, God is urging the nation of Israel to “stop trying to look after its own destiny and defense” (John Goldingay, Psalms). Why? Because God is still God, and He will be exalted in the earth.
Stop obsessing about Covid-19 and what people or the government are doing. Stop fearing what the politicians are trying to manipulate. Stop worrying about the hidden agendas of others. Just stop and let it go because God is still God, and that is all we need to know! Instead of looking at the craziness of our world, “Come, behold the works of the Lord.”
He is the God who protects His people in every situation and circumstance.
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