The End is Gladness

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psalm 46:1-3

God is…refuge, strength, present, help.

The psalmists (the sons of Korah) have begun their song like a battlecry.  They state, resolutely, “Here is our God!”  God is our hiding place in times of trouble.  He is our strength, when our weakness has come to light.  He is present help in trouble.  Present. Help. God is here and He is here to help His own.  He especially makes His presence known in our trouble.  In fact, it’s a purpose in our trouble…to remind us of the present-ness of God.

Notice the instability that trouble causes.  The earth quakes and mountains fall to the sea.  There are tsunamis and floods.  God is fixed, and everything else (the very earth) that we presume is firm, is shaken. Essentially, God is the only stability and hope of His own.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psalm 46:4-7

However, it’s not enough just to know that God is our stability.  The purposes of God in our pain, and strife, is not merely to sustain.  His purpose is our gladness in Him.  Now, most specifically, verse 4 speaks of the stability of Jerusalem and the joyful provision and protection of God Almighty.  This river represents the grace and provision (in a desert land) that accompanies God’s presence (v.5).  Because God is in the midst of His people, regardless of what’s going on around them, the people are glad.  This clearly requires perspective.  You could choose to look at the difficulties and focus on the shaking earth, but if you will gaze upon the character and work of God, you will find that when God speaks (for us, focusing on the Word of God – v.6), we find security, peace, and even joy.

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.
“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 fortress. Selah

Psalm 46:8-11

When our sight lines are upon God (primarily as He is revealed in the Word of God), we welcome the ongoing invitation to behold even more of Him.  What He faithfully does is remind us of His past work in our lives, as well as shows us (in history) how He has preserved His people through the ages.

He makes us glad presently by showing us His faithfulness historically.

Verse 10 shows the most practical, and somewhat illogical, imperative of the whole psalm:  Be still.

Be still…know who He is.

Be still…remember all He’s done.

Be still…consider His rule and rest.

Be still…He is near and safe.

Be still.

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