God Is Our Refuge And Strength

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Psalm 46:1-2 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear ….

As I read through the Psalms, and even through the prayers of the patriarchs throughout our Bible, I am struck by the fact that no one starts out their prayers with, “God, I want”. Those old saints who knew best, knew that as humans we do not need more stuff. We also do not need more comfort. But we do need more of God.

The Most Successful And Blessed People
Are Those Who Want More Of God

Read through your Bibles. God met with Moses at the burning bush, commissioning him to go and tell Pharaoh “Let My People Go” (Exodus 3:1-10). God gave Moses the power to bring ten plagues upon Egypt. As Moses led Israel out of Egypt, God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:22). God led Israel through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:13) as if on dry land. The Lord fed Israel manna, bread from heaven (Exodus 16:15). God told Moses to come up on Mount Sinai to receive His Law, written with God’s own hand (Exodus 31:18). After all these magnificent things, with even

Exodus 33:11 …. the Lord speaking to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend

still Moses asked God

Exodus 33:18 … I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

Moses did not want more stuff. He wanted more of God, to know more of God. And consider King David of Israel. God called David when he was but a shepherd (Psalm 78:70). God blessed David with victory after victory. God enabled David to kill Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4), and later in life promised David that the Messiah would come from his lineage (2 Samuel 7:13). Having had blessing after blessing, David prayed:

Psalm 25:4-5 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

It is God that we need. Not just on Sunday, but every day. Not just when we are in a valley, but up on the mountaintop. We need God because we are so terribly weak. At least, I am. I need Him more every single day that He grants me life.

We Are All Weak, But God Is Strong

Many times when we read the Psalms, we neglect to read the “Headers”. This Psalm starts with this header:

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.

This song is “to the chief Musician for the sons of Korah”. The sons of Korah were singers among the Levites, what we might call worship leaders. Korah himself was Moses’ nephew. He led a rebellion against Moses, trying to take over leadership of Israel (Numbers 16:1ff). God initially wanted to destroy all of Israel for this rebellion, but Moses prayed, and asked for Grace for Israel. God told Israel to separate themselves from the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Following this, God caused the earth to open up, and to swallow all those who stood in rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16:31-33). However, God did NOT kill the sons of Korah.

Numbers 26:11 Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.

God did not destroy the innocent with the guilty, but, as He has said,

Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

Though their father behaved shamefully, the sons of Korah continued to sing to the glory of God. The musical note A Song upon Alamoth, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

{this is} a musical term (1 Chronicles 15:20), denoting that the Psalm which bears this inscription (Psalm 46:1-11) was to be sung by soprano or female voices.”

I suspect the Psalm was sung this way because, in ancient Israel, most choirs were entirely of men. By making the Psalm to be sung only by women it emphasized that power in life does not come from human strength. It is God’s power that gives us the ability to prevail. The Lord spoke through the Prophet in another place, saying:

Jeremiah 17:5-7 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like the {bush} in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

The strongest person is not the person who can lift the most, or endure the most. The strongest person is the one who knows the Lord, and knows to run to the Lord when tried.

Psalm 46:1 God is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present help in trouble.

God is our REFUGE, the Hebrew מַחֲסֶה machăçeh, (pronounced makh-as-eh’), our “Shelter, Refuge, Place of Security”. The same word is used in:

Psalm 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my REFUGE {machăçeh} is in God.

Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my TRUST {machăçeh} in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my REFUGE {machăçeh} and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Just as a refuge was a fortress, a tower, or a place of high walls, our God is a fortress, a tower, and a place of high walls. Resting in Him we have blessing and hope. God saved Israel because He loved her. He cast down entire nations in Israel’s defense. Will not God protect you, dear Christians, having shed the Blood of His own dear Son for your salvation?

We may be tried, but we are not to fret, fear, and foolishly worry over what is to come. We are a delivered and cherished people!

The Scripture says that God has

Colossians 1:13-14 … delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins

God did the greatest thing He could do for us at the point of our salvation. He gave His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Having saved us, we are to remember that we are precious to Him. Jesus Christ is God the Father’s BELOVED SON, in Whom He is well pleased (2 Peter 1:17). As Jesus gave Himself for you, you are also Beloved of God for His sake.

Our power is in God. Our strength is in Jesus.
Sometimes we forget this.

In 1 Chronicles 21 we see what happens when we forget our strength is not in us, but in our God to Whom we run. The Bible tells us that:

1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

It was the devil that whispered, “Hath God really said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”. With that whisper came the fall of humanity into sin. Satan whispers in our ears, encouraging us to doubt God, or to inflate our own ego. David told his right hand man Joab:

Numbers 21:2 … Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.

Joab knew what was in the heart of David. David began to think that all the battles he had won were because of his own prowess, or because his army was bigger than anyone else’s army. Joab warned David:

Numbers 21:3 The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?

I wish I had had a Joab to stand up and warn me all the times that I thought it was about ME, instead of being about God IN me. A Joab is a good friend who warns us when pride comes. As the Bible says:

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Because David forgot that the blessings he had were from God, the Lord punished Israel (1 Chronicles 21:14-15) by killing 70,000 men. Let us not follow in King David’s footsteps, at least, not in this pride. As God told Zerubbabel:

Zechariah 4:6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

When trials come in life, always remember “God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble”. Do not try to fix it before you run to God. Trust Him Who saved you. When Job, that dear old Saint, lost all that he had, he would not curse God and die as his evil wife suggested (Job 2:9). He ran to his Refuge and Strength, saying:

Job 1:21 Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Our God Is Never Far Away

Psalm 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though King David messed up when he numbered Israel, his head was in the right place when he came upon Goliath. Israel was gathered together to do battle against Philistia at Shochoh, when the Philistines sent out their champion, Goliath. Goliath is described in 1 Samuel 17:4-7. The Bible tells us that the tip of his spear weighed 18 pounds. Goliath was about 9 feet tall – a giant of a man. He was powerful as well. His metal armor weighed 157 pounds.

As everyone else looked at Goliath and trembled, David looked at God Who was beside him and rested. When King Saul doubted David’s ability to defeat the giant, he said:

1 Samuel 17:37 … The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

The Lord our God was near David when he was guarding the sheep at night. The God Who gave David the ability to stop the lion and the bear would surely saved David from a bear of a man! David trusted in God – and Goliath lost his head that very day. Beloved, our God is near.

Stop listening to the whispers of Satan. Stop believing his lies. If your heart is shriveled with fear, God cannot use you to change the world. Look at the God Who saved you – and believe that He saves you still!

When the Prophet Elijah stood before 450 false prophets, and all of Israel, he did not allow the numbers against him to influence what he believed. Elijah knew that God is near, and that God is able. He told the false prophets:

1 Kings 18:24 … call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

God is near. God is near! He is not asleep at the wheel, but has promised “ I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5). Our Jesus has promised,

Matthew 28:20 …. lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

If God is with us – and He is – and God is greater than Anyone – and He is – then we need not fear.

Psalm 46:2-3 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. SELAH.

The Bible tells us not to fear. Some 365 times throughout Scripture we are told, “Fear Not”. When we fear, we are implying that God does not love us. But God does love us. The Apostle said:

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

When we fear, we forget the faithfulness of God. But our God is there. He is right in the middle of it all with us.

Do you see the word SELAH? The word means “REST”. When we are tried, we need to REALIZE our limitations, then RUN to the Lord Who loves us. Hiding in His love, we are to REST in His embrace. Trust God, trust the Lord Jesus in your trial. He will not forsake you.

Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

God is with His people. He has promised this in so many different ways. Jesus told us:

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Someone once asked me, “Why do you go to Church?” My response is, “Because Jesus loves the Church. But also, because I need the fellowship of the others.” I just received a call from an unchurched family seeking “Christmas for her kids”. They have hit hard times. I receive calls like this frequently throughout the year, every year since I have been in ministry. People who have no concern for the Lord, and have been through valleys of despair.

Beloved, I need my Church family. I need others around me to remind me to look to Jesus when I am tried. I need the WE of the Scripture, the Church that Jesus so loves. The Apostle said:

Romans 8:31-39 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is with us, if we are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).

Psalm 46:7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. SELAH.

In verse 3 we saw a SELAH, or “Rest”. Now in verse 7 we see a SELAH, or a “Rest”. The “Lord of Hosts” is with us – the God Who made all things, Who controls the angelic hosts, He is with us. REST. Rest in Him. God ends the Psalm with these wonderful words:

Psalm 46:10-11 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

We are not to fear. We are to glorify our God, to exalt Him, to lift Him up. Run to Him. Rest in Him. But do not fear. Our God is able! May He touch your hearts with His Spirit and His Word. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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