Psalm 46 – Know Your God

True confession: Do you remember a few years ago when all those asteroid movies were out–you know, the world was coming to an end because an asteroid was going to hit us? Well, there was one in which the asteroid actually hit. I couldn’t go see that movie because I just couldn’t take looking at New York being swallowed up in a 1,000-foot tidal wave. I know some of you went ahead and saw it anyway. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But this is an even more catastrophic picture than that. This is a picture of the whole world turned upside down. The Psalmist is saying in [Psalm 46] verses 2 and 3 that even if the two most immutable, unshakable things that we can think of in the natural order, the earth under our feet and the mountains–the grand majestic mountains, whether you think of the Rockies or whether you think of the Smokies or whether you think of the Alps or whether you think of the Atlas or whatever mountains you think of–even if these things were hurled to the bottom of the ocean, even if the whole natural order were turned upside down, we will not fear for God cannot be shaken. The Psalmist is saying when the world is turned upside down, you run to God and nothing can shake you.

You remember in the movie Rocky when he’s being beaten to a bloody pulp by Apollo Creed, and he keeps saying in the later rounds, “It ain’t so bad. It ain’t so bad”? This is kind of what the Psalmist is saying in verses two and three, “The world’s going crazy. It ain’t so bad. It ain’t so bad.” But this is not because he’s resilient, but because he serves a God whose power is infinitely greater than all the forces in this world combined and exponentially magnified. You run to God and you let go the movables.

You know…we really have no idea of who we’re dealing with when we’re dealing with God. We can draw the most apocalyptic picture that we can imagine of the forces of this world collapsing; we can imagine the universe being reduced to a micro-nano-something in the heat of it’s final consumption, and we still can’t conceive of the almighty power of God which is far greater than that. And the Psalmist is resting in that, and he’s running to God. And, friends, I want to say that’s so important for you to remember…because it is especially in time of trouble that we need to run to God and to acknowledge His control over all circumstances.

There’s a movement within evangelical circles today to say, “No, when you run into trouble, this is what you need to do. You need to recognize that God didn’t see this coming because the future is uncertain, and He has to take risks to just like you do, and so here’s your comfort: God knows how you feel. He’s been blind-sided too, but He’s really quick on His feet, and He’ll do the best He can.”  And I want to say, that is utterly alien to what the Psalmist is saying here. All of these troubles, as great as they are, they’re out of proportion in terms of the magnitudes of the kinds of troubles that we face. All of these troubles pale in comparison to the size of the Living God and His power to address those things and to remedy those things and care for us in the midst of all difficulty. We have no idea who we’re dealing with.

You remember what the author of Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter 12 beginning in verse 26?

“His voice shook the earth.” But now He has promised saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” This expression “yet once more” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

You see, the Psalmist knows that, and he knows that no matter how bad it looks around him, his God is greater and his God has purposed to shake the things which can be shaken in order to make firm the things which will last forever, and by His mercy He has chosen you so that you yourself will not be shaken.

Ligon Duncan

Read Psalm 46.  Does the author’s proclamation of God’s safety and strength for his people amidst world-rending cataclysm resonate in your own experience with God?  What does it look like for a Christian to “stop striving and know that I am God”? (vs.10)

Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts) by Shane and Shane

Posted on: January 29, 2021 - 12:00PM

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