Who Is our Refuge?

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Introduction: Joel Kramer in is video “Are there 10 Lost Tribes?” Shares an amazing account of the preservation of the nation Israel.
Assyria was one of the most powerful countries in the middle east. Sennacherib was known as a powerful leader with an army that was feared. No fortified city survived. They took out the 10 northern tribes of Israel and all cities were leveled. This was in the time of King Hezikiah in Judah.
Hezidiah sought out God’s help. This was during the time of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah records the details along with Kings and Chronicle.
It is interesting to note that Jerusalem during the time of Hezikiah grew larger. Hezikiah fortified the city and took in the refuges from the northern tribes. King Hezikiah had a tunnel built to bring water from the Gihon spring to the city and protect the water system of the city.
Micah prophesied 2:12 NIV Deliverance Promised 12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. 13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”
The city was filled. Jerusalem was like a sheeps pen with the children of Jacob packed in. When Sennacrib ordered the seige of Jerusalem God did something amazing.
The New International Version 2 Chronicles 32
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. 21 And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword. 22 So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side.
Isaiah 37:31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.33 “Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria:“He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here.He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it.34 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,”declares the LORD.35 “I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp.When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
Psalm 46 is a hymn of victory
1. Freedom from all fear - God is our refuge
We have a picture here of the total collapse of the earth’s fabric - the mountains and earth which emerged from the waters are plunged back in. The waters which roar and foam make the mountains quake at their surging.
The imagery in the Psalm puts local wars in perspective.
2. Peace in the midst of the storm,
📷 There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.
All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall.
This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest ... perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second picture. Do you know why?
"Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
- Author Unknown
The peace of God
The river and its streams make us think of imagery in Ezekiel later saw a river coming out from under the threshhold of the temple(Ezek. 47:1) in his vision of the new temple, as did John in his apocalyptic vision in Revelation 22:1. The point lies in the contrast with the surging seas of verse 3. However great the convulsions in nations or nature, peace like a river characterises the place where God meets with his people.
The psalm is careful to point out that this is not due to anything special about the city or the holy place, but to the presence of God … within her (v. 5). As verse 1 said, his presence is not a passive one; he is there to help, so that she will not fall. The night may be stormy, but it will pass and all will be well at break of day.
In verse he envisages something even worse than what they had just been through: convulsions among the nations with kingdoms falling in a general conflict. But the God who has brought them through a recent trouble, the God who will take away fear when creation falls apart, has but to speak and they melt away. Nations with their armies may clash, but peace reigns among the people of God, because the Lordalmighty is with us and if we are threatened, the God of Jacob is our fortress (v. 7).
3. God is Exalted -
Colossians 2:
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
Men start wars but God makes wars cease, not just in Israel’s land but to the ends of the earth (v. 9). So the call goes out to acknowledge this and Be still, stop fighting before it is too late and know that I am God’(v. 10), who has power to destroy arms and nations, yes, the whole earth and cosmos. Give him his rightful place—exalted among the nations (and) in the earth. In view of all this, his own people have nothing to fear from men or God, for the Lord Almighty is with us.
God is with us – Emmanuel – is the Good News of the Gospel. God is not only our dwelling place but God dwells in our midst.
Conclusion: Sons of Korah
So the call of this psalm is to cease! This is what those famous words, “Be still and know that I am God” mean: The psalmist calls us to stop our futile struggle; to stop our warring and competing with each other. It is all just an expression of our futile endeavor to be autonomous and to make a life for ourselves. This psalm points to the single most important reality in the universe: There is a God and he has an absolute claim on our lives. He is calling us to return to him and to live in peace. And how we need this peace. Life can be such a struggle and inwardly we can live in constant turmoil as we try to get ahead. But if we will stop and know that God is God then we will also know that he has a purpose for our lives and when we entrust ourselves to him and walk in that purpose we will be absolutely secure.
Page 5. Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:48 AM November 20, 2022
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