Be Still & Know (Ps. 46)

Savoring the Psalter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Where to go when in trouble: the refuge of God.

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Illustrate the possible scenario as Hezekiah faces Sennacharib at the siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18-19).
The psalmist reminds us that the kingdom of Christ and God has always been and will always remain under His sovereign authority.
When you are in Christ, there is nothing to fear, so rest in His peace, both for your pilgrimage now, and looking for His coming Kingdom of peace and righteousness.
I hope that you understand that God, who commands the armies of heaven, has made a place of shelter for your battle-scarred soul and invites you to flee to Him, under His protection, where He can nourish you in safety and peace.
Reproof - for the fear that has robbed you of God's peace.
Rebuke - the forces of evil (namely the nations that rage against God) that seem to be temporarily getting the upper hand.
Exhortation - to fly to the haven of rest, and drink from the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love.
Main Thought: Where to go when in trouble: the refuge of God.
Sub-intro: Chiastic Sturcture

I. God Is a Refuge (Ps. 46:1, 11).

A. His Power and Presence (v. 1).

Psalm 46:1 KJV 1900
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

B. His Power and Promises (v. 11).

Psalm 46:11 KJV 1900
The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

II. I Will Trust Him (Ps. 46:2, 10).

A. No Fear (v. 2).

Psalm 46:2 KJV 1900
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

B. Be Still (v. 10).

Psalm 46:10 KJV 1900
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

III. God Rules (Ps. 46:3-4, 8-9).

A. He Rules Over Natural Disasters (vv. 3-4).

Psalm 46:3–4 KJV 1900
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

B. He Rules Over Man-Made Disasters (vv. 8-9).

Psalm 46:8–9 KJV 1900
Come, behold the works of the LORD, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.

IV. God Is Present (Ps. 46:5, 7).

A. He Is in the Midst (v. 5).

Psalm 46:5 KJV 1900
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

B. His Army Is on Our Side (v. 7).

Psalm 46:7 KJV 1900
The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

V. God Will Win (Ps. 46:6).

A. The Nations Rage (v. 6a).

Psalm 46:6 KJV 1900
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted.

B. God Speaks (v. 6b).

Psalm 46:6 KJV 1900
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted.


Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 119 Some Notes on Psalm 46: The Christian and the Atomic Age

This comfort of God delivers us from fear in the face of earth-shaking calamities. “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed …” (or shaken). Great earthquakes, landslides of mountains into the oceans, and tidal waves are used as figures of the nations in commotion. Doubtless there will be great physical disturbances during the tribulation period, and it is possible that these opening verses are to be taken literally. However, the rest of the psalm would indicate that the primary reference is to the political disturbances of the nations. Everywhere today there are social and political upheavals. Special crises areas, such as Cuba, Berlin, the Congo, Israel, and Southeast Asia; encircle the globe. Everywhere there is unrest, apprehension, and fear.

Much of the world’s fear is caused by the threat of destruction imposed by modern atomic weapons. The units of measure for atomic energy are awe-inspiring. A kiloton equals the energy or explosive power of one thousand tons of TNT. A megaton equals the explosive power of one million tons of TNT. A kilomegaton equals the explosive power of one billion tons of TNT. The Nagasaki bomb was in the 20-kiloton class. Modern thermonuclear bombs are in the twenty-megaton class. Russia has evidently exploded a fifty-megaton bomb and threatens to make one twice as powerful.

The bombs stockpiled by Russia and the United States are measured in kilomegatons. The exact figures are not known but Russia is estimated to have a stockpile of twenty kilomegatons, and the United States thirty-five kilomegatons. We are told that thirty-five kilomegatons, in the form of TNT, would fill a freight train from the earth to the moon and back fifteen times. One modern thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb contains more energy than all the explosives used in World War II, perhaps more than in all past wars together.

For the first time in history the nations possess the weapons that could destroy most of the world’s population. The prophecy of Revelation 9:18 that one-third of men should be killed in a single judgment is now credible even to unbelief.

No wonder that the nations are seeking desperately for some form of arms control and disarmament that might lead to peace. This was the subject of President Kennedy’s speech to the United Nations on September 25, 1961. In this address the President used the words peace and peaceful thirty-four times. In contrast to this hope for peace, the present world tension was described as a “reign of terror.” The Bible student would almost automatically be reminded of two verses of Scripture: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3). “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26). It seems self-evident that these days must be very close to the coming of the Lord.

Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 119 Some Notes on Psalm 46: The Christian and the Atomic Age

The sixth verse of the 46th Psalm ends with this brief and graphic picture of judgment: “He uttered his voice, the earth melted.” It is a comfort to know that apocalyptic judgments will not be imitated by Russia, or any other nation, except when the Lord utters His voice. The atomic age will not hasten or delay the timetable of God.

However, it is interesting to note that the expression, “the earth melted,” suggests the result of atomic power. Peter uses similar but more detailed language to describe the judgments of the end of the age (2 Pet. 3:10–12). Science has learned a little about the melting power involved in the fission (atomic bomb) and fusion (hydrogen bomb) of the nucleus of the atom. It is not unreasonable to suppose that God may use the terrific power of the infinitesimal building blocks of the universe (the atoms) to accomplish the earth’s judgment and purification.

The second division of the psalm closes with the refrain: “The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our refuge” (v. 7). The nations seek their power and safety in confederations. The saints are safe because of their personal relationship to Jehovah of hosts and the God of Jacob. Jehovah of hosts is the God of all power. He commands the hosts of heaven and yet His power is not dependent on His armies. He has but to utter His voice to defeat His enemies. He is also the God of Jacob—the covenant-keeping God of all grace. Thus He is a safe refuge for helpless sinners.

Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 119 Some Notes on Psalm 46: The Christian and the Atomic Age

The atomic age only emphasizes the comfort of knowing the God of all power and the God of all grace. The atomic scientists of the nations are conducting frantic research for a super bomb which would result from a technological breakthrough that would give its inventors a decisive power advantage. The Christian has already achieved his power breakthrough in Christ, and works and prays that others may share his secret. He is concerned about the atomic age but under no “reign of terror.” He knows the One who designed the atom and who holds its parts together (Col. 1:17). He looks for deliverance from the judgments of the tribulation period. However, if a World War III should begin before the rapture, he knows that the worst that an atomic bomb could do to him would only usher him into his best estate (Phil. 1:23). “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Ps. 46:2).

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