So, I had to get this one out today. Today is October 31. And what day is this? Most people will answer, “It’s Halloween, of course. Have you been living in a cave?” But, it’s also Reformation Day!! This was the day 499 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther (not Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.-he came about 400 years later than the first Dr. Luther) nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. He simply wanted to make a statement that the Church of his day was in error concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins and the free gift that God gives to any and all who have faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Dr. Luther wrote the great hymn of the Church, A Mighty Fortress, based on this Psalm. Mom & I taught you this hymn when you were little, and it’s good to re memorize and recite it regularly. This is a great hymn of comfort and assurance in any time of our life.
I’m pressed for time to get this done. But read Psalm 46. It’s a Psalm of trust. It’s a Psalm of faith. It’s a Psalm that reminds God’s people that on this side of heaven there is chaos and problems. We need assurance. We need refreshment. We need peace in our lives, especially when everything else seems to be going in the opposite direction.
However, God gives us a River–the River of Life and the River of Peace in Jesus Christ. He comes to us directly from Heaven. God is not a god who remains distant from His people. He comes to us and never leaves us. You’ve been baptized into Jesus. His River of Peace has claimed you has His own. And God has now made you a citizen and a member of His City-The City of God.
Are there times when your life seems in chaos and out of control? Are there times when you are anxious, insecure and worry? Hand everything over to Jesus. He’s the River of Peace that has come in your midst. He’s claimed you as His own–lock, stock and barrel. As the Psalm says, and reminds us to do as well, ‘check Him out’. Give Jesus a try, and then be still and know that He is God.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for sending Dr. Martin Luther to Your Church and using Him to restore the true Gospel to Your people. The glory goes to You alone. Thank You for Your truth and comfort found in the Scriptures alone. And thank You for my faith in Jesus Chirst alone. Help us in times of trouble when our lives seems to be tottering and falling down. You promise to be with us, and You are. And then help us to be still and to know that You truly are God and in control. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Ps. 46:1 nimtza’ means ‘to let oneself be found’. God wants Himself to be sought out and found when they are in trouble. God wants all people to seek Him out and be found. He doesn’t hide Himself, and He doesn’t play tricks or hide-and-seek.
The “times of trouble,” in which God offers protection, are times when chaos attempts to reassert its primacy over order, both in the natural world and in the world of nations and human affairs. The affirmation of God’s presence in a protective capacity is the basis for the confidence in the community’s words: “we shall not fear . . .” (v 3) (WBC Vol 19, 345).
Ps. 46:2-3 King David gives a picture of the undoing of Creation. This imagery gives an eschatological perspective, or last days/Last Day sort of picture and imagery. Remember, however, that even though Creation is pictured as coming apart, God is the One who created all things in the first place. He is NEVER far away at all. And He is ALWAYS in control. And we have God’s Gospel in the next verse.
Ps. 46:4-5 What comes next in this picture of chaos and destruction? Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? No! It’s a river–a peaceful river that appears in this prayer out of nowhere. To understand more about the river, read Revelation 22:1-2. Notice that the source of the river, and the beginning of the river is the throne of God as St. John, in his revelation, shows us a picture of heaven. Now notice that in Psalm 46 that a river flows to the City of God in order to refresh and bring peace and calm to the chaos going on. The City of God is the Christian Church here on earth. The Christian Church is a part of the picture of heaven found in Revelation 22. God is in the middle of the City of God in Revelation, and God comes to His Church and remains in the midst of the Church while we journey here on earth.
How is God in the midst of His City here on earth? Well, He is here with us in the person of Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus is also called the River of Life in John 4 and 7. Though creation is in chaos, melting away and toppling into the sea, the City of God will not be moved! It will survive.
Ps. 46:7 The translation in English is ‘the LORD of hosts’. In Hebrew it is YHWH Sebaoth. YHWH is God’s personal name that He gives to His people to use. We are on a first name basis with God. Remember, He wants to be found. Sebaoth is a military term. YHWH Sebaoth is a special name for God. He’s the Leader of His angels and His military. This term implies divine rule as well.
Ps. 48:8 This verse is an invitation to ‘check out God’, give Him a try. This is a great reminder for us Christians that we don’t have to beat people over the head with a Bible to have them check out God. We are simply to share the Gospel of story of Jesus and what God has done–and continues to do–in Jesus Christ. We simply invite people.
Ps. 46:10 There’s that word ‘be still’ again. I covered that a couple of weeks ago in Psalms 37 & 62. God simply wants His people to relax and trust Him. We are to cast all our worries, insecurities, and anxieties on Jesus and let Him handle it. God wants His people to live lives with inward peace.