God, Our Refuge And Strength (2)

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - IBRU CENTRE - By Princewill Ire­oba

Text: Psalm 46:1-“God is our refuge and strength, an Ever-present help in trou­ble .” The Text of Psalm 46

PSALM 46 is closely re­lated the­mat­i­cally to Psalm 48 (see also 76, 87) and Psalm 47, which cel­e­brate God’s vic­to­ri­ous rule over all the earth. Psalm 46 verses 1-3 makes the point that our se­cu­rity is in God, cer­tainly not in any out­ward phe­nom­ena. There is a firm an­chor­age in God, while all else is in­se­cure. God is the eter­nal Rock of ages; all other ground is sink­ing sand. In spite of the threat­en­ing pow­ers of de­struc­tion lead­ing to calami­tous changes on earth; the moun­tains col­laps­ing into the sea; the wa­ters of the sea roar­ing and foam­ing, etc. God is our pro­tec­tion, our refuge and strength, read­ily avail­able to help in all sorts of trou­ble that may con­front us. Our world has known great evils. Con­sider the mag­ni­tude of evil un­leashed upon the world by the first and sec­ond world wars; the Holo­caust in­clu­sive; the cold war with all its ex­treme be­hav­iours by the East and West and their im­pact upon hu­mans and the an­i­mal world; the Korean war, the Viet­nam war, the Su­danese war, the Nige­rian civil war, the Arab Is­raeli wars; the Hu­tus and the Tusti of Rwanda, Kosovo, the Per­sian Gulf war, the Iraqi war; con­sider also the ter­ror­ist at­tack on the world Trade Cen­tre, in New York (9/11) and the ac­tiv­i­ties of ter­ror­ists in Nige­ria, no­tably Boko Haram and Fu­lani Herds­men, for some years now.

The Psalm (verses 4-7) gives us as­sur­ance of the in­de­struc­tible city of God. But this fact de­pends on our faith in God, not in our un­der­stand­ing or safety ar­range­ments all around us. “No mat­ter what rage and fury is ev­i­dent in the world, all is so con­trolled by the sov­er­eign God that it be­comes a fair stream for the ben­e­fit of His city and peo­ple. This pas­sage em­pha­sises a fun­da­men­tal spir­i­tual truth, that the pres­ence of God means peace and se­cu­rity – whether in an in­di­vid­ual life, in the fam­ily or na­tion.

This Psalm (verses 8-11) sum­mons all to con­sider the works of the Lord, not­ing that God’s mirac­u­lous deeds are all too clear to be doubted. His en­e­mies are losers in the bat­tle; His power has brought ces­sa­tion of hos­til­i­ties; this is a fore­shadow of the fu­ture, when the Mes­siah shall in­tro­duce His King­dom of ev- er­last­ing peace. The Lord is God; let all men cease try­ing to chal­lenge His sovereignty. God is with us. Fear - A Key Re­sult Of The Fall

The pur­pose of Psalm 46 could be said to be cre­at­ing faith in God’s prov­i­dence as the an­ti­dote to the prob­lem of fear. In the be­gin­ning, be­fore sin en­tered and caused chaos, man en­joyed un­in­hib­ited fel­low­ship with God. In that sin­less era, there was no fear, there was noth­ing to cause fear, and in fact, fear did not ex­ist. Fear as a fac­tor came with sin. It was af­ter the man and his wife sinned that they knew fear for the first time. The Bi­ble says: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walk­ing in the gar­den in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the gar­den. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He an­swered, “I heard you in the gar­den, and I was afraid be­cause I was naked; so I hid” (Gen­e­sis 3:8- 10). Since the Fall, fear has lived with man. Je­sus Christ said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and bur­dened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). The rest promised here is, how­ever, not ab­so­lute be­cause of ex­is­ten­tial fac­tors that en­gen­der fear, which may have to do with fear of the pow­ers of dark­ness, fail­ing health, eco­nomic crises, un­known fu­ture, etc. (Culled from THE OPEN­ING AD­DRESS by His Grace, The Most Rev’d Ni­cholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, DD.; Arch­bishop, Met­ro­pol­i­tan and Pri­mate Of All Nige­ria to The Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Church Of Nige­ria held in the Cathe­dral Church of St Peter Minna from Septem­ber 17 to 21, 2018)


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