TO THE IRRATIONAL Therefore will not we fear,
“The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe” Prov. 29:25
It’s not just the fear of man but the fear of anything. Fear entraps us in a dungeon of our own composition. The fear of losing our health, the fear of pain, the fear of death, the fear of poverty, the fear of harm to those we love, the fear of rejection and the fear of anything imaginable is a chamber of horror which culminates in constant revulsive self torture.
Therefore we will not fear. Fear will be replaced by trust in the Lord that finds the sweet embrace of casting all our burdens and cares on Him.
TO THE IMPOSSIBLE
CONVULSIVE CATACLYSM though the earth be removed, and
though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea
We are attached to the earth. This ground of soil, rock and amazing foliage is where we find our footing. If everything we know and find our security in is abruptly dissolved in a tragic deluge. If we burst out in a vacuum, adrift and alone, we will find ourselves with no point of reference. Eternity has no structure to our sense of feeling. We can’t touch, taste, smell, see or hear the invisible dimensions of the infinite. It is only with the eyes of our heart that faith can exercise a grip on the reality of God.
FLOOD Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
While kayaking in southern England off the Isle of Wight, Mark Ashton-Smith, a 33-year-old lecturer at Cambridge University, capsized in treacherous waters. Clinging to his craft and reaching for his cell phone, Ashton-Smith’s first inclination was to call his father. It didn’t matter to the desperate son that his dad, Alan Pimm-Smith, was at work training British troops in Dubai 3,500 miles away. Without delay, the father relayed his son’s “mayday” to the Coast Guard installation nearest to his son’s location. Ironically, it was less than a mile away. Within 12 minutes, a helicopter retrieved the grateful Ashton-Smith. Like this kayaker, when we are in peril, our first impulse should be to call our Father–the one we trust to help us. We have boldness and access to come before Him with our petitions.
Whoever Calls on the Name of the Lord Will be Saved Joel 2:32
For the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Rom. 10:12-13
QUAKE though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof
When Jonathan Edwards, the great pastor and theologian died unexpectedly from a smallpox vaccination, his wife wrote these words, “What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it, but my God lives. He has my heart. We are all given to God.” She was yielded to the Lord’s will for her life.
“When people panic, they drastically change. They will do and say things they would never do at any other time. Fear has great power in changing the personality of a person”. Mattoon Treasures
Fear is ultimately accusing God for our misery while we don’t see His creative purpose in turning all tragedy into a beautiful triumph.
Numbers 14:1-4 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over. The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said “Hello” when sssopp! Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie, still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do… she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who had initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. “Well,” she replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore, he just sits and stares.” It’s not hard to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over… that’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart. We too, are like this bird. The fear created by the commotion of our lives leaves us paralyzed sometimes, robbing us of our joy.
GOD’S PRESENCE V.4-7
UNENDING STREAM V.4 There is a river, the streams whereof
shall make glad the city of God,
Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Adoniram Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles and his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner with a sneer on his face said, “Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?” His instant reply was, “The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God.” Judson trusted God with his fears.
Knowing that sooner or later the Assyrian army would besiege Jerusalem, Hezekiah had taken wise and practical steps to insure that Jerusalem had an unfailing water supply, no matter how long the siege. The spring of Gihon, located below the steep eastern hill of Ophel in the deep Kidron Valley, Jerusalem’s most ancient water supply, was exposed to enemy attack. Hezekiah diverted the spring through a conduit, 1777 feet long and hewn out of a solid rock, into a reservoir inside the city’s walls. He then completely covered the ancient spring so that the enemy would not know it was there. Throughout the fearful siege there was “a river, the streams whereof made glad the city of God.” The psalmist tells us of this river, how impassive was its flow (46:4) and how impotent was its foe. John Phillips
I will extend peace to her like a river…so will I comfort you Isa. 66:12
Elisabeth Elliot suffered the loss of two husbands. The first, Jim Elliot, was killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador while trying to reach them with the gospel. The second, Addison Leitch, was slowly consumed by cancer. In relating what these experiences were like, she referred to Psalm 46, saying that in the first shock of death “everything that has seemed most dependable has given way. Mountains are falling, earth is reeling. In such a time it is a profound comfort to know that although all things seem to be shaken, one thing is not: God is not shaken.” She added that the thing that is most needful is to do what the psalmist does later, to “be still” and know that God is God. God is God whether we recognize it or not. But it comforts us and infuses strength into our faltering spirits to rest on that truth.
“The gently flowing river, fertilizing all the land over which it is distributed in channels and rivulets, is an emblem of Jehovah’s Presence, blessing and gladdening His city”. Kirkpatrick
Calvin writes that the river is a metaphor picturing the continual sufficiency of God’s grace. As Paul wrote: when I am weak then am I strong…God’s grace is adequate, sufficient, abundant and lavishly rich.
Psalms 1 promises that when we delight in God’s Word and make it our focus and meditation that we’ll be like a tree planted by the river of living water. Our God gives us life sustaining refreshing power in the river of His grace and love.
UNEQUALED SPACE the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
We have real estate in God’s matchless incomparable palace. Jesus said in my Fathers house are many mansions.
David Jeremiah writes, SORROW needs simple words for its consolation; and simple words are the best clothing for the largest truths. These eleven poor men were crushed and desolate at the thought of Christ’s going; they fancied that if He left them they lost Him.
Jesus is not only with us always but in Him we are on the threshold of ivory palaces and streets of pure gold. We are secure in Christ with the riches of glory. Are time here is to point others to the Most High the creator of all.
UNIQUE SETTING V.5 God is in the midst of her;
UNMATCHED SECURITY she shall not be moved:
UNPARALLELED SOLUTIONS God shall help her, and that right early.
IN DISORDER V.6 The heathen raged,
IN DISMAY the kingdoms were moved:
UNSURPASSED SPEECH he uttered his voice,
HEARTS ARE SHATTERED the earth melted.
HIS AURA IS SENSED The LORD of hosts is with us;
HIS ABILITY IS A SHELTER the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
GOD’S PEACE V.8-11
DESOLATION FOLLOWS DISREGARD V.8 Come, behold the works of
the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
HE CEASES V.9 He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth
HE CRUSHES He breaks the bow,
HE CUTS and cuts the spear in sunder;
HE CREMATES he burns the chariot in the fire.
DARKNESS FINDS DISCERNMENT V.10
HE’S OUR STABILITY Be still,
HE’S OUR SECURITY and know that I am God:
HE’S OUR SIGNIFICANCE
IN HIS PROMOTION
PEOPLE I will be exalted among the heathen,
PLACES I will be exalted in the earth.
IN HIS PRESENCE V.11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
IN HIS PROTECTION the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah