Sunday Devotional 18h September 2022

Strategicresourcetraining   -  

by Bruce Billington

We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we will continue in Psalm 46, written by the sons of Korah.

Psalm 46:8 – Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

Psalm 46:9 – He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire.

Verse 8 can seem a bit harsh at first. In its historical setting the citizens of Jerusalem are invited to go forth and view the remains of their enemies, so that they may see the results of what happens if any nation, army, or people dare to oppose the Lord. He will leave them in a place of complete destruction. The intention of this display was to reveal the power and majesty of the Lord and the futility of defying Him.

When we look at where things are at in the world today – meaning the actions of people and nations that seem to rage against God, it could seem that the enemy is winning. However, whenever we think that, we should come back and study this verse. God remains in control, He looks from the heavens and laughs (Psalm 2:4), at least for a moment, but then, in His time, He acts with fearsome results.

At the time of writing this Psalm, the ruined cities of Assyria, Babylon, Petra, Bashan, and Canaan, were evidence of the severity of God’s actions. All these places defied the Lord and what He was doing with the nation of Israel. As a result, they were not only defeated – they were desecrated. Their famed palaces and strongholds were reduced to rubble. The areas that surrounded Israel were characterised by dismantled castles, ruined abbeys, slaughtered armies, and plundered goods.

Verse 9 talks about a peace that will finally come to this earth. But we need to be aware that this peace does not come through a treaty, or agreement or a compromise between warring factions. It comes at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will serve exact His peace to the nations of the world as God’s judgement. Peace will be forced upon those who opposed the way of the Lord, both individuals and nations. Isaiah 2:4 tells us that God will destroy these nations and their weapons. Every person and entity that have revolted against the way of the Lord will be crushed.

This also applies from a personal perspective. Just as God is in control of world affairs, He is also in control of the details of our lives. Overwhelming trouble can send us into a downward spiral, causing us to embrace uncertainty and fear. But we need to assure ourselves and one another that God is aware of what is happening. He knows the work He is doing in us, and He will see to it that His will for us is accomplished (Philippians 1:6). When others work evil against us, God uses it for good (Genesis 50:20). He will use it to bring us to another level of transformation and maturity. So here comes the summary of our response to all these matters.

Verse 10 – “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Verse 11 – “The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”

Here is the response that we should make in all such times. We give it all up to God with our unfailing trust that He will cause all things to work together for good for us (Romans 8:28). We surrender to His will and put our trust completely in His hands. By doing this we truly honour Him as God and King and Lord of all. We stand fast as we acknowledge His power and majesty.

It is here that we embrace the wonderful exclamation made by Martin Luther – “a mighty fortress is our God.” We command ourselves to sit and wait, watching and observing, refusing to make decisions that are based on fear and anxiety. We must not let our hearts fail us because we are assured that God is in control and that the promises in these verses will be fulfilled.

The Lord God is truly with us and is our stronghold. What a privileged and blessed people we are. Let us now bow in adoration and total surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ who, as well is being the Lamb that was slain, is also the Lion that roars in defiance over all that would oppose Him and His people.

God bless you.

Bruce Billington