Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Worry?

Psalm 46 -- Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

I. God Takes Care of His Own

A. Here is the psalm of holy confidence which Luther turned into the national anthem of German Protestantism. To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

B. God’s people have no reason to fear difficult times. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” (Psalm 46:2)

C. No matter how great the problem, God remains faithful to provide for His own people. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (Psalm 46:3)

II. God Takes Sides in Life’s Struggles

A. The world has violent storms and floods, but the City of God has refreshing streams. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” (Psalm 46:4)

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” (Isaiah 55:1-2)

B. God owns and resides in the house He provides to shelter His people. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” (Psalm 46:5) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

C. Life’s great forces and terrors melt at God’s command; might is a matter of perspective. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.” (Psalm 46:6)

D. God brings overwhelming assets to direct Providence. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” (Psalm 46:7) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;” (Proverbs 30:26)

III. Watch God at Work

A. God made an inescapable point about His own power when He turned Sodom into the Dead Sea; the lowest point on earth remains a constant testimony to what God can do when people behave improperly. “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.” (Psalm 46:8)

B. God sets limits for the terrible armies which bring death and disorder.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.” (Psalm 46:9)

1. Neglect of this doctrine kept Israel out of the Promised Land and obedience to it gave the land to Joshua. “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.” (Joshua 11:6)

2. Eventually everyone must declare for God or for some weak substitute; in whom do you put your trust? “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

C. God is in charge and eventually all reality will recognize His government over all things; God’s works of providence are, His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) “Either by terror or love God will subdue all hearts to himself.” Spurgeon

D. The ultimate force protects the church of God. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” (Psalm 46:11)

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