“God is Our Refuge…”

It’s fair to say that we live in terribly divisive times.  Families and friends are literally at one another’s throats because of the incredible political divides which festoon the national landscape with ever more hostility, acrimony, and ill will.

People feel very strongly about their cherished political perspectives.  Nevertheless as believers in Christ it is utterly indispensable that we step back a pace or two and remember what Scripture teaches us about hope and the future and trust and peace.  Psalm 46 declares

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has wrought desolations in the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire! “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

The Psalm falls naturally into three main divisions, each concluded with the Hebrew word ‘Selah’ which means something like ‘pause, consider’ or in our parlance, ‘stop and think about this’.

Section one invites us to abandon fear- given that God is eternally the same and eternally loving.  Section two invites us to find our refuge in God who is never moved by the tides of time or change.  And the third section encourages us to restful trust.

What message is needed right now more than this text’s word?  Three times the passage reminds us that God is our refuge- our place of security and safety.  No politician of any political persuasion can say that truthfully.  Trust God, and rest in him.  You’ll be better off.  And you may even avoid coming to hate your friends.

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