April 14 2023
Today, Friday April 14
“A Very Present Help in Trouble”
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”
Most of us or either in trouble, or we just came out of trouble, or we are headed for trouble. For sure that is the story of every person’s life. Job sure experienced it when he lost his children in a tragic accident, lost his wealth to thieves, and lost his health. His friends, who came to comfort him did just the opposite. They criticized and condemned him and said he deserved it. Job finally proclaimed, "Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1)
Psalm 46 is a wonderful chapter in the Bible to remember whenever you are overwhelmed with trouble of any kind in your life. So many of us today are facing trouble in our homes, either in our relationship with our spouse or our children, or other relatives. The trouble could be at our job with co-workers. Usually, trouble comes into our lives on two legs, through some person. Sometimes it comes in the form of a tragic accident or a health issue.
Psalm 46 was written by either King Hezekiah, Isaiah the Prophet, or some unknow poet, right after the LORD delivered Jerusalem from an invading army of Assyrians. The city had been under siege for some time and had absolutely no hope of escape. But King Hezekiah prayed, and the LORD sent an angel who destroyed the entire army of Assyrians in one night. (2 Kings 19). Can you imagine the relief and the joy that they experienced that day!
This great Psalm reminds us that our God can be our strength and refuge in our time of trouble if we will but trust Him. The word translated "refuge" in verse 1 means "a shelter, a rock of refuge," while the word in verses 7 and 11 means "a stronghold, a high tower, a fortress." Both words declare that God is a dependable refuge for His people when everything around them seems to be falling apart. (Psalm 61:3; 62:7-8; 142:5). But He doesn't protect us in order to pamper us. He shelters us so He can strengthen us to go back to life with its duties and dangers (Psalm 29:11; 68:35; Isa. 40:31).
The word "trouble" describes people in tight places, in a corner and unable to get out; and when that occurs, the admonition is, "Don't be afraid!" When the Assyrian officials threatened Jerusalem, Isaiah told the king, "Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard" (2 Kings 19:7). The earth may change, the mountains may be hurled violently into the sea, there may come earthquakes and tidal waves, but all things are in the control of our sovereign Lord. The "waters" in verse 3 may also symbolize the unrest of the nations, mentioned in verse 6 (Dan. 7:2-3; Luke 21:25; Rev. 13:1; 17:15). Circumstances may change, but God's covenant with His people will never change (Isa. 54:10). He is our high tower and our refuge in the uncertainties of life.
In your time of trouble, I would also encourage you to read Psalm 107. At least 4 times you read this same statement in verses 6, 13, 19 and 28: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.” In each case these words are preceded with statements like: “Their soul fainted in them” (v. 5). “They fell down, and there was none to help” (v. 12). “And they drew near to the gates of death” (v. 18). “Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end” (vv. 26-27). Do you ever feel this way?
In times of crisis, we are so prone to turn to others and the world for help just like the Jewish leaders so often did when they turned to Egypt for help (Isa. 30:1-2), when they should have turned to the Lord and trusted Him. Our God is an "ever-present help," but He cannot work for us unless we trust Him (Matt. 13:58).
We should always remember the words of our Lord Jesus in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”