30 April 2009

Psalm 46

There has never been a time in my life of more uncertainty and I believe many of you may agree with me. The economic crisis has affected everyone, no one is exempt. For me, I was laid off after 18 1/2 productive years with the company as my position was eliminated as a cost cutting measure. My wife's company has gone to a four day work week. I don't know anyone who has not been affected in some way. And now we have the unpleasant prospect of the swine flu, or as officials prefer to call it, H1 N1. The news media's coverage has not been beneficial in helping us understand what we are to look for or what we are to do should we think we have contracted the virus. These are just two issues that effect us all. We each have our crosses to bear as God deems necessary for us.

Therefore, how should we think on these things? How do we avoid despair? We remember and meditate on the truth. The truth found in Scripture. May I suggest Psalm 46 for its encouragement of comfort and hope. Concerning this psalm Matthew Henry tells us in his famous commentary, This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his church in the worst of times. We may apply it to spiritual enemies, and the encouragement we have that, through Christ, we shall be conquerors over them. He is a Help, a present Help, a Help found, one whom we have found to be so; a Help at hand, one that is always near; we cannot desire a better, nor shall we ever find the like in any creature. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters, who build their confidence on a floating foundation; but let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times. The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God’s sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word dwelling richly in us, we shall be established, we shall be helped; let us trust and not be afraid.

Psalm 46
To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 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.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Al Mohler has added his opinion to the 'net on his blog where he wrote, In the end, sickness points to sin and sin points to our need for Christ. Luther, Calvin, and all true ministers of Christ know that sickness and death point to our need for a Savior. Even as Christians seek to minister to the physical needs of the sick, the spiritual need is even more urgent. Each tiny germ shows us our need for the Gospel. Every cough is a reminder of coming judgment. Our confidence is placed only in the ministry of Christ our Physician, "who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases." [Psalm 103:3] Read the is exceptional post here.

No comments: