March 22, 2020
Welcome to Worship!
God of peace, let us your people know that at the heart of turbulence there is an inner calm that come from faith in you. Keep us from being content with things as they are, that from this central peace there may come a creative compassion, a thirst for justice, and a willingness to give of ourselves in the spirit of Christ. Amen.
God is Sufficient
Sunday March 22, 2020
Read through the passage a few times, perhaps have children involved in the reading.
Psalm 46 (NIV84)
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Play the video Pastor Kors prepared – located on the church website
Likely, this Psalm relates to a time when King Hezekiah of Judah was surrounded by the army of Sennacherib, King of Assyria.
Sennacherib did not consider the fact that the God of Hezekiah is the one true living God who will not be mocked or discredited.
We read about this in 2 Kings 18-19.
Psalm 46 is written out of a time of affliction or extreme hardship from which God provided deliverance.
1) God is our help
We are not immune from troubles and problems.
The abundant Christian life is not a trouble-free life.
The author of this Psalm records three types of troubles.
1a) Global changes (46:2)
1b) Earthquakes and Storms (46:2-3)
1c) Wars (46:6,9)
Read also Hebrews 11:32-38 to see the various troubles the faithful believers had to face.
Trouble does strike the godly as well as the ungodly.
2) God is Sufficient to get us through
The Psalmist outlines the Psalm by showing three areas where God is sufficient.
Psalm 46:1-3 – God is the refuge against the raging of nature.
Psalm 46:4-7 – God is the resource against the raging of nations.
Psalm 46:8-11 – God is the ruler over the rebels of the earth.
2a) Psalm 46:1-3 – God is the refuge against the raging of nature.
The picture here is an earthquake so severe that the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.
We flee to God and find relief and comfort.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV84)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
God is bigger than our problems. He is available to help us if we take refuge in Him and trust in His strength. God is our refuge.
2b) Psalm 46:4-7 – God is the resource against the raging of nations.
The river is a picture of the greater spiritual resource. The Lord Himself.
John 4:13–14 (NIV84)
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
God’s Spirit is the ever-flowing river that will sustain us and give us joy even while we are journeying through difficult and uncharted waters. God is our refuge and our resource.
2c) Psalm 46:8-11 – God is the ruler over the rebels of the earth.
God sets up kings and removes them as He wills. God is God, we are not.
Psalm 46:10 (NIV84)
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The end that is in view is not stated in terms our humankind’s hopes, but rather of God’s glory.
Remembering the context of the Psalm from the earlier section, God speaks, and an entire army drops dead.
Is God sufficient for our problems? Without a shadow of doubt!
God is our refuge, our resource, and our ruler.
3) Since God is our help and He is sufficient, how can we make ourselves available to His sufficiency?
3a) Depend on God as your refuge
Psalm 46:1 (NIV84)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
What are we trusting in these days? It isn’t to say those things are necessarily bad, however, when those things shift from us trusting in God, they can become wrong.
We can depend on God by knowing Him as Lord Almighty and knowing Him as the God of Jacob.
Psalm 46:7,11 (NIV84)
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Learning to depend on God alone involves getting to know who He is as revealed in the Bible.
Trust springs out of knowledge.
Think of this illustration: A person who has limited knowledge in flying an airplane will be afraid in flying through rough weather. An experienced knowledgeable pilot will not be afraid. He has great trust.
3ai) Depending on the Lord Almighty
God is mighty!
Knowing God as the Lord Almighty means you will depend on Him.
3aii) Depending on the God of Jacob
A reminder to us that God is our help in times of trouble. It isn’t conditional on our strength.
Salvation is a gift of God; it isn’t based on our worthiness.
We depend on God’s strength, and on His grace.
3b) Draw on Him as your resource
3bi) Drink from Him daily (46:4)
We can draw upon God daily, experience the refreshing that comes from knowing Him and spending time with Him daily.
3bii) Meet with His people regularly (46:4-5)
The temple was there, it was the center of worship. Today we have the dwelling of God in each believer, however, there is also something special when His people worship corporately.
In this time, we do not stop connecting as the body of believers. We may be absent physically, however, we can be proactive in reaching out to our church family, pray with them over the phone, and ask them how they are doing etc.
Questions for discussion
What are some of the fears or worries you may have today?
How does the Psalmist reveal that God is sufficient?
What is the balance between a “raw” trust in God and the use of proper means or methods?
Amid a quickly changing world, what does it look like to “be still and know that I am God?”
What are three things you can do individually and as a family to purposefully connect with other believers without getting together physically?