November 21, 2010
I love this Psalm. It is brief and to the point. It reminds us what God is about. It tells that God is with us.
I have a neighbor that has been in a nursing home for several months. He broke his back carrying garbage to the road. I visit and pray with him quite regularly. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to read some verses to encourage him. I read from Ps. 46. It really seemed to connect. Then I came back to the church and realized that it is the same passage for today. Those verses are good for my neighbor and for us today.
By the way, my neighbor called me Friday to say he is planning to go home in a couple of weeks. He was all excited. Just weeks ago, I didn’t know if he would ever walk. He was thanking me for our prayers and thanking God for healing.
Let’s look at the first verse. Read verse 1.
God is what?
Refuge– a place of protection, a wildlife refuge (a safe place)
Strength– this past summer I lost some strength, but God stays strong
Help– when we can’t walk, God is with us. My neighbor is thanking God that he is walking. There are many ways God is helping each of us.
I called my dad this past week and told him what I was preaching about today and to call me back if he had some thoughts. About 2 hours later, he called me with his Sunday School notes from Ps 46 that he had taught from last Oct 17. He teaches a seniors’ adult class. He is 80 years old.
He told his class how he used to buy 80-pound bags of salt for his water freshener, and then the bags got too heavy. Then he could buy 50-pound bags for just a little more money, and they were so much easier to move to the basement where he uses them. Now he is using a 40-pound bag. It is just nicer to handle.
2 Cor 12: 9-10
We may be getting weaker, but God is steady. He is there with us as an “ever present help.”
My dad had asked two of his students beforehand to answer, “What do you do in times of trouble?”
One person he asked was my uncle Jim. He had cancer for about 3 years and was deathly sick several times.
Jim read from Ps 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
It may not be death we fear, but whatever fear we may have, God is with us.
The second person he had share was Marge Gnagey. She had a short poem that she shared. I called her and asked if I could share it with you.
by Carolyn Owens
“Now it’s time to go to sleep.
We know the Lord our soul will keep
And if we die, before we wake,
Hallelujah, what a break”
Mrs. Gnagey said if she can’t sleep she just says her little poem again.
When we grasp what God is about, then this peace in verse 10 makes sense.
It is in God’s greatness that we can feel that stillness of that leaf floating down the creek. We can feel that stillness in our heart by knowing who God is and how his strength and greatness can hold us.
In the Barclay commentary it says, “To stop, that is, be still, relax, think, learn the meaning of the great events which God is performing as you look at the water gushing out of the tunnel into the Pool of Siloam. Make the final discovery, that is, ‘know that I am God!’”
Verse 4 may be referring to the tunnel that was dug from a spring outside of Jerusalem to the Pool of Siloam. So if the city was at war, they would have this water just coming up inside the city walls.
There is something relaxing to see and hear water. We need those still times to feel and hear God. Sometimes when I am at the church alone, I will play the organ for that stillness.
Where is that still place for you?
Could verses 2-3 and 5-6 portray a crisis in your life? How are you responding to that crisis?
Read 2-3 and 5-6
We can all be still and hear God in the healing service.