4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.Psalm 46: 4-6
Yesterday we thought about God being our refuge when nature strives to take over, ‘Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging’. These words paint a picture of turmoil, the turmoil that many feel at this present time as they deal not just with the worries we always have but with the added fear that Covid-19 has introduced into our lives.
In contrast to the picture of upheaval in the first few verses of Psalm 46 we see in verse 4 an image of peace and calm, ‘there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God’. The phrase peace like a river is found elsewhere in the Bible. The Psalmist goes on to describe the city of God as the place where ‘the Most High dwells’. The difference between the turmoil of life depicted in verses 1-3 and the peace in verse 4 is the presence of God – v5 ‘God is within her, she will not fall’.
Therefore, at this present time we need to know that God’s presence is with us. We can make this a reality by spending time in God’s word, reading it, meditating on it, memorising it and basing our lives on the promises found therein. If we listen to what God is saying in his word as much as we listen to the media we will realise that God will help us – v5. Solid ground may disappear from beneath our feet but we will be secure because God, our refuge, is always with us.
The beginning of v6 seems to describe our world exactly at the minute – ‘nations are in uproar’. Most nations are in uproar as they endeavour to combat the effects of the coronavirus. Never in our lifetime have we seen so many countries across the world unified in battle – the battle to give us back the lives that we want. The one thing that we can be assured of is that God is still in charge v6 ‘he lifts his voice, the earth melts’. All God has to do is speak and things change. He may not speak directly to the coronavirus in the way that we want him to and we may never understand why. Thousands in the UK have been bereaved without the opportunity to say goodbye either at the bedside or at a funeral and the reasons for this may never be clear. Many things have changed. However we know that God is still in charge and he is still speaking to us – ‘he lifts his voice, the earth melts’. Let us therefore spend the next few months familiarising ourselves with the promises of God and trying to understand what he is saying to us.
Prayer Heavenly Father thank you that you are with us and that you have promised to be with us always. In the midst of the present turmoil enable us to rest secure in your presence no matter what is happening in our lives. Thank you that you are in control and that you are speaking to us. Help us to hear what you are saying and to act upon what you say. In Your Name we pray. Amen