When irrational fear, uncertainty, rampant selfishness, and real possibility of danger from some unseen virus haunt our days we may succumb to our fears and lose sight of the peace that is ours in God. Facing such things, it is a great time to look to a song by the sons of Korah, Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 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.” The psalmist is describing cataclysmic events, almost unimaginable in their scope, but he says even in the face of such catastrophes, we will not fear. He’s not talking about a stiff upper lip, a calm exterior while your insides are churning away, that’s not peace. That’s just suppressed anxiety.
He continues, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Indeed nations, the whole world, is in an uproar because of an epidemic, but look at the power of the Lord. The sound of His voice can turn the most solid, substantial things in our physical realm to butter. He can with a word render this world unlivable, BUT, irrespective of anything that comes, God’s people have the assurance that the Lord God, the Almighty One, is with us. The words “the God of Jacob” draw our attention to God’s covenant promises like Leviticus 26:12: “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people.”
Psalm 46 continues: “Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations He has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, He burns the shields with fire.” The Lord brings devastation on the earth for His own purposes. As people of God we are to walk humbly with our God trusting His divine providence and His all-surpassing goodness.
So, what do we do. The psalm ends with an admonition: “‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord God Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” The Lord will receive His due. The nations will submit to Him either willingly or when they are brought to their knees. Submission is the proper response. Compare “being still” with “the nations in uproar” (above). The whole world but especially God’s people should be still, their fears calmed, before the Lord, the all-powerful, covenant God who is ever and always with His people. Can you be at peace and be still in the knowledge that God is God and there is no other, and that all these things are in His hand? Can you say with David, a man who knew all kind of dangers (Psa. 4:8): “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Beloved, that peace with God is found only through faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
The peace of the Lord be with you all.