Saturday, April 30, 2011

Psalms 46 and 47

Today's reading in our daily plan is Psalms 46 & 47. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Psalm 46 is a great one. It talks about how God is a place of refuge and strength to those who follow him.
  • Psalm 47 is a song of praise to encourage people to worship God. The odd thing is that it’s written by Israelites. They are a people who went through some really tough times. They were slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. Then they were led out into the desert to be nomads for 40 years. They finally had their homeland established only to be run out of it and live as exiles for 70 years. Of just about any nation, the Israelites had cause to doubt God’s “goodness” but here they’re singing of his greatness after all of this. Why? God had a proven track record of being there for them even when it appeared he wasn’t. Because of this, the Israelites could still sing praises to their God they could trust.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Psalm 46 tells us that God is “ever-present help” in times of trouble. That’s exactly what we are looking for in our God, isn’t it? But is this the most prevalent view of God? Or do people think God is strangely absent during their times of need? The words of this Psalm; “though the earth give way . . . though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake . . .” It brings to mind all the natural disasters like the deadly Tsunami in Japan, the devastating fires in Texas, or the horrific tornados in Alabama. During tough times like these, it’s easy to think God isn’t near but he is. In fact, read the rest of the Psalm; in verse 10 God says to be still and know that he is God. He is still available to us to offer us peace during times we need it most. It’s easy to think differently of God because of our circumstances but we need to realize God is still working on our behalf even when it seems as if he’s not.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you have a difficult time trusting in God when times get tough? Are you going through some difficult times right now? Look carefully today and watch for small ways that God is still active in your life. There are many things to be thankful for and those things are gifts from God.