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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118  
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Psalms 46-47

 

Psalm 46:1-11

 

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah.  A Song upon Alamoth

 

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the high tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:  God shall help her, and that right early.  The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:  he uttered his voice, the earth melted.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD of hosts is our refuge.  Selah.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 46 this ancient song, “to the chief Musician,” so it was to be sung publicly, “of the sons of Korah.”  “A song upon Alamoth” which is virgins or maidens, which most scholars feel that it was sung soprano, it was sung by the highest voices.  The question is, is it a postscript for Psalm 45, where we hear about the Bride of Jehovah [and where an expository sermon is supposed to be applied personally as well as historically/prophetically, it could apply to us men and our brides, as well as prophetically to the Messiah’s bride], or is this one where there’s so much exultation in the song, it was to be sung in the highest praise.  Either way I think it fits with both.  That’s fine with me, for sure.  We come to this Psalm, first verse saying “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (verse 1)  It’s where Martin Luther wrote “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, A Bulwark Neverfailing.”  It was from this verse.  In fact, on his tombstone it says, “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.”  So through the ages, of the Hebrew people, of the Church, this Psalm has spoken out loud when there’s been great difficulty.  Context, amongst scholars believe 46, 47 and 48 are a trilogy relative to Hezekiah---Sennacherib, the Assyrian army that’s destroyed around the walls of Jerusalem (cf. 2nd Kings 19:35-36)---that God was a refuge and a strength in an incredible way, that it’s possibly even Hezekiah who took up the quill and wrote these things.  Certainly, with that type of a background, if you think of looking over the walls of Jerusalem, Rabshakeh blaspheming the God of Israel in Hebrew, and the men on the wall saying ‘Hey, speak to us in Aramaic, we understand that, don’t do this in Hebrew, you’re freaking everybody out.’  And he’s saying, Who do you think your God is to say he’s Most High, don’t you know the Most High is Sennacherib, we’ve done this.’  Well this Psalm is going to tell us about the Most High God.  But look, this is not theoretical, this is not just theologically correct, this is put to the page by the hand of someone who stood and looked into the face of death, insurmountable odds, in a situation where unless there was miraculous deliverance they wouldn’t be alive.  And then the Holy Spirit moving through that person, and putting the very Word of God to the page, which is the very Word of God we have this evening.  So any lesser struggle that we might be going through fits within this context.  Any threat that comes to our lives will fit within this context.  Any national crisis that we face, this week, next week, next year, fits within the context of this Psalm, and it’s something for us to take to heart, no doubt.  And there’s wonderful things, and there’s some real difficult challenges to us, as we look into the words of this song.  Let me read through it and then we’ll back up.  It says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.” ‘What do you think about that?’  There is a river, whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:  God shall help her, and that right early.  The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:  he uttered his voice, the earth melted.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.”  ‘What do you think about that?’  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.” (verses 1-11)  ‘What do you think about that?’  So it is a great song, as we look into these things. 

 

He’s A Very Present Help In Time Of Trouble, When Things Are Squeezing Us, When We Feel Seized By Circumstances

 

It tells us that God is our refuge and strength, that he is a very present help in trouble.  That states the fact, as we move into these first three verses.  He is a refuge, a place where you can go and seek shelter, to quiet yourself in the midst of a circumstance.  He is a refuge and a strength, “a very present help in trouble.”  As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only kind of help there is.  Kind of not present doesn’t mean much to me when I’m going through something.  And he’s not just a present help, it says “a very present help”, it literally, the idea is ‘one who is found,’ that’s the idea.  It is a day when we need refuge, when terrible things are going on, when we need to pull up into some quiet place, whether the storms and turmoils are internal or external.  [And sometimes internal storms and turmoils are worse than the external ones.  I know.]  We need his strength, because our own strength is not enough.  And it says in those circumstances, he is found.  He is one, it’s his nature, who is found.  He’s not evading us, playing games, saying ‘Oh yea, where were you yesterday when I wanted to hang out?’  No, not at all.  Because he knows we’re all like that, in desperate circumstances we pray desperate prayers.  When things are going easy, we pray going-easy prayers.  He’s a very present help in time of trouble, in narrowness, when things are squeezing us, and we feel seized by the circumstances, he is a very present help in those circumstances.  “Therefore” because of that “will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” (verse 2)  Now look, it doesn’t just say ‘I’m not going to be paranoid, I’m not going to worry about this, worry about that.’  Look what it says.  The first two though’s are there, it’s kind of ‘when this happens.’  “Though, though” verse 3, “though, though” there are four though’s there.  ‘So I’m not going to be afraid, the reason, because God is a refuge, a place where I can go, and I can find peace and strength, and he is found, he’s very present in our trouble, when things are squeezing in on us.  And because of that, we’re not going to be afraid,’ “though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  Listen, “though the earth be removed,” terra firma, things under your feet.  When a tornado comes, you can at least get in a basement somewhere.  When the earth starts shaking, there’s not a lot of places to go.  “Though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” (verse 2b) unimaginable, unimaginable.  [This was depicted, in a sense, in the movie “Deep Impact”, where a giant asteroid struck the ocean, causing a huge tidal wave, which engulfed the mountains on the east coast of the United States.  That’s the closest thing to compare this verse with.]  though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with swelling thereof.  Selah.” (verse 3)  Luke tells us, in the last days, ‘Men’s hearts failing them for fear, looking at those things that are coming upon the world, the waves and seas roaring.’  though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.”  ‘Though this, though that, though that, we won’t be afraid, because of who God is.  What do you think about that?’  Look, you know, these are people who are, in it’s historic context, sitting inside of a castle, a fortress, the city of Jerusalem, looking out, wondering how they’re ever going to survive, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers outside, ruthless and brutal, going to bed at night, trying to tell your kids, ‘You don’t have to worry,’ a husband trying to give care to his wife, and she’s no doubt worried about the kids, because of what the Assyrian soldiers did to people.  And somewhere in the middle of this, the context, was it written when it was over?  Was it written, it was a lot easier to write this when it was over than to write it looking into it, I’m sure.  We don’t have the timing exact.  But we know this, look, you enlarge the picture, in the last days the earth is going to shake, it’s going to rock to and fro like a drunken man, it’s going to real to and fro, Isaiah tells us.  It says the mountains are going to be thrown down.  Valleys are going to be lifted up.  There’s going to be such changes in the earth.  But we’re told clearly, in 1st Thessalonians chapter 5, that we are not appointed to wrath, we are not appointed to wrath.  We may see very difficult things take place, and this will be a song to be sung.  There are places around the world where terrible things have happened to Christians, three million Christians slaughtered in Southern Sudan, who love Jesus and love his Word, over oil.  There’s great injustice in this world, and it tells us that nations are like the waves of the sea, roaring.  It’s an idiom, it’s a picture sometimes.  There’s great turmoil, culturally, socially, economically, militarily, for you and I.  I remember when 9/11, when that happened, I was on the West Coast and couldn’t get home, we drove down to southern California, and I remember talking to Chuck [Smith].  And I said, “Chuck, what are you thinking about all of this?”  He said, “I’ll tell you what I’m thinking.”  He said, “God is our refuge and our strength, and a very present help in time of trouble.”  “Therefore, Joe, we’re not going to be afraid, though the earth be removed, or the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and are troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”  That was his answer to me, right to Psalm 46.  What a wonderful challenge that is laid out for us right here in the beginning, of all this turmoil, all these things now.  You want to take note of one thing, in verse 2, it says “though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” that word “carried” there is the same word that’s translated “moved” in verse 5 and in verse 6.  In verse 5 it tells us what’s not going to be moved, and in verse 6 it says ‘the nations, the heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved,’ like here, the mountains being carried or moved into the midst of the sea.  So we have this huge picture, globally, of certain things happening and certain things moving.  And in the middle of that, verse 5, it tells us what’s not going to be moved.  And certainly that’s a lesson for us as we look at these things. 

 

There Is A River, The Streams Whereof Shall Make Glad

 

Verses 4-5 say this, There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:  God shall help her, and that right early.”  In the breaking of the morning” is the idea.  Look, it’s an interesting picture.  Scholars kind of wrestle with it, because it just says “a river”, it’s a noun interjected without a grammatical structure, and it’s almost like the text says to us, ‘Lo, a river.’  Just, it breaks the thought of all of that horror, all of those things [in verses 1-3], and all of a sudden this voice from heaven, it doesn’t say actually there is a river, it just says “a river”, like it’s an exclamation ‘a river!’  a river” and it says “the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,” this is Jerusalem, “the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” And “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:  God shall help her, and that at the breaking forth of the day.” [literally in the Hebrew, I guess]  Ah, an interesting picture.  In Jerusalem, it’s one of those cities, that in and of it’s present state and past, it really didn’t have a river like other cities.  You know, the great cities around the world were located in regards to rivers.  Babylon, you go through them, and Jerusalem didn’t.  There’s certainly, as David comes with his men to take the city, which was called Jabuz then, there was the Gihon Spring.  Now Gihon is an interesting word, it means “to be breaking forth.”  Sometimes it means “river,” but it’s this little brook.  You would look at it and never call it a river.  We see rivers here.  And historically, that may be in the heart of the writer, in the sense that the Jebusites mocked David and his men and said, ‘We can put the halt and the lame on the wall, you can never get in here,’ because they were letting down buckets down this shaft into this water, and in those ancient days if there was a water source inside the city, it could last for a long time.  One of the remarkable things about the tour to Israel is when we go to Megiddo, and you go down about five flights of stairs, probably over a hundred feet, and then several hundred feet straight across to a spring, so the city of Megiddo had a water source inside.  And they didn’t have pneumatic tools, they weren’t blasting, they were using hammers and chisels, and then the ladies took the buckets of rocks and carried them away, girls, you played an important part for thirsty men, in those days.  And then when it was all done, you said to your wife ‘Hey honey, go down there and get me a bucket of water, will ya?’  Things have changed, but it was the culture.  And in Jerusalem, Joab [one of David’s future generals] discovers where the Gihon Spring is covered and that shaft.  And they call it Warren’s Shaft, Joab’s Tunnel.  Remember he got up, made his way up through there with spears, got into the city, they opened the gates, and David had great victory.  Well centuries later, Hezekiah, he quarries a tunnel over 1,700 feet, from the Gihon Spring to the pool of Siloam, so he could block up that side of the mountain, and the water would flow south, under the city of Jabuz, of Zion, to the Pool of Siloam.  So there’s a context here, where when the Assyrian army, it wasn’t Jerusalem the way we know it today, the larger upper city, it was certainly a time when they had a certain sense of relief, knowing at least they had a water-source inside the city.  And that is certainly a spiritual picture.  The enemy had no idea about the internal reservoir of springing water that they had.  The enemy had no idea of what was running under that city, that Gihon Spring, and it is certainly a wonderful picture.  Jeremiah would rebuke the nation [of Judah] and say ‘For my people have committed two evils.  They have forsaken me, the fountain of Living Waters, and they have hewn out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.’  That’s found in more than one place.  You’ll find that reproof in Zechariah 13:1, the idea of internal Jesus, ‘If any man thirst let him come to me, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’  Look, that has to be real in our lives, when the enemy, when the pressure is on the outside, and we feel like we’re going to buckle, we feel like our whole world is being shaken.  It isn’t enough to say ‘I go to Calvary Chapel,’ it isn’t enough to say ‘I do these Christian things,’ it’s at that time when we ask ourselves, ‘Do I really have an inward source?  Is there really a spring of water, of living water inside, that the enemy can’t stop from flowing, and he knows nothing about?’  And you see, it’s telling us here there was more than that.  It tells us that there is a river, there streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High, God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved,’  like everything else is going to be moved in this song.  So it’s not just the River, it’s the Resident that matters.  You know, the Living Water inside of you is a person.  [Comment: now this is where most of Christianity differs in their understanding of what the Holy Spirit is, some say the Holy Spirit is person, some believe the Holy Spirit is a part of God which we can’t explain, some say the Holy Spirit is the power of God.  I personally think, from all the analogies given in the Bible about the Holy Spirit, describing the Holy Spirit, that it is a distinct part of God that is omnipresent in the universe, that binds Father and Son together, but is not a person, per se.  We’ll know more at Jesus’ 2nd coming on this matter.]  The living Christ is inside of you, it’s a River and it’s a Resident for us (cf. John 14:15-23).  What if we see the East Coast under attack?  What if we see our world shaken, what if we get separated from loved ones (cf. Romans 8:35-39, be sure to look up and read that passage).  What if the worst things we could imagine come upon us?  This is a pilgrimage, we’re passing through, this is all temporary, ‘and our God is a refuge, and a strength, he will be found in times of trouble, though the whole world around us shakes and falls apart, he’s our refuge.  What do you think about that (Selah).  ‘There’s a river,’ Jesus talked about it, ‘out of your inmost being shall flow rivers of Living Water, and there’s a Resident, God is in the midst, and because of that we shall not be moved.’  There’s something then that’s immovable.  There’s pain in this life, there’s tears, we loose loved ones, there’s genuine hurt.  And I don’t mean to make light of anything or to be cavalier about anybody’s broken heart tonight.  But there is a difference between you and an unbeliever whose going through the exact same circumstance, and that is that there is life, age-abiding life within you, there is the Living One that has taken residence within your life (cf. John 14:15-23), and he is a refuge, he is a strength, and his very nature is to be found, that’s why he’s there.

 

Jerusalem Gets A Double-River System, A Constant Water-Source

 

Look, certainly, looking forward, wonderfully it tells us in Ezekiel chapter 47 (verses 1-12) that after the earth is desolated in the Tribulation (just after World War III, at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming), that the Temple is going to be established, and it says there’s a fountain, a river that’s going to begin to flow, and it flows out from under the throne of God, from the Temple (the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem), wonderfully it flows by the right side of the alter, what a wonderful picture, the right side, the strength, the alter where blood is shed, and then it flows out of the Temple precincts, half of it flows toward the Med, half of it flows to the Dead Sea, towards the Mediterranean Sea and towards the Dead Sea.  Ezekiel said as it flowed on it became wider and deeper, so that it could carry men away, and it came, and that stream [double-river system] it says, is going to heal the waters of the world.  Because all of the oceans, and all of the fresh water around the entire globe have been turned to blood (cf. Revelation 16:3).  And as this water flows from there, it brings healing, even to the Dead Sea.  It’s a great name for it, because there isn’t anything alive in it.  Bacteria can’t even live in it.  But is says fishermen are going to dry their nets by Engedi, and the Dead Sea is going to teem with life, as this water, the living water from the Lord’s presence flows, and it heals the whole earth.  So Hezekiah has a historic context, whoever the author is, but it broadens out into the much bigger picture, and it tells us why God is our strength and our refuge, because even to the ends of the earth, even when the whole planet is rockin’ and rollin’, even when everything that can be shaken is shaken, there will be something that can’t be shaken, and that’s your relationship with Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 8:35-39), and it’s because he’s holding on to you, not because you’re holding onto him.  That’s the good news.  You know, people in the church, my own life, my wife, my kids, when I hear their troubles, my confidence is always him, not you.  ‘Man, you’re really going through it, I’m glad he’s involved, I’m glad he’s got hold of you, and I don’t have to worry about whether you’ve got hold of him or not.’  And he does a wonderful job.  [Read Ezekiel 47:1-12 and Zechariah 14:8.]

 

The LORD Of Hosts, The God Of Jacob Is Our Refuge

 

“God is in the midst of her” it says, “she shall not be moved”, like the mountains, like the nations, “God shall help her at the breaking of the day.” (verse 5)  and “The heathen” the nations “raged, the kingdoms were moved:  he uttered his voice, the earth melted.” (verse 6)  He’s seeing a bigger picture, not just one nation, ‘the kingdoms of the earth, they were moved,’ “he uttered his voice, the earth melted.”  He’s going to roar out of Zion, we’re told in more than one place.  “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.” (verse 7)  It’s an interesting statement, now look, “The LORD of hosts”, that’s angels, that’s men, that’s stars in heaven, that’s clouds, the LORD of armies, whatever kind of hosts they are, he is the LORD of all of them.  And normally in this Second Book of Psalms, Elohim is the main name [used for God], but here we have Jehovah [Yahweh, the pre-Incarnate Christ] of hosts here, wonderfully put in front of us here, the LORD of hosts, he’s with us.  Even all of those hosts, innumerable company of angels, all of those hosts, it says he’s with us.  And it’s interesting, the phrase there in Hebrew “with us” is Emannu, where we get Emmanuel, remember, they called his name Jesus, Emmanuel, he is God with us, Emmanu-El.’  This says here the LORD of hosts is with us, emmanu.  So if he’s God with us, he’s Emmanuel, wonderfully.  the God of Jacob is your refuge.  Selah.” (verse 7b)  Aren’t you glad?  The God of scoundrel.  Because some of you are already thinking, ‘Man, if it starts to fall apart, he ain’t going to be on my side…I’m doing stuff, my heart ain’t where it ought to be,’ this is the God of Jacob.  He doesn’t say the God of Israel here, he says specifically the God of Jacob, heal-catcher, conniver, operator, smarty-pants, he’s with us.  What do you think about that (i.e. Selah), what do you think about that?  You have internally a Life-source (cf. Romans 8:11), a Resident (cf. John 14:15-23).  That has to be more powerful in your life, he must be, than getting psychologized, indoctrinated by the media, than ‘I look at this guy, I love to watch this show [Dr. Phil anyone?]’, doomsday prepers.  You see these things, they’re putting in their yard, I like to watch that, but I’m a Christian, if people come across my lawn I can’t shoot them to keep them away from my water and my grain, I gotta share it with them.  I watch them and think, ‘You ain’t gonna get ready for what’s coming.’  When we lived on the West Coast, Kathy and I, there were guys, Christians up in the Northwest, they were heavy into this survivalist stuff [that is so dangerous and unbalanced], thinking that they were going to survive, and there were other people, ‘We’re going to survive the Tribulation,’ you’ve gotta be kidding.  [Comment:  There is one doctrinal interpretation, which is just as disputed as the Rapture doctrine, which shows that believers from the Philadelphia era go to a place of safety during the Tribulation (cf. Revelation 3:10).  If this is so, the Bible doesn’t really say for sure where this place is.  The most we know is what Revelation 3:10 tells us, that we will be protected, that’s it folks, so stop speculating and get about the business of preaching the Gospel to everyone (cf. Mathew 28:18-20).  It is God who will protect us, and that not through our own puny efforts.]  There’s Abaddon, Apollyon, abuso is going to be opened (cf. Revelation 9:1-3, 11), spirits are coming out of there that are gonna knaw on you for five months, no matter how much water and how many guns and how much grain you have.  And you can’t shoot them or do nothing to them.  If you could get ready to survive the Tribulation, God would need to find a new job.  It’s why it’s called the Great Tribulation, it’s not for us.  We’re not appointed to that.  Because the LORD of hosts, of all those armies, he’s with us, the God of scoundrels, the God of Jacob, the God of Jacob, he’s our refuge.  Jacob found that God was his refuge, Selah, what do you think about that? Verse 7, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.”  Now this third movement, there’s a refuge, there’s a river, now there’s a Ruler here. 

 

Jesus The Messiah Comes To End War, Set Up His Kingdom On Earth

 

Verses 8-11, “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.”  “Come, behold” is one word there, it’s “to come, to look, behold,”  “what desolations he hath made in the earth.”  No doubt this writer is seeing the near and the far through the Assyrian army, he’s seeing the near of it, and far, the greater picture.  Listen to what it says of the LORD, Jehovah, “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he” is the one who “breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;” and it’s literally “causes the spear to shatter,” and “he burneth the chariot in the fire” he’s the one who does that.  That’s our confidence, he’s going to do that.  The U.N. ain’t going to do it [the U.N. by then will be part and parcel in alliance with the Beast Power, the United States of Europe or whatever it will be called, by then anyways].  You go to Israel today, it’s interesting, and from southern Jerusalem, they’re pointing out the topography and you’re looking at the Hinnom Valley, and the Mount of Olives, and all of the sights around, and they’ll say “See that hill down there, it’s got towers and radar things?  That’s the U.N. Headquarters there.”  But the name of the hill it’s on, back to the days of Christ, it’s called “the Hill of Evil Council.”  That’s where they built the U.N. headquarters in Israel.  And I know the Israelis appreciate that, the United Nothing they speak of.  The U.N. ain’t going to do it [like I said, the U.N. will be a part of the enemy the Lord defeats].  If you are here tonight, and your hope is in the U.N., you need to come up for prayer afterwards.  Our hope is in the King of kings and in the Lord of lords, and he’s coming, and he’s going to make the world live at peace.  He’s going to bring wars to an end, he is going to do it.  And we don’t have to be getting ulcers over it, you don’t have to have a mood ring, you don’t have to see an analyst, he is going to do it.  [men sometimes need their wives to have mood rings on]  He’s going to do it.  We don’t have to strive, “He maketh wars to cease” what a wonderful picture.  Isaiah tells us this, “The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”  the next Psalm, 48, it says, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”  It says literally it’s “beautiful for elevation” because it’s going to be raised up, it says ‘The mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:  for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks [or scythes]:  nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:1-4)  Zechariah says ‘Ten men will take hold of the skirt of a Jew and say Take us to the Temple, let us see your God.’  he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,” that’s on the U.N. headquarters “and their spears into pruninghooks:  nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)  Doesn’t that sound good?  What the the U.N. leaves off is “he shall” and got “we shall” there.  Somebody should spray paint it “You ain’t, he is.”  “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.” (verse 9)  [chariots today are modern-day tanks, battle-tanks] 

 

‘Be Still, Hands To The Side, Leave This Up To Me’

 

And then wonderfully, “Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (verse 10)  Wonderfully it can be translated “I am” so positive, “it is,” and “it is going to be.”  “Be still”, that’s not ‘sit still’, I know we have a hard time doing that, and in our culture.  Be still?  We’re bombarded on the horizontal.  When do we cultivate turning all of that stuff off, and sitting alone with him?  It means “desist,” it means “hands off,” it means “leave off,” it means “to let the hands drop to the side,” “be still, be still,” “leave this up to me, hands off, the servant of the Lord shouldn’t strive.”  You see all this injustice in the earth, you see the nations rocking and rolling, you see all this unfairness, you see war, you see turmoil, you see mountains falling into the sea [not that yet], when you see all these things, just realize, there’s another source, and there’s another Resident, there’s a place where none of that is happening, and things are not going to be moved.  ‘But come on and behold, look at the desolations the Lord has made in the earth, look at what he’s done in his strength and his power, he’s going to make wars to cease, they’re going to come to an end, he’s going to make that happen.  For us, be still, and know, beware, recognize that I am God.’ (verses 9-10a)  “I will be exalted among the heathen [nations], I will be exalted in the earth.” (verse 10b)  Isn’t that wonderful to think of?  Imagine turning on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and just having the commentator say, ‘We have a wonderful shot of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ this evening in Jerusalem, oh how he’s changed the world since he’s taken over, let’s just tonight, we’re going to put the camera on the Temple and listen to the worship over there, the knowledge of the Lord is filling the earth as the waters cover the sea, and they’re beating all the swords into plowshares, and spears into pruninghooks (scythes).  This is real news, all that other stuff we had was bad news, this is the Good News, this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  [Comment:  All of this was depicted in the excellent commentary given in the old Worldwide Church of God’s booklet, “The Wonderful World Tomorrow, What It Will Be Like” which described the Millennial Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ will set up upon his return back to earth, what we call the 2nd coming.  For more on this see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm]  That would be news, wouldn’t it?  There’s one guy sitting here going, ‘Na, I don’t know, I spent a lot on ammo just recently.’  [laughter]  “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (verse 10b) this is not a ‘maybe.’  We don’t have to be stressed out and get ulcers, he’s going to have his way, it’s gonna happen.  Heaven and earth will pass away, the Word of God is never going to pass away.  “I will be exalted in the earth.”  And then he ends, he says, and look, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.” (verse 11)  And the great thing about that, he doesn’t say ‘the hosts of the LORD are with us.’  Now that would be enough consolation in and of itself, wouldn’t it?  ‘Peter, put your sword into it’s sheath.  Don’t you know right now I could call down twelve legions of angels if I wanted to?  That’s over 60,000, 72,000 angels, I could call them down now if I wanted to.’  Well if one angel in one night killed 185,000 Assyrians, why don’t you multiply 72,000 times 185,000 and then you get an idea of what just 12 legions of angels could do.  It’s like the population of the globe in an evening, it’s a night’s work.  It would be enough if he said the hosts of the LORD are with you.  It doesn’t say that.  He says “The LORD of hosts is with us,” (verse 11a)  The heck with “hosts”, the LORD of hosts.  He’s with us, he’s Emmanuel, the LORD of the hosts, that rules all angels, all stars, all armies [in heaven], that LORD is with us.  Again, “the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.” (verse 11b)  Jacob, the conniver, we can go to him in our imperfection, he is our refuge (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16, read it).  Selah, what do you think about that?  Good song to sing when things seem like they’re falling apart.  Good song to sing. 

 

related links:

 

For more on the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, read on through both “html” pages of this link,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

 

For more about the Millennial Kingdom of God, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm

 

 

Psalm 47:1-9

 

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah

 

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.  He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.  He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved.  Selah.  God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.  Sing praises to God, sing praises:  sing praises unto our King, sing praises.  For God is King of all the earth:  sing ye praises with understanding.  God reigneth over the heathen:  God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.  The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham:  for the shields of the earth belong unto God:  he is greatly exalted.” 

 

Introduction

 

The next Psalm, Psalm 47, and interesting Psalm, it’s a wonderful follow-up to this Psalm (Psalm 46) because it’s going to speak of how wonderful and how powerful the LORD is.  And no doubt, I my mind, probably Hezekiah or whoever wrote it, took up his quill, when they got up in the morning, and it says there were 185,000 Assyrians [battle-hardened, ruthless Assyrian soldiers] dead outside of the city.  It says “It came to pass, that night the angel of the LORD went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000, and when they [the Jews] arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” (2nd Kings 19:35)  When the people inside of Jerusalem looked out, it was quiet, Rabshakeh wasn’t yelling nothing anymore.  [Rabshakeh was dead along with the rest of them, obviously, he paid with his life for the insults he hurled at the LORD God of Israel.]  And no doubt as the children of Israel were assuming the responsibility, taking the spoil through the tents of the Assyrians, preparing them for burial, Hezekiah or somebody put the quill to the page, and he wrote this song.  It is a song again to the chief Musician, it was to be sung publicly in ancient Israel.  And interestingly, this song is sung seven times before the trumpets blast on Rosheshoneh (the Feast of Trumpets, which symbolize the 2nd coming of Christ in God’s Holy Day system).  This song would be sung or read aloud seven times.  Originally, remember, Passover was the beginning of months, the first of the year, the new year [in their religious calendar].  It switches [the Jewish new year] to Rosheshoneh, the Feast of Trumpets being the head of the new year. Rosh, head, the head of the new year.  But before the trumpets sounded, that’s interesting to us, because it’s a picture of the Rapture [i.e. the first resurrection to immortality, which occurs when the Seventh Trumpet of Revelation 11:15-18 is sounded] in some ways.  Before the trumpets sound on Rosheshoneh, this song was either read out loud publicly or sung through seven times.  In the history of the Church [Body of Christ], the early Church, this song is sung on Ascension Sunday, on the Ascension day, that’s when this song is sung.  [We in the Sabbath/Holy Day observing Churches of God should sing it on the Feast of Trumpets as well, picturing the victory Jesus Christ will achieve over the armies of the world at his 2nd coming.  Just a thought.]  So it’s got interesting overtones. 

 

“Clap Hands!  He Is King Over All The Earth, He Shall Subdue The People Under Us, The Nations Under Our Feet”

 

We sing some of these words, ‘Clap your hands, all ye people.  Shout unto God with a voice of triumph.’  It’s alright to sing with all you’ve got.  When we end the service tonight, and we’re going to sing a song together, ‘Oh how great is the Lord.’  Look!  Do you realize what we just read through?  We should be singing with all our hearts, you know.  We should let it rise, to bless him, “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” (verse 1)  The reason, “For the LORD most high is terrible;” “most high,” El-yon, Rabshakeh had made fun of that idea and applied it to Sennacherib.  He says here, “For the LORD most high is terrible;”  ‘he is terrible, he is awesome, HE IS AWESOME!’  he is a great King over all the earth.” (verse 2)  That sounds so good to me, I get so fed up with politics, all this stuff is just refreshing and wonderful to me.  It’s like a river, flowing.  “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.” (verse 3)  He tells us at the end of Romans, Satan is going to be shortly crushed under our heals.  [Comment: And at the 2nd coming of Christ, Jesus will place king David, now resurrected and immortal, over the 12 tribes of Israel, but people, as Isaiah shows, will be looking to the Jews to guide them toward the God of Israel, so the tribe of Judah, as a head tribe, will yet have the nations of the world under their feet, just as Hezekiah wrote here, yet in a greater fulfillment of these verses.  It will be a song of triumph particularly for the Jewish people, now under Yeshua haMeshiach whom they now recognize as their Messiah and King, cf. Revelation 19:8-21.]  Satan is going to be shortly crushed under our heals (cf. Revelation 20:1-3).  He says here, “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.”  Certainly we should hold onto these words in a wonderful way.  “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved.  Selah.” (verse 4)  And again, “whom he loved.  Selah” ‘what do you think about that?’  He’s going to choose our inheritance for us, the excellency, not of Israel, of Jacob again.  [Some denominations believe two of the tribes of Israel, under the name of Jacob, became two of the wealthiest nations on earth, the first one the British Empire, and then the United States of America.  So if this is true (many don’t believe this), the excellency of Jacob takes on a newer and bigger meaning, just in the physical sense.  The Jews themselves don’t like this idea, yet amongst themselves they hotly debate about where the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel could have historically disappeared to.]  He’s showing his mercy and reaching out in grace, he’s not afraid to call them the children of Jacob, or call the nation Jacob.  Because Jacob still finds that refuge in him, Jacob in his imperfections stills comes under, is called the prince of God, governed by God as time goes on.  Here he says he’s going to choose our inheritance for us.  Now I’m kind of glad about that.  Because if I chose my own inheritance during the Millennium, I probably wouldn’t be there long and I’d realize I should have let him pick.  But I’m married into a beach family, and for them all to be happy it would have to be sandy once a year, sand between your toes, sand in your ears, sand in your clothes, sand.  I’m a mountain guy, I want to be in the mountains.  I like the mountains.  I always say ‘During the Millennium, God put me in Montana.’  But wonderfully here it says, and I’m saying ‘Lord do it,’ “He shall chose our inheritance for us,” (verse 4a) that’s good with me, that is good with me.  “He shall chose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved.  Selah.” (verse 4)  ‘Selah, what do you think about that?’ 

 

We’re Waiting For That 7th Trumpet, We Should Be Singing With Intelligence And Understanding

 

“God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.” (verse 5)  Like that kind of talk, don’t you?  The Lord with the sound of the trumpet, going up with a shout, and we’re listening for that, the shout, the voice of the arch angel, the trump of God, these are good words, we like these.  “God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.”  Now listen, “Sing praises to God, sing praises:  sing praises unto our King, sing praises.” (verse 6)  the next verse, I think he wants us to sing praises.  That’s a distinct idea I get, the Lord here when he comes, and he’s coming in all of his glory and his majesty, I’m glad that we have a musical faith.  Don’t you?  I’m glad, through ancient Israel, through the Church, we have a musical faith, I love the songs that we sing.  When I listen to the music of some of the other religious systems, I’m not putting anyone down, I’m just glad I don’t have to listen to that all the time.  It’s like the weirdest notes and sounds are the most spiritual?  No, no.  [What we sing here and how the Psalms were sung in ancient Israel] were the most melodious, the most wonderful, the most gracious.  I’m glad we have a musical faith.  Here he says, “Sing praises to God, sing praises:  sing praises unto our King, sing praises.” (verse 6) the reason?  “For God is the King of all the earth:  sing ye praises with understanding.” (verse 7)  Don’t worry about it [what’s going on right now], we know whose in charge.  ok?  “For God is the King of all the earth:  sing ye praises with understanding.”  Interesting here, “with Maschil”, we have Maschil Psalms, which are Psalms of instruction.  It’s ‘sing ye praises with understanding, being instructed.’  You know, God doesn’t want us just to be emotional, and flying off the handle with a bunch of stuff.  Hopefully, you feel the way I do, you know, you become a student of the Scripture, and then you hear some of the depth of “Rock of Ages, cleft for me,” and you start to sing some of those old songs, and the beauty and depth of the words is overwhelming.  That’s singing with Maschil, singing with understanding, singing with intelligence.  You know, I love to sing, ‘How could a lamb rescue the souls of men?’ I can think about that, ‘How could a lamb rescue the souls of men?’  Or when we sing ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,’ what a wonderful song.  So it’s “Sing praises to God, sing praises:  sing praises unto our King, sing praises.  For [because] God is the King of all the earth:” so then, ‘sing ye praises with Maschil, with understanding, skillfully, with instruction, with understanding, intelligently, know what you’re singing about, be grounded in his Word.’

 

God Reigneth Over The Nations, The Shields Of The Earth Belong To God

 

“God reigneth over the heathen [nations]:  God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.” (verse 8)  The media may challenge that today, but here’s the truth.  ‘God reigns over the nations,’ “God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.” (verse 8b)  It doesn’t matter how immoral the present world is, they don’t win.  ‘He’s sitting on the throne of his holiness.’  “The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham:  for the shields of the earth belong unto God:  he is greatly exalted.” (verse 9)  What a scene he (Hezekiah) must see, “even of the God of Abraham:  In the end of the Tribulation we see all of them gathered back to Jerusalem [all 12 tribes of Israel, along with the Levites mixed in with the tribe of Judah].  for the shields of the earth belong unto God:” and I wonder if Hezekiah is looking out at the Assyrian shields laying all over the ground, ‘the shields of the earth, they belong unto God.’  he is greatly exalted.” 

 

In closing

 

Good stuff, I don’t want to jam the next one in, it’s not worth it.  I’d rather take our time, and hopefully the Rapture will happen by next Wednesday and it’ll be more meaningful because we’ll be singing ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.’  You know, we’ll enter right into it and you won’t need me to tell you about it, I’ll be looking for a job.  [You’ll be an expository teacher of the Word of God, just like now, except you’ll have more people to teach under you than you do now.  And this is during the Millennium.]  No pastors in heaven.  I’ll be worship leader again, which will be great.  Let’s do this, we have time for a few extra songs tonight, I’m going to have the musicians come.  I’m going to pray, then I’m going to ask this, if you tonight, as we go through this first song, look, there’s no pressure here, but if you feel like, ‘You know what, I’m getting squashed, I’m in trouble, I’m in a tight spot,’ and just listening to this tonight, ‘God is my refuge, and he is my strength, that he will be found,’ I so desperately want to find God tonight, my heart is broken, there’s more going on in my life than I care to talk about.’  You may even be bitter at him right now.  ‘God, if you’re a God of love and you’re on the throne, why have you allowed some of these things to happen in my life.’  We can all struggle there sometimes.  Sometimes life hurts that bad, and it seems that unfair.  But if you’re in that place, as we sing this first song, I’ll pray first, and if you want prayer, I’m going to ask you just to stand.  And look, we haven’t kind of cornered it on if you’re mad at God, I don’t want you to stand and say ‘I’m not going to stand and everybody’s going to think I’m mad at God,’ no, no, that’s not the point.  You’re heart is broken, you’re struggling, you feel like you need to be refreshed with a river from within, you’ve tried every resource from the outside to take away the stress and the trouble, and you feel ‘You know what?  Lord, I need the River and the Resident, no matter what the enemy assails around me, I need to be reminded that there’s a source within that he knows nothing about and he has no control over.  And I’m going to be still, I’m going to drop my hands at my side, and I’m going to know, I’m going to recognize, I’m going to discern, I’m going to beware that you’re God, and that even in my Jacobness, you’re willing to be my refuge, and you tell me to think about that.  Even in my Jacobness, it’s not just your hosts that you put around me, it’s you yourself, Lord, and I need that.’  [And strangely enough, God has been bringing me through the emotional highs and lows of these last few Psalms, they seem to apply personally to me life, and I prayed, as I felt squeezed by circumstances beyond measure, and I prayed for that River and Resident, God the Father and Jesus Christ to enter into me via the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:15-23), and it happened.  So what Pastor Joe is about to do works, and can work for you, even as you read this, and pray personally for that River and Resident, it works.  God is faithful.]  That has to be a reality in our lives sometimes.  Not religious, not theoretical, it has to be real.  So I’m going to pray, and as we sing this first song, if that’s you tonight, and you want prayer, I’m just going to ask you, as we worship, to stand where you are.  If the Holy Spirit leads you, and you want to pray for that person, don’t go say ‘Hey man, what’s up with you?  You look terrible.’  Don’t do that.  Just go over and put your hand on them, don’t’ say anything, just quietly pray for them, quietly.  As we finish this evening, maybe you want to say to them, ‘You know what?  I’m going to remember your face, I’ll be praying for you for the next few weeks, I just want you to know that.’  Let’s do that.  ‘Father, I know you’ve overheard, Lord, and you’ve put these things in front of us, Lord, not for us to file them away somewhere, to put them in a correct theological file, but Lord you’re saying something to us, Lord, and you want to be found, Lord.  You’re very present, Lord.  And there’s so many times Father, in this life, Lord, we have experienced your faithfulness and your goodness, you’ve been gracious to us, and then Lord we come to some place we’ve never been before, where the water’s deeper than any water we’ve ever been in, and your waves and your billows seem to be going over us, and what we know of you up to that point isn’t sufficient for the present struggle.  And then Lord we need to find you all over again, freshly, a refuge and a strength.  We need to discover the new [you] that your want to be found of us, and that as you dwell within us you spring up to everlasting life.  Lord, there is a hope that transcends this world.   And you can heal us from the inside out Father.  And Lord, all of us agree here Lord, that the ones of us that may not be heartbroken tonight, we know we will be at times in life where we want these things to be real, Lord.  Quicken our memories, stir our hearts, Lord.  And we pray now as we worship now, that you would touch every broken heart here this evening, Lord, whatever the struggle might be, Lord.  And even the ones that are so weary they’re not even going to stand, Lord, even the ones that are thinking ‘What’s the use?’ blow their minds, Lord, blow their minds.  We put these things before you Father, we thank you for your Word, Lord, and we ask you to move upon it.  We believe it, Lord, it is a Rock to us, a Lamp unto our feet, a Light unto our path, Lord, it is a fortress for us, a shield, a buckler, Lord.  So Lord we pray that you would move among us as we lift our praises.  You told us tonight, sing praises, sing praises, sing praises, sing praises, sing praises.  And Lord we’re saying ‘ok, ok, ok, ok. ok,’ and here it is Lord, our hearts, our voices, our lives afresh, Father, and we ask that you would do this, in Jesus name, and for his glory, amen.’  [transcript of a connective expository sermon of Psalm 46:1-11 and Psalm 47:1-9, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and read through these two “html” pages.

 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm

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