Great Defender

Great Defender

Psalm 46:8-11

Intro:  Most people know “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). But did you know that it’s context in Psalm 46 is war and devastation? A song by the sons of Korah to be sung as worship in a time of trouble.  Martin Luther use to say when trouble was becoming overwhelming “Come let’s sing the 46th psalm.”

It was written at a time Israel was being invaded by 3 foreign armies much larger and stronger than they. The Psalm is divided in 3 parts with the word Selah, as if to take a breath and think about what you just said.

Part 1: Focus on God’s Person: Vs 1-3 God is our refuge a S, a VPH I T o T. Though the worst happen we will not fear.

Part 2: Focus on God’s Presence: Vs 4-7 There is a river – hidden supernatural Presence – God is in the river and the river streams through us. The Lord of Hosts is with us.  He is the answer to our warfare we face.

Part 3: Focus on God’s Plan: Vs 8-11

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear asunder; 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.”  Psalm 46:8-11

The Almighty has a plan, a work, a vision He is fulfilling even as we speak. There is something big going on in the earth. But to see it we must get beyond our lives, our situations, beyond our church program, beyond our country, to embrace God’s vision for the world. As loved and cherished by God as we are, we are not the big picture. God is the big picture and it is important that people see and come to know Him personally. God’s passion is for all to know Him. All of life, the painful as well as the pleasant is for us to know Him. May we as Your church live for what Jesus died for. To know who “I AM” is and to make Him known.

 God is behind some the scenes causing some events, or allowing some so that people will see God in it, or because of it. In this event God was the One causing Israel’s enemies to rise up against them.

In the end Israel had a supernatural victory – God fought for them – “all I did was worship. All I did was praise. All I did was bow down. All I did was be still!” You can read about it in 2 Chronicles 20:20. 20/20 vision to see how God works and trust Him.

Ill. Read from my Bible 2 Chron. 20 highlights. Can you imagine Jehoshaphat and men walked out on the battlefield after this in awe and said these words:

 “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.”

“Come behold the works of the Lord. . .”          

  “Behold” = Here I am.   See Me in this situation.

“All we did was worship. All we did was praise. All we did was bow down. All we did was stay still!”

There are three calls of God to us in this text:

1.   The call to BEHOLD. Behold God’s works in a world of darkness and death and wickedness. We can claim the victory of Jesus in advance of seeing any victory!  

This is not the first time God told His people to do some strange things instead of the natural thing. Sing, march, shout, wait. “You don’t have to fight”, He whispered, “because this is not about you, it’s about Me. I am not asking you to strive, to pull down things, I am asking you to make room for ME to act – be still.”

What if every day, every circumstance was cleverly designed to show us another glimpse of the glory of God? Every situation has God hidden inside it waiting for you to discover Him. In His wisdom, He allowed what He could have easily prevented. This is why abiding is so important.

Ill. Jesus said with a wink in His eye, “Go, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves,” (Lk 10:3). Fortunately for us our Lord is a Lion, He fights for us. WE are not trying to believe for God’s Presence – we are believing IN God’s Presence during trials and “going out with joy and being led forth with peace”.

When troubles come our question should never be, “Why God?” But Lord, what do You want to be to me in this situation?

Every situation in life is a call to behold the Lord - where God teaches us more about Himself. But this is also

2.   The call to BELIEVE.

“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.” Psalm 46:10-11

The God who helped Jacob when he deserved nothing. The God who met Jacob in his backslidings and in his deceitfulness. The God of Jacob is our refuge. If the enemy armies of Israel had known this, they would not have attacked Israel.

God moves in 2 ways: Hiddenness and manifestation.

When Israel was about to be attacked God was hidden. When God is hidden He is just as present as when He is manifested. He told them in their panic to be still. Spiritual warriors don’t react but go into their place of refuge to discover God and so they may exit from the confidence of His Presence to combat the enemy.

Ill. Jehoshaphat and Israel came to God in prayer and laid everything out that was happening to Him. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”   2 Chronicles 20:12

They waited and God spoke and told them don’t be afraid because this battle was not theirs but God’s. You won’t have to fight, just stand and watch God fight for you. They sent out the praise team and choir ahead of those dressed in battle uniforms. Verse 22 says,

When they BEGAN singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies.”  Vs 22

God told them to:

 “Be still” – be calm in the face of fury.

Psalm 46:10 is vital to our spiritual development and learning warfare. Without stillness you will not hear or see God.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Ill. Elijah in the cave but heard the still small voice of God after everything got still. Hebrew word “still” is derived from a word meaning “astonished or stunned” at God’s Presence.  He’s here!

-        Woman jewelry is okay to look attractive but better is  “ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” = resulting from knowing God is with you (I Pt. 3:4).

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isa. 30:15

How? You know God’s hidden Presence with you.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 God is constantly with us whether we realize it or not. Yet most Xns not aware of it. Ill. One time my phone rang. I answered but no answered back. I started to hang up and heard two guys talking. I listened and they were talking about God and their beliefs about Him. I prayed for them. Lord, help them to talk to know You are right there with them now – to believe and to behold you in awe and wonder.

Ill. God is teaching us to walk by faith and not by what we feel. Sometimes He withdraws from our emotions, He hides from our feelings and we have to trust He is with us. Other times we feel Him and He manifests to us in some incredible way and these become the stories we talk about the rest of our life.

Manifestation is a time of blessing. Hiddenness is a time of building.

 Can we be still in the midst of distress and pain and uncertainty? Hiddenness is God taking you deeper. Twice in these eleven verses:

“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

At the time this was being spoken it did not look like God was with them.  Instead it looked like we (Israel) was about to get slaughtered. The Presence of God, hidden or manifested is suppose to make a difference in this life. We need to question:

Do I believe what I say I know?

Our lives are to showcase that God is with us.

We sometimes act as though God is not with us. We have sudden trouble and panic. Did God leave the room? Ill. Movies show someone in serious trouble but they never show anyone praying to God? It is as if this is life without God! No thanks.

In all situations of life, God is teaching us to live with Him by rejoicing and giving thanks in all things. We trust Him by not being worried, anxious or fearful. It is time for the people of God to banish fear forever and learn to live in the love of God.

When situations overwhelm us it means we need to upgrade our view of God. If we see God as He is then we will be overwhelmed and in awe of Him.

We have to learn the lessons of abiding: Be still, remain faithful, live consciously aware of God’s Presence with you. Turn to Him first for wisdom. Remain content, peaceful, restful and joyful and thankful. Seeing all of life through the lens that “the Lord of Hosts is with us.”

This will require our thinking to change. When you come to Christ this is the first thing He says you must change in order to walk with Him. We frame life situations according to our frame of reference – the way we are accustomed to see things. Ill. Joseph Silva – glass eye.

Problem framing = seeing only the negative. Seeing problem you have always seen them.  Victim mindset.

Now those born of God have to:

REFRAME – look at life with Jesus with us = WISDOM

Prophetic framing = Seeing God with me. Seeing a new way. Victor mindset.   “God, how do You want to be exalted in this situation?” 

1.   Call to BEHOLD. 

2.   Call to BELIEVE.

3.   Call to BECOME.

Concl: This takes time and being intentional about walking with God. You wont get this by reading a devotional every day. You get this by acknowledging the Lord’s Presence with You and taking time to be still in His Presence. Bringing situations in prayer to Him and waiting upon Him.

One of Satan’s traps is to get us so involved in activities – even good ones that we have no time to be still in the Presence of God. The world seems to run off adrenaline. After a while you will crash and burn. Some depression is because people run on adrenaline until they run out.

The American church does not know how to handle quietness and stillness. We must learn to meditate, set time aside to think deeply about God. It doesn’t have to be long; just start with 15 minutes. The more you do this the more time you will want to give Him.

Sometimes God may have to force you to be still. Psalm 23 “He maketh me to lie down.” God is talking to us today. Can you hear His whisper to you?

His call to you today is a call to behold His works in the earth and in your life. Second, His call for you is to believe – He is present. He wants to come into your life and lead you to handle things His way – which is so different form the way you have always handled things. If you do then one day you will sing,

Hallelujah, Great Defender

So much better this way.

Hallelujah, You have saved me,

So much better Your way.

1.   The call to behold. 2. The Call to believe. 3. The call to become.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear My voice and open the door I will come in.”  Rev. 3:20