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Faithlife

A Strong Tower Maxwell Chapell

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a)one day.  Psalmist says come behold … Illustrations:  Be like a rock badgers of Colorado.  Rock badgers are gray, the color of the rocks. As long as the rock badger, is on the rock sunning itself, it's almost impossible to distinguish from the rock. When a predator comes to attack, the rock badger run into a hole, the crag in the rock.  If a vulture or an eagle wants to sweep down on the rock badger, it has to knock down a mountain to get at it. The rock badger knows where to take refuge.  When trouble surrounds me I go to the rock.  My security is in the rock.  The hope of my survival is in the rock. I dare not wander too far from the rock.  b)    Jesus is my rock, my rock, my sword, my shield!Rock of ages cleft for me let me hide myself in Thee (yes, Lord). I may not know what the future holds but I know who: i)      holds the future   ii)     make wars cease … destroy weapons of warfare … break bow, cut spear in two … burn the chariot in the fire … c)     cause the lion to lay down with the lamb …  
We are living in unpredictable times.  3 years ago, a category 5 Hurricane know as Katrina ravaged the Gulf coast.  With winds as high as 175 mph, Katrina did almost $81B of damage and caused at 1,836 people to lose their lives.  Last year, in Blacksburg, Virginia a gunman, armed with a Glock 19 and a Walther P22 opened fire killing 33 and wounding another 23.  We are in the midst of the worst mortgage crisis this country has ever faced.  Borrowers are defaulting on subprime and adjustable rate mortgages at record rates.  As of July, financial institutions have reported losses of $435B and the end is still nowhere in sight.And who could ever forget what happened almost 7 years ago, at approximately 8:50 a.m. EST, Tuesday September 11, 2001.  America recoiled in horror in the wake of the worst act of terrorism ever perpetrated on American soil.  And after it was all over, the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, symbols of American strength and stability, had been taken out by terrorist attack.  Again, I say, we are living in some unpredictable times.  How are we as Christians to respond?  How do we deal with all of this?  Are we to cower in our homes hoping for the best but believing the worst?  Are we to become agitated, nervous, wrecks?Oh no!  For the psalmist reminds us of a great truth in Psalm 46.  Psalm 46 reminds us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  We as children of the living God must remember that God is always with his people, even and perhaps most especially in times of trouble.   Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea" ... though jets planes should crash ... though twin towers should crumble ... though stock markets should crash …though gunmen should open fire … We will not fear.Why?  Because our confidence is in Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.  Our confidence is in the Lord of Hosts.  And in our God we shall take refuge.    1)     Take refuge in God when nature erupts. (v1-3)   a)     Sometimes nature eruptsi)      Last year from Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 nature erupted in the South.  In just 37 hours 55 tornados were confirmed, causing over $580M damage.  ii)     In 2004 nature erupted in the Indian Ocean:  A 9.3 magnitude earthquake caused the entire planet to vibrate and killed almost 230K people.    b)    Sometimes nature erupts.  And when it does the those who report on such events are quick to advise – seek a place of shelter.  And there is no better place of refuge than the Lord.    c)     The psalmist declares, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”, therefore (underline therefore) as a result … i)      Let the earth itself move,ii)     Let the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,
A Strong Tower in Times of Trouble (Psalm 46)



 


 

iii)    Let the waters roar and be troubled, iv)    Let the mountains shake  -- as long as we have Jesus we have a very present help in the time of trouble. Illustration:  One day Jesus was with his disciples on a sea called Galilee, when nature decides to erupt.  Out of nowhere a storm arises.  The waves grow taller and taller.  The wind blows harder and harder.  The boat is tossed to and fro.  The disciples, many of them seasoned fishermen, panic and give in to fear.  But Jesus is on board.  He is sleeping in the hinder parts of the ship.  Somebody wakes up Jesus and asks, “Master don’t you care that we are about to perish.”  Jesus gets up and rebukes the winds and the waves and says peace be still.  Immediately, like scolded children, they shut up. The wind dies down and waves subside.  And the disciples asked what manner of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey him.  Next time nature is about to erupt, remember whose on board.  Yes-- make preparation (bread, water, generators, batteries).  Most importantly make sure you got Jesus!  If got Jesus … got true bread … wells living water … power of immeasurable, unspeakable, power … If you got Jesus you’ve got a strong tower in times of trouble.  Even if you lose your mortal life, if got Jesus, you’ve got place to go … not prepared by human hands. Not only are we to take refuge in God when nature erupts … also nations erupt. 2)     Take refuge in God when nations erupt.  (v4-7)a)     Sometimes nations erupt.  (Nations are as unpredictable as nature).b)    In ancient times nations erupted.  (kingdoms came and went … empires rose and fell)·         605 BC … Rise Babylonian Empire … King Nebuchadnezzar rose … in 539 BC it fell  ·         In 539 BC … Persian Empire rose under Cyrus the Great in 330 BC it fell. ·         In 330 BC, along comes Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire rises … conquers most of the known world, including Palestine. but then it too fell … ·         Then the Roman Empire emerges … 63 BC … it too fellc)     In modern times nations erupt.  i)      We’ve had WWI, WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam War.ii)     we may believe that we are vulnerable and helpless… but Psalmist uses the imagery of peace and tranquility in midst of trouble. (1)   (V4-V7):  Picture of Jerusalem (city of God) surrounded by hostile forces … with trouble on the outside but peace and tranquility on the inside.  River pictures God’s provision … as blessings flow from Mt. Zion … resulting in joy as the land is irrigated and kept
(2)fertile … (3)   Psalmist pictures God with us and for us … with us in the city (one of the names Jesus is Immanuel – God with us) and for us against our enemies … the nations have erupted … kingdoms are in disarray … trouble is on every side … but God is in the city(4)   When trouble surrounds us … company threatening layoffs, confronted with some financial crisis, disease invaded our bodies, as long as God is with us everything will be all right.  Illustration:  Our God is a Strong Tower in Time of Trouble:  Elisha and servant surrounded by Syrian army at Dothan … attendant fearing for his life … rushes back to Elisha tells him surrounded by the enemy on all sides … But Elisha asks Lord open his spiritual eyes … let him to see that they that are for us are more than those who are against us… Opened eyes saw mountains filled with horses and chariots of fire.  (5)   The Lord of host is with us:  The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Take refuge in God when nature erupts … nations erupts … future seems uncertain.3)     Take refuge in God when the future seems uncertain.4)     David’s blueprints were a gift from God.  In other words, God revealed what he wanted to the king and the king entrusted the vision to those who served Him.  That sounds an awful lot like the church.  God revealed what He wanted to king Jesus and Jesus has entrusted the vision to those of us who serve Him. And if we commit to follow divine blueprints, then God will make it happen.    i)      I dare you to try and beat God giving.  I dare you to give towards the vision of a great work.  I dare you to give towards reaching unbelievers with the gospel, ministering to the needy, making disciples, providing rest homes, day cares, tutoring, financial and economic empowerment.  I dare you to give towards the vision of a transitioned church – equipped and ready for tomorrow.  I dare you to give towards the vision of a church built in accordance to the plan of the divine architect.  A church built on Christ the solid rock.  I church built on Christ the chief cornerstone.  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”5)     When the amount is generous, our giving is remarkable (vss. 7-8)The psalmist says to his people “come behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth” … i.e. come behold the awesome power of the God we serve … Some commentators believe this Psalm was occasioned by Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 19) … one angel of God kills 185,000 soldiers of his army … in


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