Psalm 46

Psalm 46

You’ll remember that last time I was explaining the providence of this set of The Treasury of David, a full exposition of the Psalms by C H Spurgeon. As I said a very gracious gift, gratefully received, but what makes these particularly treasured is that they were printed in 1889, from Charles Spurgeon’s original edition of, in the case of this volume, November 1870. In fact the printers were keen to point out that this is from the Twenty third thousand printing of this particular volume.

Read highlights from the Preface.

So, to this morning’s Psalm, page 570.

The following are Spurgeon’s ‘hints to the village preacher’, or as he describes it in his title ‘Homiletical hints upon almost every verse’. And joining with Spurgeon, I crave your patience as I use them as the sermon itself rather than just hints; and at this time of fear over Corona virus, it seems that without knowing the future the Psalm set by Peter late last year is for this very day, and of course quoted by Welby on Friday evening. Spurgeon’s very first note is ‘The song of faith in troublous times’.

1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Our only, impregnable, accessible, delightful place of retreat is our God. Our all-sufficient, unconquerable, honourable, and emboldening strength is our God. Our ever-near, sympathizing, faithful, real and potent is our God

Religion (or rather OUR FAITH) is never so valuable as in seasons of trouble, sickness and death. God is present helping us to bear trouble, to improve it, and to survive it. Present by gracious communications and sweet manifestations; present most when he seems absent, restraining, overruling, and sanctifying trouble. Trust and wait.

2,3. 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 reasons, the advantages, and the glory of holy courage. The great and many causes of fear. What might come – mountains, waters etc, persecution, pestilence etc What must come – afflictions, death, judgement. The great and one cause for not fearing is our refuge, and we who are confiding in him are then fearless.

4,5,7. 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. The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Glad tidings in sad times; or, the city of God in times of troubles and confusion, watered with the river of consolation. What can then this ‘river be, but that blessed covenant to which David himself repaired in the time of trouble? And, what are ‘the streams’ of this river, but the outgoings and effects of this divine constitution? The blood of Jesus, The influences of the Holy Spirit, The doctrines and promises of the gospel, The ordinances of religion, All the means of grace. There are four ways in which the streams of a river would gladden the citizens. The first regards prospect, the second traffic, the third regards fertility and the fourth regards supply. The church may be called the city of God becauses: He dwells in it, He founded it and He built it, It derives all privileges and immunities from him, He is the chief Ruler or Governor there, It is his property, He draws the rent of it. To the church, Joy, Establishment, Deliverance.

8,9. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the now and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

They are worth beholding, for they are all like himself; well becoming his infinite power, wisdom, justice. Our eyes were given us for this very purpose, not for the beholding of vanity, not for the ensnaring or wounding of the soul; but for the use and honour of the creator. The Lord delights to have his works beheld; he knows their excellency and perfection, and that the more they are seen and noted the more honour will accrue to the Maker of them. None but we can do it; there is great reason then that we should carefully ‘behold’. This shall be of great benefit to ourselves. The desolations of the Lord, the consolation of his saints. A 4 declaration of what has happened. A promise of what shall be achieved. The great peacemaker, or the principles of the gospel our only hope, for the total abolition of war.

10,11. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The sole consideration is that God is God, He is sufficient to still all objections to his sovereignty. (a) In that he is God, he is an absolutely and infinitely perfect being. (b) As he is God, he is so great that he is infinitely above comprehension. (c) As he is God, all things are his own. (d) In that he is God, he is worthy to be sovereign over all things. (e) In that he is God, he will be sovereign and will act as such. (f) In that he is God, he is able to avenge himself on those who oppose his sovereignty.

Conclude:

Be still and know that He is God. He is our refuge and our strength. He is our ever-present help in trouble.

Grace, Mercy and Peace, and Comfort, be with each of us this morning.


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