God with us - Week 10: Psalm 46:1
“To the choirmaster, Of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song.”
The jury is out on what the word “alamoth” means, but most scholars think it’s an instruction for the Psalm to be sung by women only! Some specify that it’s just for the sopranos, but I’m having none of that nonsense as an alto singer. So, by total coincidence, it turns out our Scripture reading for International Women’s Day is a song for the ladies. I’ll leave you to spot the other verse in this Psalm that’s perfect for today! Anyway, on with the blog.
After months of homeschooling, I’ve become a bit of a dab hand with a thesaurus. I did some exploring for this week’s Scripture verse!
Trouble - problems, difficulty, issues, bother, inconvenience, worry, anxiety, distress, concerns, disquiet, unease, irritation, vexation (that’s good one), annoyance, disturbance, disorder, unrest, fighting, scuffling, conflict, tumult (love this word), commotion, turbulence, uproar, ructions, fracas, rumpus, brouhaha (I think we all agree that the last two are the best).
Can you relate to any of these words at the moment?
If you are experiencing a rumpus or brouhaha, firstly, I’d like to know what it is as it sounds fascinating, and secondly, I have a word of encouragement for you today.
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
It’s believed that King Hezekiah may have written this Psalm in response to God’s deliverance of the Israelites from the Assyrian army (1 Kings 18-19). It’s sometimes easier to declare God’s faithfulness in hindsight when the battle is over, but why do we struggle when we are right in the midst of trouble?
None of us like to face trouble, to feel uneasy or distressed, and yet we often walk through life feeling many of these things. When I’m fearful, I wonder if it’s a lack of faith on my part, but I think it’s more about where I place that fear. I doubt the events behind Psalm 46 were King Hezekiah’s first rodeo. I’m sure he could have written that Psalm before the battle was over because he knew God was his place of refuge and strength through bitter experience. The rest of the Psalm demonstrates his understanding of the security found in God and his belief that “the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:7) He doesn’t appear to be clamouring for control to micromanage the situation back to safety, to keep the trouble at bay. He looks at the carnage around him and recognises the need to stand firm and hand over control to God.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
I’ve written about this verse many times, but it was only this week that I discovered that the literal Hebrew translation of “Be still” is “take your hands off.” God is our refuge when trouble is right on our doorstep, when challenges surround us, and we feel overwhelmed. That’s the place to put our fear and anxiety, safe with God, our strength, our rock.
If you’re in the middle of a fracas, a rumpus, or just plain ordinary unrest, then look to the words of Psalm 46.
Take refuge in God’s strength.
Take cover in God’s fortress.
Take your hands off the situation.
Take the trouble to rest in God.