Wisdom from the Lord

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Well it’s Monday again. Tomorrow is November 1st and a new month will begin. I just wrapped up two studies. One was in the Book of Isaiah, which I found good but still confusing to me. If I were to be asked what one thing I learned from my study, I would say that I saw how God cared for and kept his promises to the Jewish people. Yes, God used the Assyrians and Babylon to chastise His people for their sins. But God also gave the Jews many promises that one day they would be a blessing to the nations. When we look around today we don’t see that. But in His time, it will come.

Now, I am embarking on a journey of two new studies. Where they will take me and how long of a journey it will be, I don’t know. One is a study of the New Testament book of Galatians. The other is the Old Testament book of Proverbs. I am especially excited about Proverbs. I can’t tell you why other than I believe the Lord has put it on my heart. I have just barely started on it so I don’t have any great insights to tell you yet. But I do have a few thoughts that I would like to share.

If I were you ask you to tell me the theme of the book of Proverbs I would imagine almost all of you would tell me the theme would be summed up in one word. That word is WISDOM. And you would be right. Solomon was the wisest man of his time. In 1st Kings 3 God gave Solomon an open invitation, “ask me what you wish Me to give you.” (1st Kings 3:9) Wow!!! What an opening! So, what did Solomon ask for? WISDOM. You see that in verse 9 of chapter 3. God gave him what he asked for and so much more. Basically, Solomon had everything he could ever want, fame, money, power, wisdom and peace with his enemies. So how is it, that he could change from writing the book of Proverbs to writing the book of Ecclesiastes, where he would say those immortal words, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity (or futility).” Basically, he said everything he had amounted to nothing.

I think the basic problem was that Solomon didn’t apply his own proverbs to his life. Solomon loved the Lord his God. It says that if 1 Kings 3. That is why God gave him such favor. But something happened along his journey and he lost it. While he was given wisdom from the Lord he did not keep it. Wisdom isn’t just accruing knowledge. We have many people in the world with knowledge. But few actually have wisdom, or the ability to apply knowledge to their lives. Some of you may know I enjoy history, especially, World War 1. I have several reasons for that but I won’t go into them here. In 1914, Europe was in a real state of change. Previously the world was run by the aristocrats of the countries. In 1914 the “common people” were starting to revolt and make their voice for change heard. But the aristocrats tried to keep things the same. One thing they did was they made alliances with other countries to protect each other in case of war. When a catalyst was applied through the assassination of two of royals of a particular country, the wheels were put into motion. Many of the leaders could see war was coming but none of them had the wisdom to stop it. Soon, as one country declared war with another, other countries were drawn in because of certain alliances and World War 1 was born. It was nothing but four years of carnage where nearly a whole generation of young men was wiped out. But it changed Europe forever.

So, the book of Proverbs is there to help us not to make the same mistakes Solomon did and the European Aristocrats did. As we gain knowledge of God and His principles, we need to apply them to our lives. Otherwise we will have a head full of facts about God but no heart for Him. So please pray for me as I embark on this journey. I am excited about it and am asking God to give me true wisdom. Not so, I can impress you or my leaders here at the ministry, but simply so I will be able to live a life that pleases Him and Him alone.

May I leave you with a couple of verses? These two verses are said to be the key verses of the book. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fool despise wisdom and instruction.” The second verse is Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. One commentator says that if we truly fear God (reverence and love Him) we will want to obey Him in what we do. We will want to live a life that pleases God not just because He has the power and will chastise us, which He does, but of what we do to Him and His name (paraphrase from Warren Wiersbe). Our sin hurts God. Yes he will forgive but we show our love by our obedience to Him. I know, that doesn’t sound nice. But it is truth none the less. If we truly love someone in the physical world, we will want to do things that will please them and make them happy. Not for fear of retribution if we don’t, but simply because we love them. My friends, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 3:10). Let’s not just accrue knowledge, let’s be wise in our relationship with our LORD! Amen!

The Rain Keeps Falling, But Worship Him Anyway

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

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I don’t know if I have ever expressed what I am about to tell you openly or not. Those of you who know me well enough, already know, or at least suspect, that I am prone to depression. I am even on medication for it. I went off the med “cold turkey” once. It became a really dark time for me, to say the least. Around the same time, I visited a new doctor for the first time. Now, I don’t like to visit doctors, but this guy was a different story. He was around two hours late to see me but when he finally came into the exam room we spent about an hour and a half just talking. He is a Christian and we had a poignant and open discussion about things. After hearing my story, he recommended that I try going back on the med for a while. My doctor is a DO rather than an MD which is one of the reasons I chose him. But was he honest and sincere in telling me that I should really go back on the med. I am still on it but plan to bring it up again at my next appointment in January.

So, I tell you all that to say this. Depression is not the end of the world. Yes, there are times like this morning where it is difficult just to get out of bed and face another day. Along with that, there is this totally empty feeling that God is far away. As I finally hauled myself out of bed, I was asking God and myself what would be a good way to deal with this in a way that would honor God. That was actually hard to ask because like I said, in my heart, God was nowhere to be found this morning. But, empty hearted, I went out in the living room and knelt down (not an easy task for me, mind you) and leaning over a chair and just prayed. The only emotion I had was one of sadness. I asked God specifically to please just break me and that I really want to honor Him in my life. My mind kept telling me that being truly broken is an arduous and painful process. But I also believe that brokenness is the only true path for God’s people. I finally got dressed and made it into work.

My heart still ached but I kept asking God to show me how to honor Him today. I sat down and decided to listen to music as I worked. I went to good old YouTube and typed in the name Andrew Peterson and pulled up a string of music. Part of the title of this blog, The Rain Keeps Falling, is actually the title of one of his songs that I really like. YouTube came up with a live version of this song that Andrew did in a church. He told a little story that he wrote it in one of the darkest periods of his life and it was a time of depression. I thought at least that I am in good company.

I hope I can write the rest of this in a way that makes sense and is encouraging to you. I know for sure, that I am not the only one of God’s children who struggles in this area. In my Regeneration class at church, we are in a section that deals with being intimate with God. I hear over and over things like, “I just can’t feel close to God, God is far away,” and things like that. I’ve said that myself. I read in my book today that worship of God involves the heart and the mind. I tend to think most of us migrate toward the heart in worship. But I think what we are really saying is, I want to “feel” close to God and I want a worshipful experience. Is that what worship is about?

So, here are a couple of things I have been learning about worshiping God and how it ties into depression. One thing, at least for me, is that I have to realize how much God loves us. In class, my leader keeps reminding me of this, as he knows it is one of my issues. But I know that there is nothing I can do, or not do, that will make God love me anymore or any less than He does now. My friends, God’s love for us is perfect. We may wonder why He loves us like he does, but we need to stop doubting His love for us or thinking that if only we do (you name it) for Him, He will then love me and accept me. NO! God knows our frame. He knows we are weak, imperfect and sinful. But He loves us in spite of all that. What God wants is our heart. He wants our minds, emotions and wills (in other words, our hearts) to be sold out for Him. I have found in my battle with depression that when I think God is far away or can’t possible love me, that my depression is worse. Instead I need to realize that there is nothing that can remove God’s love from us (Romans 8:38-39). The bottom line is, GOD LOVES US!!!

Another thing I have been learning is that I can’t keep letting depression draw me into myself. What I mean by that is I start thinking how bad off I am, that no one cares, etc. I’ve heard a lot of times that the Christian life is not about me (or you), it’s about Him. It has almost become trite. Some personality types are prone to putting self above everything else. I’m one of them. When that starts happening I have found that the best thing I can do is just praise and worship God. I have several Psalms that I love to read when I am down, such as: Psalm 103, 139 and 145. There are many others, but those are some of my favorites. What does this praising and worshiping do? It takes our minds and hearts off of ourselves and brings God into focus.

The last thing I want to mention is that we cannot live by our feelings. I think I have mentioned this before but it is still a battle for me. We are emotional people and God made us that way. Emotions in and of themselves are not a bad thing. But the problem is that unless our emotions are happy and good, we think our lives are out of sorts. We have lots of encouragement in this. If you listen to Christian radio enough, you will hear it. A lot of Christian music is more about worshiping good feelings about God than it is about worshiping God. We have become a nation of emotional people, both inside and outside of the church. Just worship God for who He is. Worship and praise Him for His power, love, greatness, omnipresence, omniscience, grace, etc. We can do that no matter how we feel. The important thing is that we live our lives by faith and let the Holy Spirit have rule over our emotions.

The battle of depression is not over for me. It probably won’t be until I see God in glory. But thanks be to God and His mercy, I am seeing things in a new light and there is growth and hope. Thank you for taking this journey with me today. May we be broken before our God and love Him with all our hearts, soul and might (Deut. 6:4-5). And may we “regard one another as more important than ourselves” (Phil 2:3). May we be the community of God that He intends us to be. God bless you!!

Variations on the Same Dream

Mark Johnston, Connections Pastor

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I woke up in a panic at 4AM.

It’s almost always variations on the same dream.

In this version, i was working at my old radio station job, spinning country records at KEYE-AM in Perryton, Texas, only this time, instead of stacks of 45s and albums to choose from, i had like 5 records (2 of them broken), a roundish piece of metal and some albums that didn’t fit the format. (Now i know that most radio is automated these days, and the DJs that are left don’t actually play records, because everything is digital now, but apparently my sub-conscious is a little behind the technology curve.)

So i’m sitting there with the mic open, nothing to say and no songs to play, except “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” by Olivia Newton-John and a cartridge where the jingle singers joyfully shout “Country 14” in unison.

I’m unprepared.

I have this dream a lot. Usually i’m at the Stonepoint building or some other church on a Sunday morning, ready to lead worship…except i’m not ready. I’m totally not ready. The band hasn’t rehearsed, we have no charts and people are looking to me to lead them some place that i haven’t been and am absolutely not ready to go. The clock says it’s time to start and i’m holding a big bag of nothin’.

Here’s the spiritual meat patty in the hamburger bun of my insecurity and insomnia: how many of us (me included…although i do at least have songs ready) prepare ourselves for worship on Sundays?

Do we get our hearts ready to encounter a holy God? Or do we just show up, like we do every other time we show up…frustrated from getting kids ready and fed, arguing with the spouse over dishes or bills or trash or whatever is bugging us that particular morning just like every other Sunday. Do we walk in upset that there’s not enough parking or our kind of donut or wondering if they’re gonna sing a song i like or don’t like or not even having a thought of God cross our minds before we walk in the door?

Or do you come in, prayed-up and ready to pour your heart out to the One who created you, the One who knows your every thought, wants to shine eternal, healing light on the sin you’d like to hide and wants to heal your pain, strip away your insecurity and wants you to rest in Him?

Are you ready to tell your friends that’s why you’re there and encourage them to do the same?

That way, if you walk in one Sunday, and all we’ve got is some broken records, a round piece of metal and Olivia Newton-John, then Stonepoint Church is still gonna encounter a holy, loving God and we can lay our lack of preparation before Him on the altar and worship.

It’s not the songs, it’s not the sermon, it’s our hearts…and the if we ever really figure that out, then God is gonna do amazing things in two little towns in East Texas.

“Old Man’s Song” and the Bible

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

There is an old dude singer named Tom Rush that I came across a little while back. One of his really good but really sad songs is entitled Old Man’s Song. It’s kind of a folk song so of course, give me a good and sad folk song and I’m hooked. This song talks about a social aspect of aging. In my younger days I was always drawn to music that had social significance of some kind.

But the Bible touches on this subject too. Today, at one of our prayer times here in the office, we read from Psalm 90. I was somewhat familiar with the verses I’m about to write out for you, but I didn’t know they were from this Psalm. But as we were reading the Psalm out loud, I started thinking about three of the verses:

10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Verse 10—mentioning 70 to 80 years is not intended to put maximum time limit on life. I believe the idea is that no matter how long we live, in light of eternity our time here on this planet is short. Sooner or later all people will “fly away” and be here no more.” Unless the Lord returns first, death will catch all of us. The question is, what will we do with our time and will we be ready to meet the Lord.

Verse 11—Moses is attributed to being the writer of Psalm 90. In his lifetime, he had plenty of opportunities to see and experience the anger of God and be in fear. Most of the time, Moses was trying to talk God out of wiping out the Israelites because of His anger for one reason or another. But Moses also experienced God’s anger. Moses had one lapse of judgment and because of it; he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land with the new generation. Moses is one of my heroes, for several reasons. But mostly because of his humility and his love for the people he was leading. But while it is not part of this Psalm, there is another kind of fear we need to be aware of. The fear I am talking about is the kind of fear that reverences and stands in Awe of God. I don’t know about you, but I long for myself to have this kind of fear. Sometimes I go about my day as if God isn’t even here. Not so today, but there are many days like that for me. Wouldn’t it be COOL if we could be conscious of worshiping God all day? Wouldn’t it be COOL even if we just took 5 minutes out of our day to praise and worship Him! Not as an “add on” to our already busy day, but as a willing and holy sacrifice to be thankful to God for who He is and for what He does. God desires our praises!

Verse 12—This verse asks God to teach us to number our days so that we might have wisdom. This is not just so we can do our work well, and “live life” wisely, although that is a part of it. How much of our day do we really use for the Lord? Again, I’m not talking about taking part of your day and go stand on a street corner handing out tracts, although that would be a good thing to do. Today in our short prayer times, there were several things that came up. One was Haiti. Yes, the loss of life is sad and I know there is sorrow for the survivors but what about praying for Haiti to be freed from the chains that Satan has on it. Do we pray about that for our own country? When it comes to prayer, I must confess that my God is too small. It’s not His fault, it’s mine for not having the faith and trust in Him that He will act in response to my prayers. Prayer is our strongest weapon we have in our arsenal. Yet I think it is a weapon we use the least.

You don’t have to be old like me to think about these things, although that’s pretty common for people my age. Please remember that there are no guarantees in life. Our life is a fragile thread that is about to break. Scripture says it is like a vapor. We see it, and then it is gone. I don’t say this to plant fear in our hearts, but to make us think about our lives and what are we doing with them. My application for all this would be for us to look for ways to give our lives more of an eternal value. I’m not talking about selling your house and running off and serve Jesus somewhere. But if He calls us to do that, we must obey. But please, let’s start finding even small ways to make our lives mean something for eternity. Start simple. Pray and ask God to show you how you can do that. There will be sacrifice. Anything we do for the Lord means sacrifice. It may be a sacrifice that we see the results of only when we meet our Lord Jesus! But I believe we will be surprised to see people from every nation in Heaven because of our prayer and labor for the Lord. What a glorious day that will be!! God bless you!!

The Right Way to Serve God

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Recently I read a passage from Matthew 20:1-16. It’s about the Lord of the vineyard and the laborers. You are probably familiar with this parable, but in case you aren’t, I put it below:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10 When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

I learned a few lessons today that I would like to share. First, this parable is not about salvation. It’s about serving the Lord. The men in the parable are not working for their salvation as no one does that. They are working in the lord’s vineyard. The parable talks about how the different groups of men serve.

Please note that the first group of men actually wanted and received a contract. This is brought out in verse 2. Both parties agreed on the wages they would receive. Then as the Lord of the vineyard went out and found other men, there was no contract made. The Lord just told the men to go into the vineyard and he would pay them what was right. I can imagine what the group of men hired at 5 PM figured they weren’t going to get much for their hour of work but they went into the vineyard anyway.

Its time to get paid. Its interesting that the lord gave specific instructions like he did to pay the men. The ones who worked an hour came first and the ones who worked all day came last. You know the story. All the workers got exactly the same pay. Of course the group who worked the longest had something to say about all this. But the lord knew exactly what he was doing and didn’t do any injustice. The first group went home grumbling and all the other groups went rejoicing in the generosity of the lord of the vineyard.

So what can we learn from this and apply to our lives? Well, here are a few thoughts:

Our service for our Lord must be from the heart, not from any reward we might get from it. he first group were really hirelings. “We will do work for you but we expect a set reward.” They got what they asked for. The other groups were serving by faith. Yes, the lord of the vineyard told them he would pay them for their service. But he only told them he would give them what was right. Our Lord has promised us rewards for our service also. But what reward we get and when we get it is up to Him. The Lord knows our needs and we need to trust Him. And he is is a generous God.

Another thought is that people who deserve nothing should expect nothing. Do we deserve to be saved? No, of course not. We are saved totally by the grace through faith in Jesus Christ. While we aren’t saved by good works we are saved “unto” good works (Eph. 2:8-10). Our service to God must be from the heart, not for some reward me may want or expect (Eph. 6:6).

Third, we need to be careful of pride and comparison with others. The first group of workers had their contract for their days work. They got exactly what they signed up for. The others served by faith and got grace. The lord was generous and loving and out of his heart they got more than they expected. But again, the first group got just what they asked for. To me, this speaks of our need to be careful not to become proud of our service or envious of a reward that someone got that we thought we deserved. Just like the gifts of the Spirit, God gives His other gifts and rewards as He determines. Comparison with others usually leads to grumbling and disputing (or complaining). Philippians 2:14 tells us, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” This thought really spoke to me today.

Recently I was thinking about my 20 years here at GFA. Despite my times of grumbling and complaining with leadership, I realized that I have been treated with a lot of grace over the years. I have made some mistakes in the past and the ministry could have rightly let me go if they so desired. They didn’t. Just recently, I went into one of our leaders and told him that my support level had dropped over the last few months and that we may need to negotiate a lower salary level for me. The leader simply said that we did not need to do that. Over the years, I have had several other acts of grace and kindness of various kinds. I sometimes wonder it has been worth it to them. I still grumble and complain, at least to myself. As this started to be unveiled this morning I was able to confess it and ask God to change my heart. My sin has been forgiven and I trust God to change my heart. We serve an amazing God!!! Who else would put up with people like us whose hearts fluctuate day to day between loving God so much, and then moan and complain against Him. Thank you God for your mercy toward us, sinners, indeed. May God give us the grace and wisdom to serve Him from our hearts. God bless you, my friends.

 

This and That–Round 2

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Last February I wrote a blog with this title. I looked at it today and found it mostly talked about my start in re:generation. With this blog, I would like to talk about that a little, but also mention a few other lessons I believe God is teaching me.

Re:generation—we are starting our last book! I find that amazing. It has been 8 months so far and we still have a few more to go. Going through re:gen has been both a great blessing and a great struggle. But I would not trade it in. One basic thing that has happened is that I have met five guys that I would have probably not had the opportunity if we had not put ourselves in the program. It has been a blessing to go through this with them. Our sharing times are open and honest. But more importantly, God has been teaching some things that I really needed to learn. One of the main things is to trust HIM! It has been a struggle for me to believe that God really loves and cares for me. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Christian with this problem (sin, actually). Is God worthy of our trust? I can honestly say, absolutely yes. It may not always “feel” comfortable, but I have come to believe that I can trust HIM with my life and my death, for that matter.

Faith vs. Feelings—a friend recommended a book to me not long ago. I have been reading it ever since. It deals with fear, and especially the fear of man. I am learning a lot that my people-pleasing life comes much from fear of man. Basically, when we have fear of people, they own us. Now we Americans don’t like to think that we are owned by anyone. But being in fear of someone puts you under their control. The thing is, it’s doubtful if anyone is totally free from the fear of man. The book asked one simple question to show this: How are you when it comes to evangelism and witnessing? It’s doubtful if any of us have been totally free from fear in this area, some (like me) more than others. One of the main premises of the book is that we in America have become a people who live by feelings or emotions. That includes Christians. Take a lot of our contemporary music today. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of contemporary music. But so much of it is about feeling good about God’s love, grace, etc. The Bible is implicitly says: “The just (or the righteous) shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17). It has been said that when Martin Luther read Habakkuk 2:4, that it stirred his heart so much that it led to the Reformation movement. But it’s easier and sometimes more comfortable for us to live by feelings. Lord willing, I will have more on this at a later time. Now, God made emotions, but they are not to be the ruling force in our life.

Just for Fun—did you know that there was such a thing as the “Make Uncle Bob Happy day?” I don’t have time or space here to go into the genesis of this day, but it has been going on here at GFA for 12 years. It started with something as simple as me writing an email to our IT department and asking for a new mouse for my computer. That innocent act on my part turned into an annual event (not the asking for a mouse part, but the making Uncle Bob happy part☺). Well, October 13th was the day for this year. Secretly, OK, maybe not so secretly, I have been hoping for this day to go away. But it seems to have a life of it’s own. Sometimes it resulted in a really big group coming up to my area and surprising me with singing cards and a big sign on year, to balloon bombings of my office, to something smaller like this year when a group of friends came up to my work area and sang a song they made up to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and just standing around talking for about 20 minutes. Regardless of how it is presented, it seems to happen each October. I find this annual experience both humbling and encouraging at the same time. Humbling because of feelings (don’t live by them, please) that I don’t deserve it and encouraging because it is nice to be loved appreciated once in a while. I really do appreciate the effort that the staff goes through to pull this off.

Well, that’s it for today. I pray that we will grow in our faith and learn to trust our Lord at all times. We never see really what is really going on in the spiritual world. But to put in today’s vernacular, God has our backs. He will never disown or desert us. Praise God!

God With Us

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

I’m pretty sure you are familiar with this verse. It has been a source of comfort God’s people for centuries. While this may be our favorite verse from this short Psalm, there is so much more to Psalm 46. I did a little research on this Psalm today and I’d like to share what I discovered.

During World War I, whenever a contingent of young men were at the docks ready to sail to war, their families and friends gathered and sang an old Scottish Psalter based on Psalm 46. The people recognized the reality that many if not most of these young men would not return. Psalm 46 and the Scottish Psalter were a great source of comfort during times of crisis.

Psalm 46 was also the Psalm that led Augustinian monk, Martin Luther to write the hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. If you’ve been around church for awhile, you’ve probably sung that hymn at least once. One of the first churches I attended after I became a Christian in the mid 70’s, used a hymnal during worship services. I never really got into the hymns much (hope that doesn’t sound heretical), but I always liked this hymn.

Most commentators believe that Hezekiah wrote Psalm 46 in light of God’s miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian army under king Sennacherib. During this invasion, Israel was in a crisis.  Wisely Hezekiah relied of God for their deliverance rather than depending on Egypt or some other country, which was their usual procedure. God didn’t let them down. When the people of Jerusalem woke up one morning, the entire Assyrian army was dead, some 185,000 men. Sennacherib himself, went back to Assyria and was later killed by one of his sons while he was worshiping his god. That’s a bit ironic! God was with his people. Verse 1 of Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” God was with Israel, and God is with us. We too, are living in times of trial and danger. But the Psalm brings out that even if the earth itself falls apart and mountains break apart and fall into the sea, we should not fear. One writer puts it, “The worst that can happen is no cause for fear. God Himself is still with us.”

I believe verses 8-11 are talking about the end times. While man will do his worst, God will bringing desolation to the armies of the world. God is on His throne in Jerusalem and the strife has ended. He invites the inhabitants of Jerusalem to look out and see the deliverance of the Lord. As the people look, all they will see is the desolation and judgement of the armies of the world. God makes peace and puts an end to the fighting of the world once and for all time. His judgement is final.

Then God says, “be still…” (literally, take your hands off. Relax!). At Regen, I have heard time and time again something like, “I struggle with control.” It seems like we Americans like to be in control of things. But Hezekiah, won the victory because he let God work in His way and time. We too, need to let God, be God.

Finally, in verse 7 and 11, God calls Himself, “The LORD of hosts and the God of Jacob.” I’d like to end with the words of another commentator, “The LORD of Hosts is with us, that is, the LORD of the angelic armies of heaven. But He is also the God of Jacob. Now Jacob means, ‘cheat’ or ‘supplanter.’ Yet God speaks of Himself as the God of Jacob. Put the two thoughts together and you learn that the God of the angelic hosts is also the God of the unworthy sinner. The one who is infinitely high is also the intimately nigh. He is with us in every step of our way, our unfailing refuge in all the storms of life.” The bottom line is, even if we can’t see or understand what God is doing, He is always with us. He is our refuge, our strength and our stronghold. What we need to do is to put our trust in Him and not in ourselves or our own plans. May God give us the wisdom to put our total trust in Him.