“God is our refuge and strength, a Helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not be afraid.” Psalm 46:1-2
Twelve years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the volatile landscape of the world doesn’t look much different, but we can still find safety by trusting God in times of trouble.
While the current violence in Syria is inextricably linked to the events that occurred on 9/11, to the attacks last year in Benghazi, to the Fort Hood shooting, as well as to the marathon bombing in Boston, we can’t forget that God Himself is our global and personal Defender. He is our protection from danger and the source of our strength. As a result, we need not fear even though our world continues to face many terrors and countless attacks.
“Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:6-7
Over the course of human history, when nations or terrorists lifted themselves up in opposition to God and Israel, the Lord overthrew them (see Ps. 2:1–2). Just as the power of God’s word created the world (see Genesis 1), the psalmist says that His mighty word causes the earth to melt, a figurative description of the unparalleled power of God. Therefore, the God who preserved Jacob and provided his family would also protect all who trust in Him. He controls the unseen armies of heaven. He is the One to whom His people can flee for protection when enemies attack.
“Come, see the works of the LORD, who brings devastation on the earth. He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots.” – Psalm 46:8-9
We are invited by faith to review the LORD’s history of defending His people who follow Him by faith (Jer. 29:11-13). His army has destroyed Israel’s enemies many times. Whether the attack is from conventional warfare, military giants, or religious extremists, God is the ultimate peacemaker.
“Stop your fighting—and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. – Psalm 46:10-11
God Himself invites us as His people to rest by placing our confidence in Him. Other translations say, “Be still and know that I am God,” so the idea is to rest from fighting, rest from turmoil, rest from fear by resting in His protection. His power, and His presence.
No natural disaster, political adversary, or religious terrorist group can overthrow the place where the LORD of Armies resides. Today the LORD God does not reside in a tabernacle building rather, His Holy Spirit indwells His people who follow His Son, Jesus Christ. Just as Zion was secure because God dwelt there, so His people scattered around the world are safe because He lives in us. On a day that reminds us of our greatest fears, let’s shine in the darkest night because we trust in the LORD of the strongest armies.