Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quiet Please.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalms 46:1-11 NKJV

The following paragraph is taken from an article on a web page that I frequent called “The Extinction Protocol”. I include the link so you can read the entire article but I want to draw your attention to the statement made here.
We are passing through a rare singular series of events in history that are coinciding by occurrence: a total solar eclipse, the peak of the Leonid meteor shower, and a large explosion occurring on the Sun; in effect, signs in the sun, moon, and stars all transpiring within days of each other. These celestial events are happening at the time a war wages around Jerusalem, a city considered holy to the world’s three major faiths: Jews, Christians, and Muslims. –The Extinction Protocol

I shared with you a few weeks ago that I travelled to northern New York state to visit my daughter and her husband following the birth of my first granddaughter. I had never visited that part of the country so I had no idea what to expect as far as what nature had to offer. As is my habit, I would get up rather early and take my coffee and walk outside to watch the world wake up. My children are fortunate to have a home on the edge of the forest so it only took a few steps for me to be swallowed up by my surroundings.

One of the things I noticed immediately that was very different from the forests in the Northwest is that if you are very quiet, the forest there is alive with the sounds of it's inhabitants. I spent close to an hour one morning just trying to identify each of the sounds I heard with the animals that made them. By the end of our visit I learned enough to actually figure out who was talking and even their mood...(squirrels are very vocal and emotional).

The argument could be made that the past couple of weeks has seen the world around us begin to talk rather loudly, considering the geological and geopolitical events we have seen. There are numerous blogs and discussion groups to be found on the internet where many are sharing their ideas and conclusions to what it all means, and especially the timing as we approach the end of 2012. The question for us as believers, however, is all of this just coincidence or is God beginning to speak in a way even the world will hear and understand?

While all of the opinions and speculations are intriguing, my first thoughts when considering the events of the past week went to my recent visit back East, and the words we find at the end of this Psalm where God tells us to “be still”. The Hebrew phrase “be still” is the word raphah, which literally means to relax, drop down, and be quiet. When I read that I thought of how I did exactly that in the forest, and the result being that I suddenly began to hear what was going on around me.

In the context of the Psalm, we are told that the day will come where God will speak in just the manner we may be seeing right now. The earth is shaking, the Middle East is in turmoil, the economies of nations are collapsing, social unrest is the order of the day, Israel is preparing to send forces into the Gaza Strip and everyone wants to know just what it all means? For us as believers the answer is found in this Psalm where God tells us in no uncertain terms that He is the one doing all of this and we should be reassured that He “is our refuge and strength”.

If you have been wondering or troubled by all that has been happening in the past few weeks let this Psalm be a comfort to you. While it is easy to look for answers in the media, either worldly or spiritual, take the time to be quiet and think on His words to us in this Psalm and let the God of this universe speak to you with reassurance that we need in order not to fear the events happening around us.  May we never forget that God is "a very present help in trouble".

As far as the conflict between Israel and it's neighbors, God addresses that particular problem in many passages but I chose this particular one to share with you today.

But thus says the LORD: "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, And the prey of the terrible be delivered; For I will contend with him who contends with you, And I will save your children. I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know That I, the LORD, [am] your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."
Isaiah 49:25-26 NKJV

The ultimate goal and purpose behind everything we see going on in the world today is that our God intends to show the entire world, through the Church or through the nation of Israel, that He alone is God. Be still, be quiet, and listen to Him speak.

Keep watching.