God is our refuge and strength (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1

v. 4-5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God, the holy place of the tent of the most high. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.

The God who had adopted Israel was not like the gods of the nations. This God is real.

God’s people have refreshment that others cannot know; it is a confidence that extends beyond this life.

The temple, God’s holy place, was a standing symbol of God’s favourable presence and of his particular love to Israel, God’s people. The temple was a standing symbol of God’s mercy, of forgiveness, and of everlasting life.

The daily sacrifices pointed to a substitute for the sinner. The sinner deserves to die, but a substitute was provided. The animal sacrifices pointed to the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that his own body was the true the temple (John 2:20-22), and that he was the effective sacrifice.

The salvation that the temple pointed to, and the one that Christ really brings, is unshakeable. For this reason, God’s people will not be moved — not terrified, not defeated or let down.

God is with us – Immanuel — God with us is the name the angel use to refer to Jesus before his birth.

God helps at the breaking of dawn:

Assyrian soldiers who had been besieging Jerusalem were killed in a night by the angel of  Lord.

It also was at dawn that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, defeating then are there our great enemies, sin, death and Satan.

Here we need to note that the saving work of God, by which he rescues his people is also and at the same time the mean by which he defeats and subdues his enemies.

Nations raged against God (e.g., Rabshakeh/Sennacherib and the Assyrian army)

  • Their defeat was Israel’s salvation. Angel of the Lord is Old Testament code for Christ
  • What brought about Jerusalem’s salvation and their enemies defeat? God speaking; God fulfilling his word.

Same is true for all who trust themselves to God’s mercy in Christ Jesus. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus brought about our salvation, which comes to us by the word of  Christ and the renewing work of his spirit.

V. 7 God of Jacob, Lord of Armies. This is a reminder of his promise, his covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God saves for his own name’s sake; not because we were good, or loveable, worthy, but simply because God is pleased to show mercy.

V.8-9  God’s makes peace by ending the war — removing the enemy from the field

Warning to those who still oppose the God of Israel.

Look at what the Lord has done — the mightiest empire of the day humbled.

  • Their weapons were broken and scattered; their boosting was made to look ridiculous.
  • Sennacherib himself was gone; he who boasted that no God could withstand him — his power was broken and he was murdered by his own sons.

For us, the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ far out shines this extraordinary work of God in Israel’s history. Death was swallowed up in victory when Christ died and rose again. He won forgiveness and eternal life for his people. This hope in Christ cannot be lost.

The Psalm is also a call to repentance — a change of mind.

  •  To enemies of God, it is a call that they cease to make war against the only one who can save them.
  • To his people, it is a call they would cease to fear, even if the world be turned upside down.

One thought on “God is our refuge and strength (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: God is our refuge and strength (Part 1) | Don't take it from me

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