Let's pray. Oh Lord behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity, it is like the precious oil on the head running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron running down on the collar of his robes. It is like the Dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion for there. The Lord has commanded the blessing life forever more father, we thank you so much. For the insistence to hold this conference. Thank you for the hospitality of this church and the facilitation of worship together. What a delight it is for us to come together in this way. We asked for your particular blessing in this hour that we would have ears to hear what you have to say through your word and through your servant. Dean olive. Through our worship together, Lord stir our hearts and use it for your glory in all of our churches in jesus' name. Amen. I'll be preaching from Psalm 46. So turn there, please. If you would. I had intended to, to preach this entire chapter, but I just can't get out of the first three verses. So that's where we will be. But I want to read the entire chapter more profitable for you, for me to read this word and let that soak into your minds and heart as it is for me to expound it for the reading of God's word. Is more important than its preaching and teaching though. We don't want to separate the two. And one of the things that grieves me a lot about many churches is there's little trips or reading, and we need to hear the word of God read. That's one of the things we're to be faithful to do according to Paul's instructions to Timothy. So Psalm 46. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though. The earth gives way though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea though. Its waters, roar and foam though, the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy habitation of the most high God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns. The nations raise the kingdoms totter. He utters his voice and the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob fortress, calm, behold, the works of the Lord. How he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes Wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and chatters the spear. He burns the chariots with 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 fortress Allister. Beck has referred to the Bible as the soul's medicine chest. And he says that Psalms 46 is one of the best potions in the chest. And that is true. It's a Psalm that. Steals our soul and makes us strong. That gives us confidence in God. In fact, this Psalm has often been referred to as a Psalm of confidence, but it teaches us not to have confidence in ourselves, not to have confidence in someone else, but to have confidence in God. Robert Hawker says, if God in Christ BR confidence, we shall ride as Noah did tranquil, amidst descending, torrents, born up and sheltered by the arc. This confidence stems from faith in God. Again, not faith in ourselves. But faith in God, Paul told the Philippians put no confidence in the flesh. That would be foolish, but Christians often do not have confidence because their faith is misplaced. They trust in self. They trust in other things, but we need a confidence and a faith that is generated by. True belief in the triune God. And if that be sold, then we shall not fear whatever befalls us. It is generally believed that the historical incident that inspired Psalm 46 was the deliverance of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib King of Assyria, uh, in the days of Hezekiah, second Kings chapters, 18 and 19. The Lord saved his people in their time of trouble and then dictated his power and their deliverance. But we know the message of Psalm 90 or 46 applies to God's people in whatever circumstances they are in. It gives great encouragement to God's people in every age. It is timeless. The Lutheran scholar, HC Lou uphold wrote few songs, breathe the spirit of sturdy confidence in the Lord in the midst of very real dangers, as strongly as does this one, how true it is. There's a, superscription over the Psalm calls for our attention to the choir master of the sons of Korah. According to Alan moth. A song. The choir master of course, is the leader of the music. The sons of Korah were. Levitical priest that taught it by singing. According to Allah, moth probably suggest the tune, but it may refer to singing, made up by a group of virgins, this Hebrew word, which is transliterated here is related to the word Masiah chapter seven, verse 14, all my Virgin. Of course, the piece is a song or a song, which means it was to be song to the accompaniment of instrumental music. It is a Psalm that you see the word Sila three times the end of verse three, end of verse seven at the end of the Psalm verse 11, probably. That word indicates a pause in the music or a pause for contemplation. That's why when I read the scriptures, I don't read that word, perhaps you do. It's hard for me not to it's in the inspired texts, but I think it's a mutual musical annotation. If you looked at their music over here, you'd see somebody, it says F and F F and P and P P and all. Other kinds of Latin words that give instruction how the piece of music is to be song and best. We know this word Sila tells us to pause, pause for the purpose of reflection and contemplation. See law says stop and think. And these C laws are the structural markers for Psalm 46. Is incorporated at the end of three, the stands us and each one of them tells us to stop and think take some time. And the general theme is our need to have confidence in God, confidence in God is our refuge confidence in God as our ever present health. Confidence in God as mighty Lord, we're going to focus on the first three verses. And the gist of those verses is that we can be confident knowing that God is our refuge and strength in time of trouble. We need not fear because God is our help. It doesn't matter what the difficulties are that we face. God is our strength and riff huge. I want you to look with me at three important points. The text makes about God is our refuge. There is the confirmation that God is our refuge. That's how the Psalm begins. God is our strength, our refuge and strength, a very present help. In trouble. And then there's the consequence of God has RFU to therefore we will not fear. And then lastly, there are the circumstances in which God is our refuge. We will not fear though. The earth gives way though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea though its waters, roar and foam though, the mountains tremble at its swelling. The som commence is with the confirmation that God is our refuge. God is our refuge and strength of very present help in trouble. And I say to you, if we can just grasp hold of those words, we can face any trial that comes our way. This idea of refuge is a common theme in the book of Psalms. It's a common way to refer to God. It's a theme that runs right through the Psalter Psalm two verse 12, blessed are those who take refuge in him toward the end of the Psalm one 43, verse nine. I have fled to you for refuge. So God is our refuge. What does that mean? It means he's our place of safety. God designated certain cities in Israel as cities of refuge, six cities were set aside so people could flee to, in order to get justice from an Avenger of blood, these cities of refuge pitcher, symbolically, don't say the refuge that we have in the Lord. Jesus Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrew says we have fled to him for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us to all who flee to him. We'll find refuge. Are you familiar with the him Henry Francis light wrote. Or how can earth or hell distress with God. So strong. So near to bless from you alone. Salvation flows. My only refuge and repose God is our refuge. There's another word here in the tech. God is our refuge and strength and both of these words to pick God's character. God's action. On behalf of his people, refuge speaks of a place to hide, speaks of power for the weak, and don't we need both don't we need a place to hide going need power for our week. So rolls Boyce says God is a stronghold into which we can flee. And a source of inner strength by which we can face calamities. So when we shelter in him, we find strength from him and let us know the plural pronoun. God is our refuge and strength. So it speaks of God's people together. There are places in the book of Psalms where. The writer uses the singular God is my refuge, but here he uses the plural. We see that again in verse seven, verse 11, the God of Jacob is our fortress. It's like the Lord's prayer, isn't it. Or the model prayer. We should probably call it our father, which art in heaven. And so God is. My refuge. And he's your refuge. He is our refuge and strength that transports into another thought. He is also a very present help in trouble. Yeah. In other words, God is near and because he's near, he is able to help us when we are in trouble. He's a. Very present, help. He is an ever present help. And that means we can find him and the help and strength we need when we need it. I read, I didn't read it from HG Wil Wells, but I read an article that said HG Wells used to refer to God as a absent help in time of trouble. We as Christians have affirmed that he's a very present help in time of trouble. We learned in the book of Hebrews that God will never leave us nor forsake us. God doesn't take vacations. He doesn't go away from us. He's a present, help, a very present help in times of deep distress. He is near us. Spurgeon says he is more present than friend or relative can be closer than even the trouble itself. His assistance comes at the needed time. The word trouble literally means a tight place, a constricted place. Quiet, uh, are cramped quarters. It's a place we can't get out of. I have a photograph of my grandson. His name is Jude. He has been referred to as Judah for before. Cos it rhymes with Lucifer. He is quiet the boy, but I caught him once he got into it. Place in our living room between a speaker and a cabinet, I guess he's about a year and a half and he could not get out. And of course, like a good grandfather, I took my phone out, took a picture of it before I could get him out of the cramp trouble. He just sitting there hollering and crying. He needed help. And I was near and I was able. To help him. That's the word picture that we have here? God is a very present help when the world is closing in on us, when troubles our own every side, he is an ever present help in all the tight places we get into in life. Some of those tight places where by our own choosing and foolish mistakes, but even then when we cry out to God and repentance, he helps us. Call upon me in the day of trouble, he says, and I will deliver you. You know, that verse from Psalm 50 Spurgeon has a sermon on that Texas called Robinson Caruso's text. And if you ever read Robinson Crusoe, which I don't remember if I did or not, I have the old copy of the book, but I've seen the movie, but they didn't have this part in the movie. He flops open the Bible and it opens up to that text. Call on me in the day of trouble. See Daniel Defoe was a Christian ever go to London. You want to go to, but he'll field. See where all those godly saints are buried. He's buried in that place. And he wrote a book with the Providence and sovereignty of God in view. And God, when we call on him, he's that very present help in time of trouble. My, my grandparents used to talk about being between a rock and a hard place you ever been in one of those places, and God is there to help us when we are afflicted. When we suffer, when the world closes in on us, God is present with us. Now here's something important for us to remember. God does not always exempt his people from trouble, but he will be near them in their time of trouble. What precious words, these are an ever present help in trouble. Now God may be pleased to remove that which hurts and harms us, or it may be his purpose to send us through great trials and tribulations. But whichever it is, we can say with William Gatsby, he is my refuge in H D distress, the Lord, my strength and glorious righteousness through floods and flames. He leads me safely on and daily makes his sovereign goodness. Now God's people can always say. Always say God is my refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Think, say that because he's our refuge. We don't take refuge in ourselves or in someone else it's in God. Spurgeon said all other refuges are lies. All other strength is weakness. So God and God alone is our refuge and strength. God does for us. What no one else can do. He is able, he is all sufficient. He is our refuge and strength. Okay. Well, we turn now from the confirmation that the Psalm has makes telling us that God is our refuge to the consequence of God is our refuge. God is our refuge and strength, very present, help in trouble. And you think Paul was writing this, therefore we will not fear. The word, therefore introduces us to a necessary inference. If God is our refuge and strength, if he is an ever present help in time of trouble, then we all not be afraid with him to help us. What should we fear? Now the Bible teaches very clearly that we need a healthy fear of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, fear in this sense is all and reverence toward God. And we should be characterized by that kind of fear, the fear of the Lord, but we. Should not be characterized as fearful in the sense of dread and terror. I used to have a pastor used to call that kind of fear, scaredy cat fear. And we're not to be characterized by that kind of fear. We shouldn't be afraid. Of what man might do to us. We should not be afraid of calamities like COVID, which might fall upon us. We should not be fearful. We should not worry and fret. That is not the posture of faith, but when that kind of fear arises in our hearts, faith, flees away. In scripture, God often says to his people, and that's usually through one of his servants fear, not Exodus 14 verse 13, Moses said to the children of Israel at the red sea fear not and stand firm, that water was before them. They couldn't cross Pharaoh with his armies behind them. And what does Moses fear not stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. This day, first Chronicles 22 verse 13. God said to Solomon be strong and courageous fear, not being, not dismayed. The ascended Christ said to the apostle John. When he was on the isle of Patmos fear, not I am the first and the last I am. He that liveth and was dead and behold, I am alive forever. More fear not. And he told him why shouldn't fear. Cause I'm first and last. I've got this in charge. Amen. I'm the one that's alive who was dead and I am alive forevermore. All that we know about. God teaches us not to be afraid. God has not given to us a spirit of fear and of power, but of, of power and of love and of a sound mind. God promises never to leave us or forsake us. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. And he cares for us so much that he tells us to cast all of our anxieties, all of our fears, all of our worries, all of our troubles on him, the remedy for fears spelled out. So well in Psalm 56, verse three, when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. When I am afraid. There are times we will be afraid. What are we to do in those times when I'm afraid? I will put my trust in you. That's the antidote for fear. So let us fix our faith firmly in the Lord, who is our refuge and strength. And if we do, we will not fear. That's the consequence. That's the therefore Psalm 112 verse seven has been a song that's become very precious to me. It says of the righteous. He is not afraid of bad news. That's ESV. He is not afraid of bad news. And then the Psalmist says his heart is from trusting in the Lord. That's such an amazing description. Isn't it? Perhaps you are familiar with the book written by Paul Wolf. My God is true. It's his account of the battle he had with cancer published by the banner of truth. I've given that book to a number of people, well, who were fearful and troubled because of one thing or another. Shortly after mr. Wolf received the news that he had cancer. A friend wrote him a note and reminded him of Psalm 112 verse seven. It became a help to him as he contemplated the bad news that he had been hit with. And I, I tell you, dear friends, if we meditate on that verse, it will help us to. And we need to consider it and meditate on it because trouble is going to come. In fact, we've already faced bad news in the past. Haven't we? And to one greater degree, another, we're going to face it again. God's people are not exempt from trials. We'll go through hardships and trouble, just like everyone else with, and we need to brace ourselves because there will be a day when the phone rings and it's bad news. There'll be a day when a knock comes on the door and it's bad news. There'll be a day when we sit in a doctor's office and he says, I've got some bad news for you. He had asked an already happened to you. Will. But what Psalm 112 seven says is that when bad news comes our way, we will not be afraid. You see, that's the difference between the righteous and the unrighteous, the unconverted people do not experience divine strength. They tremble it bad news because they don't know the Lord, but not. So the Lord's people, Oh, we may be Shaw. We will be shocked momentarily. Temporarily. We will be disturbed by bad news. But the Lord comes to our aid, doesn't he? And he helped me. So us to confide in him and find comfort and peace for the soul. He's our keeper. He's our shade that I ride him. Yeah. He will help us to trust him and his providential care. He has taught us to cast all our cares on him because he cares for us here. What Calvin said. He said Christians will certainly manifest system symptoms of fear at the prospect of impending danger for where they altogether, regardless of calamities, such indifference would not be the result, not of confidence in God, but of incivility. And sensibility, but should they not be able to lay aside all fear and anxiety yet? Acknowledging God as the guardian of their life and pursuing the tenor of their ways. They entrust themselves to his preserving care and cheerfully resigned themselves to his disposal. Oh, how thankful we are to know that God will never leave us nor forsake us and how thankful we are to know that God's working all things together for good to those who love him and who were called according to his purpose. And I'm grateful for the message we heard. We, we can throw that verse on people in their time of need in a wrong way. I hope I hope you can vote Romans eight 28 to me anytime, if I'm suffering the greatest point in my life. Don't you worry about misquoting Romans eight 28 to me, but we can often misuse that verse. You know, job's comforters did their best when they said nothing. I will boy struggle with the book of job. It goes. It was, it looks like to me, those guys said a lot of good things. I'm not always sure when maybe they shouldn't have said that, but boy, this sounds good to me, but it's not always what they said. That that was bad. It was their timing. It was perhaps said and pride, coldly, harshly, and we can often do that. So often the best thing we can do is just be silent. Sometimes we can say all things work together for good. Those who love him call according to purpose or you call, do you love him? Oh, then hoping this, we should always be able to say, God is our refuge and strength. Cast yourself on him. He's here. He hasn't abandoned you and don't be afraid. He's with us. He walked his over us. He cares for us. He loves us. Why should we fear? I don't want to fret when I received bad news and I hope you want either. Don't let the days of dark Providence shake. You remember the righteous. Is not afraid of bad news. His heart is from trusting in the Lord. John Reiland friend of William carrion, Andrew Fuller, who wrote a hymn that has this wonderful line in it, plagues and deaths around the fly. Till he bids, I cannot die. Not a single shaft can hit till the love of God thinks fit that's confidence in God, not in self that's believe in his sovereignty, his Providence in working all of that out. So nothing, nothing can guard the heart of God's people. Against the terror of possible are eminent troubles. Save faith in God. So it says David Dixon in his commentary on the songs. If God is a strong refuge, if he gives help in time of trouble, there's no need for us to fear. So let us say confidently. Therefore we will not fear. One further point for us to consider. We've seen the confirmation that God is our refuge. And this consequence stated here in the text that God is our refuge. And lastly, we see the circumstances in which God is our refuge. God is our refuge and strength, a very present, help trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though. They are gives way. Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea though. Its waters, roar and foam though. The mountains tremble at its swelling here, Psalmist brings out of his imagination, a list of. Many different kinds of things that may come our way. He talks about a few of the calamities and we can see them in the physical sense that could happen. Suppose the earth gives way maybe he's thinking of a Vulcan or some other natural disruption. Suppose the mountains are moved and the heart of the sea, maybe thinking of an earthquake flood of water that might rage and flood the land or the mountains tremble and shake. So the Psalmist says God's our help. Even then in the worst imaginable, calamities that could come upon us, he's our help. And we therefore all not to fear when national or natural calamities happen. We must remember that the Lord is our refuge and strength, very present, help, time of trouble. We do well to remember that during these days, But even if we understand these things to be natural, they certainly can be understood in other ways, political upheavals, the crumbling of kingdoms and the world economic upheavals. And that's probably what they refer to here. And the Psalmist touches on those kinds of things and the rest of this Psalm as well. But our faith is in a God who is with us in every trial. So he is a very present help in time of trouble. And that is something that we must remember the thought. Of him being present with us in all circumstances is found later in the song verses seven verse 11. The Lord of hosts is with us Gerhardt per Stegeman wrote a him with that as the leading line. God himself is with us. Let us now adore him. And with all appear beforehand, ought a thought. God is with us, the ever present God. And because we live in the new covenant, we have the greater realization that God is with us because Christ became. A man, God became a man in the person of his son. You remember what the angel told Joseph? He quoted Isaiah seven verse 14, behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, but he didn't stop there and they shall call his name Emmanuelle. And you remember the little parenthesis. Matthew explains what that means. God. With us prior to sending back to heaven, Jesus said that he would be with his church, his people until the end of the age and through Hebrews, the writer of Hebrews, he will never, no, never, no, never forsake us. The worst that can happen to us should not cause us to be fearful. For God in Christ is forever with us based on what is asserted about God in our text, we ought not be afraid. And so let us say whatever difficulty we're facing. We will not fear because God is our refuge and strength. Very present, help in trouble. Elizabeth Elliot testified how difficult it was for her. When her husband died was killed by the Orca Indians. Jim Elliot had been trying to reach them with the gospel, but they took his life. I'm sure Romans eight 28 would have been a struggle for them then, but we have seen the good that's come out of that sense. But in the midst of her anguish and grief, Elizabeth Elliot said everything that has seemed most dependable has given way. Mountains are falling. Earth is really wow. It makes me think she had Psalm 46 and nine and such a time. It is a profound comfort to know that although all things seem to be shaken. One thing is not, God is not shaken. You probably know that Psalm 46 was a favorite of Martin Luther, the great reformer in times of trouble. He often called believers to join him in singing the 46 Psalm. He even wrote a hymn that is a paraphrase of that song. A mighty fortress is our God. Are there any hymns, more powerful than majestic than that? Him. He composed the words of that hymn. He composed the tune that we sing it too. Did you know that the first line of that ham is inscribed on his tongue? I've just read that. I hadn't been there. Seen it. Luther's him became known as the battle hymn of the reformation. It is a him, that's an antidote to fear. When the storms of life rage, that him reminds us, God is in control and that he is with us, even when we are asleep by the powers of death and Satan. Well, more than the him. Written by Luther. The Psalm is a reminder to us that when man and the devil does their worst God and Christ instills faith and confidence in us. And we have that added blessing. Don't way of seeing this song through the lens of Christ. It's promises are the promises of the son of God or the people he loved and gave himself for. And so may the words of this song, be a source of strength and comfort to us in these most trying days and the place we need to go to find comfort and strength. Is in the word of God in God, himself, let's pray our father and our God, we thank you for this precious portion of your word. So, so many other verses jump out at us here, but none more so than those first three verses. So help us to be still and know you are God. That you, the Lord of hosts is with us, that you, the God of Jacob is our fortress. You really are a mighty fortress of bulwark, never failing our helper. He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. So here our prayer steal, our souls make us strong and confident. In you, we pray these things in jesus' name. Amen.