“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)
Because I have lived in a country where very strong earthquakes are too common, experiencing the power of God in nature is something that is not foreign to me whatsoever. I remember a particularly strong earthquake that hit us when I was growing up; it shook the ground so hard it sloshed out half the water stored in our pila, and the pila was full! The walls crimped, the power lines and the poles on the street shook violently, and drivers found it difficult to keep driving straight.
My Honduran relatives, who were visiting us, were even more amazed than I was to see the power of God displayed this way. It was then that I realized that as humans, we do not have control of anything; it is our great and most Holy God. He is the one that is in total control of everything, always!
Psalm 46 has been expressed in the popular hymn by Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. Verses 1 through 3 talk about the presence of God in cataclysms, and the psalmist comforts God’s people by saying that the Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress. I think we should experience the Lord Almighty in this quarantine as our fortress, as our very accessible help in dire times as these! Even when “the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,” or “the plague that destroys at midday” assaults us (NIV), we should not fear: God is with us, He is Immanuel!
During the events that assail us, and even when we reel from different unexpected things that are thrown at us (no matter where you are in life), God is capable of assuaging our biggest fears when we choose to make Him our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. If God is our fortress, an isolated, elevated place where people built a stronghold against the enemy, there is no reason for us to fear.
“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our Helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing”: let us not fear! God is with us, in us, and for us!
Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Martin Luther’s “A mighty fortress is our God (Ein' feste Burg)”, and rely on our beautiful Yahweh, even to the point of not fearing!