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  • David Bent

Nations in Uproar (05-03-22)

Bible Reading: Psalms 46:1-11

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.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


A Reflection:

In the chaos and uproar of war and world events, God’s word to us remains constant, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ When we are concerned for the people of Ukraine, when we are fearful about the future stability of the world, when we see the horrors of war on our screens, God’s word to us remains constant, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Even for those caught up in the violence and bloodshed, God’s word remains constant, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’


When the psalmist writes, ‘Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall’ he could be writing today, he certainly sems to be writing within the context of war. Indeed the Good News Bible translates ‘Be still and know that I am God’ as ‘Stop fighting and know that I am God’. But notice how he sandwiches the reality of war between the truths that, ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ and ‘The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


An estimated seventy percent of Ukrainian people have a Christian faith, and both its president and prime minister are Jewish, the people who gave us the psalms. Let us pray for Ukraine, that God will indeed be their refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.


Jesus came as Prince of Peace and the psalmist says of God, ‘He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.’ Let us pray that President Zelensky of Ukraine and President Putin of Russia have the wisdom and the grace to lead their countries towards peace and away from conflict.


Let us also pray that through all of this, God will be exalted, for the God who says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ also says, ‘I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."


And, as we hold this situation before God in prayer, let us remember that God is also our refuge and strength, and let us also say with the psalmist, ‘Therefore we will not fear.’


Pray:

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, may the peoples of Russia and Ukraine stop fighting and know that you are God.

Amen


O God, our help in ages past

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssr-Ga3Mz6Q

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