Psalm 46 in a World Gone Mad

Devotionals > Psalm 46 in a World Gone Mad

Psalm 46 in a World Gone Mad

November 15, 2016


photo-1469409140200-b19fb7563ac7 There is a place in Acadia National Park, in Maine, where you can see the ocean’s strength displayed, see the forces that batter and smash. It is called Thunder Hole, and is so dramatic that visitors to the park flock dutifully to stand a moment and watch. Dark water, surging into a hidden cave, collides with a pocket of air, creating a roar like thunder, splashing as high as 40 feet into the air. We visited Acadia, paused there and watched the waves crash angrily against the rock.

Who is mightier than the thunder of the sea?

Who is mightier than the raging nations?

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…

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Like little birds in a lighthouse nest, we remain safe on our perch. From this lofty vantage point we lean out and look around. Yep, there’s the ocean, roaring and foaming down below. It may surge and spray all it likes, this fortress is standing firm. From up here, you can see just how small you are, just how big God is. You can feel His strength as you lean into Him. You can feel, right there in the middle of all the crumbling world, His peace. If you don’t take shelter in God’s high tower, you’ll be dashed to bits by the pounding waves. The world, as described in Psalm 46, is on the brink of disaster. The nations rage, the earth shakes. All around us we see the folly of humankind wreaking devastation. This would be terrifying if not for the knowledge that God is sovereign. He has not yet unleashed his wrath on the world (patience?), but when He does, His people will be safe in His care. He is our refuge. But you can only grab hold of this peace if you pause to rest, to reflect.


Come, 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 shatters 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.


Did you see the pauses in the Psalm? Selah. Right there in the tumult of the raging world, we pause. We lift up hands in worship. We praise, very softly now. We slow down, we rest. Be still, and know that I am God. Who is like the Lord? Our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble? Slow down and recognize: He is the Lord of hosts, God of angel armies, who can make mountain ranges crumble with a fingertip, or raise up new peaks jagged against the sky with a whisper. He is the King of all the kings, whether they acknowledge it or not. Be still, and know that I am God. We hope. Against all odds, we take heart. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter, the earth melts. God is our mighty fortress, our comfort, our cheer. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way… and sometimes, it surely feels like it might. Be still, and know that I am God. We wait, looking forward to the great day of restoration, when all that is wrong and sick and broken will be righted and healed and mended, the day we will finally enter His holy, permanent rest, and cease striving forever. In the meantime, we practice eternity by practicing pauses. We rest. We remember. In a mad world, we do not fear. No election can shake the quiet strength of God, nor thwart His perfect plans. Selah.  
Catherine Morgan lives in Aurora, Colorado with her husband Michael and three kids.  She is the author of Thirty Thousand Days, published by Christian Focus Publications. Visit her blog at


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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