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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 it's never been this bad...

The other day I was reading Psalm 46. It begins with the assurance that God is a present tense refuge and strength, and then speaks about the possibilities of the mountains being carried into the midst of the sea in the mountain shaking etc. It might serve as a picture for the church in the 21st century; turmoil and trouble on every side and even the foundations under threat. It comes to my mind that the church has often been here. In many a generation before ours Christians have said "it cannot get any worse, these are the last days".

Whenever the church is in these dire straits we ought to be able to hear a voice which says "there is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God". Cities could withstand long periods of siege as long as they had sufficient water resources. Springs were often brought into the city by means of channels cut into the rock. The word translated "springs" here is really man-made channel. The inexhaustible supply of the spring would be brought into the city through those man-made (and woman-made) channels.

To me it is a reminder that however desperate things may seem on the outside, the church of God will be sustained continually. There is only one river; that would be the Spirit. But there are many channels; man-made channels. Whenever it seems that all have bowed the knee to Baal, it will be found that some have been secretly faithful and have been the route by which God has continued to get the supply of His Spirit into the besieged city.

The next part of the Psalm continues the description. In our KJV we lose the repetition of the word "move". In verse 2 the mountains are "moved" into the sea. In verse 6 the kingdoms were "moved". But right in the middle in verse 4 says "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be "moved". In the 1960s many were singing "we shall not be moved"; they were wrong. Only those who can say "God is in our midst" can say "we shall not be moved". In the midst of all the outward chaos, those hidden within the city are secure; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

The Psalmist then invites the watcher to observe who has the last word. Verse 9 repeats the word "He" three times. God is still on the throne. This is where that favourite verse comes in... "be still and know that I am God". The pronoun "I" is emphasised in Hebrew. It really doesn't mean “become silent”, it means "let go". In other words "let it drop"; it's not your responsibility, let it go.

Where God gives a specific burden, His watchers will pray. They will give him no peace until he makes Jerusalem a praise in earth. But that prayer burden will come as His gift with His enabling, otherwise "let it go". You have no right to worry! You can loose your anxious grip, His church is in Safe hands.

Ron Bailey

 2004/5/27 15:32Profile

Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78

 Re: it's never been this bad...

Amen! :-) Thanks, Ron, for helping us to lift our eyes.

Rikard Eriksson

 2004/5/27 17:07Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Bro. Ron,

What an awesome thought! I can't help but think about the similarities between what you are writing and Daniel 5 and Ezekiel 8-10. When the individual people begin to entertain vain imaginations in their hearts the Lord's glory begins to depart. Soon after, if the progression does not cease, then the Temple of their body will begin to be misused as were the artifacts of the Temple in Daniel 5. What a picture! I'm sure you are aware of this history, but for those who may not know:


Cyrus, after defeating Labynetus in the open field, appeared before Babylon, within which the besieged defied attack and even blockade, as they had walls 300 feet high and 75 feet thick, forming a square of 15 miles to a side, and had stored up previously several years' provision. Noting that the dimensions of the wall made it too high to scale and too thick to collapse by battering, he developed an ingenious plan. Building a dam up the Euphrates River from the city, he then dug a new riverbed into which the river could be redirected. Closing the gates of the dam, the Euphrates under the wall dried up, and he sent his soldiers under the wall to accomplish their bloody task. He took the city by drawing off “for a time” the waters of the Euphrates, and then marching in with his whole army along its bed, while the people in a riotous and blasphemous party, feeling perfectly secure, scattered over the whole city in reckless amusement, went to their judgment. On October 11, 539 B.C., and Belshazzar was dead.


Many are indeed singing "I shall not be, I shall not be moved, just like a tree thats planted by the waters." However, as you likewise pointed out we have to be right with God or we WILL be moved. When the enemy succeeds in blocking up our prayer life and we give ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh the hand writing (as it were) begins to appear on the wall. Judgment is waiting at the door. That city may have never been taken if the people were vigilant. What happens? Many are NOT sober- they are drunken but not with wine- they stagger but not with strong drink. And in that delusion that accompanies sin- the prayer life ceases and the riverbed dries up. In comes the enemy into our lives under the very hedge that God sets up. The question for me is- "What has the enemy been using to 'dam up' my communion with God?" :-(

God Bless,


Robert Wurtz II

 2004/5/27 20:05Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: it's never been this bad...

Thanks Ron, great advice for all us 'Mr. Fix-it' types.

Where God gives a specific burden, His watchers will pray. They will give him no peace until he makes Jerusalem a praise in earth. But that prayer burden will come as His gift with His enabling, otherwise "let it go". You have no right to worry! You can loose your anxious grip, His church is in Safe hands.

Luk 9:23 "[i]And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up [b]his[/b] cross [b]daily[/b], and follow [b]me[/b].[/i]"

Guess I might have to put down some of these other ones...

Mike Balog

 2004/5/27 23:51Profile

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