“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Psalm 46:1-5
While seeking the Lord for direction for this week’s devotionals, the Lord impressed upon me to write about some scriptures that deal with rivers. The words of an old song have been running through my mind.
“There is a river and it flows from deep within
There is a fountain that frees the soul from sin
So, come to this water, there is a vast supply
There is a river that never shall run dry…”
(*Words and Music by Max and David Sapp)
Although we cannot be certain when this psalm was written, it probably was referring to the time when Assyrian armies surrounded Jerusalem, and it looked like there was no hope. Unlike other great cities, Jerusalem did not have a river. But the writer of this Psalm is expressing the fact that God was their refuge and could do far more for them than any river.
This Psalm so beautifully illustrates the security of God’s people. When we are at our weakest, then God is there to provide the strength that we need. Verse one declares that He is a very present help, and we need not fear anything that the enemy can bring against us. Verse five tells us that God is always there and that He will show himself early.
Isaiah 37:35-36 tells us the result of trusting in the Lord for deliverance from the Assyrians:
“For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”
In Matthew 14, we read the story of the disciples in the midst of the stormy sea. Verse 25 says that Jesus appeared, walking on the water in the fourth watch of the night. The fourth watch is the darkest hour just before dawn.
No matter how dark the night, no matter how big a storm we are going through, we can reach out in faith to God, knowing that He cares and that He will provide the deliverance that we need. That river of life flows within our hearts and it will never fail us. Psalm 30:5 tells us: “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Prayer: Lord, open our spiritual eyes to see the river of life that you have provided for each of us. We are secure in you, knowing that you are greater than anything that could ever come against us.
Devotion by Anne Johnston