Today is a special day in our community…and in my household as well. School began today, and there were certainly mixed emotions. Due to different starting times, my wife drove one of our boys to school while I drove the other. The one I took this morning was not particularly thrilled about the start of school. As we often do in the car, I had chosen a psalm for him to read…Psalm 46.
He read it aloud and we discussed it as we went along our way (see Deuteronomy 6:4-6). I asked him to first examine who God is, according to the psalm. In verse one, God is our refuge. He is our strength. He is an ever-present help in trouble, always there to lend aid. Twice, in verse seven and eleven, we see that God is our fortress. On a day filled with uncertainty, knowing that God is with us and that He is a safe place is very important.
Next, we discussed what God does, according to the psalm. God dwells in the holy place, as we see in verses four and five. I almost picture Him seated on His throne, ruling over all. God brings peace in verse nine. He breaks the weapons of war. Most critically, God speaks in verse ten. He commands us to be still and acknowledge that He is God. He is in control, and He can handle it.
Finally, we looked at the earthly circumstances in the psalm. The earth is giving way and the mountains are falling into the sea in verse two. In verse three, the waters are roaring and foaming as earthquakes rage. The nations are in an uproar in verse six. In the midst of it all, there is a river in verse four. This peaceful scene is a picture of what it means to be still and know that God is God. In the midst of our crazy worlds, that river is there. If we have surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the river flows through us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
So often, we are tempted to first examine our earthly circumstances. But we cannot fully understand them unless we have first examined who God is and what He does. We cannot face our days with the proper perspective unless we prioritize what must come first. Today is the start of a brand new school year. It’s a launching point of sorts for communities and homes and churches everywhere. As programs and activities ramp up, may we be mindful of our original call…to know Jesus. Start with who God is and what He does, and watch how the rest falls into place.