The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

09/30/2008

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Our Refuge...Our Strength...Our Help

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear"......(Ps.46:1&2).

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a few miles from my home. We often take people who visit NJ there and drive the eight mile loop to view some unfettered flora and fauna of this region. It is an impressive place, where you can at times view egrets, herons, ducks, geese, swans, red-winged blackbirds, and glossy ibises., all in their natural habitat. The animals are safe and free to forage for food, mate, and give birth to young. By safe I mean that they are able to exist without pressure from their worst enemy....Us.

After viewing the movie Jaws in 1975, many people had a little different attitude about swimming in the ocean. Just the, "da-dum, da-dum, da-dum," brought us to a scary place. It was a basic part of the move that heightened our fear and anticipation. There a lot of "scary" elements alluded to in this short Psalm. An earthquake (v2), flooding, tidal wave, or hurricane, (v3, war (v6a), fire (6b). The elements include natural and man-made threats.

If we were facing one of these threats, isn't the thought of a refuge or a safe haven a reassuring and joyful thought? If we go back into the context of this chapter, the enemy de jour of the Israelites were the dreaded and powerful Assyrians. After being threatened by the Babylonians, Edomites, Ishmaelites, Moabites, Hagrites, Gebalites, Ammonites, Amalekites, and Philistians, Its no wonder that they were seeking a refuge.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." This simple statement gives us insight into how God works on our behalf today.

1. God is our refuge...A critical thing for us to understand is that relief from the problems of everyday life is found in the refuge that is our relationship with God.

2. God is our strength...We notice that God does not promise that we will be able to hide from every problem of life. A relationship with our Lord does guarantee a problem free life. It means however, that we never have to face the problem with our strength alone. He gives us what we need!

3. God is our help..Many of life's troubles do not include brute strength as an solution. They are "thinking" problems may require clear thinking, prayer, and meditation on God's Word. Life is filled with times that require good clear thought. In these, God is our help.....WHAT A BLESSING.......

Have a great day....Make a difference.....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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