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The Twofold Work of God's Word

Si Walker, 10th August 2020


Let’s take a look at Psalm 46 to see the contrasting ways that God’s Word works.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Did you see the two occasions when reference was made to God speaking in the psalm?

Firstly, in V6, God lifts his voice and the earth melts.

This is a dramatic image, if you think of the way wax collapses away as the heat source meets it, offering no resistance. Cliffs might collapse with a crash, but wax simply slips away. The world, which seems so strong and impressive, has to listen to the voice of the creator. And when Jesus calls ‘time’, that will be it.

Secondly, this same voice which causes the earth to melt, also speaks and says ‘be still, and know that I am God.’ For, the Lord who is a fierce lion, is also a gentle lamb. To the proud and ungodly, they will melt away in the judgement, but when the humble believer from every nation approaches him, he says, ‘be still.’

I think of the child who is so thrilled by the strong hands of their Father, which throw them into the air and catch them, but also feels safe as they hold his hand walking down the street and spot the dangers around them. Praise God for the twofold character of God’s voice in this Psalm!

Because God speaks in such a way, he is truly our strength and refuge.

You might like to listen to this beautiful song, ‘Jesus strong and kind.’


As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.