RETURNING TO THE PSALM
THAT INSPIRED LUTHER’S “A MIGHTY REFUGE,”
THAT SUSTAINED ME WHEN MY HUSBAND RECEIVED A TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS, AND THAT KEPT OUR OWN CHRIS FROM GOING UNDER WHEN HER BELOVED SON DANIEL WAS MURDERED.
THE FOLLOWING PAINTING WAS IN THE WAITING ROOM WHERE CHRIS AND HER HUSBAND WAITED AFTER DANIEL WAS ACCOSTED.
THOUGH THE WATERS ROAR
THOUGH THE MOUNTAINS FALL INTO THE SEA,
GOD IS OUR REFUGE
THIS IS A PSALM WE NEED IN OUR HEARTS
FOR LIFE IS HARD AND FULL OF TROUBLE.
THIS TIME I WANT US TO CONSIDER IT, IN PART, IN LIGHT OF THE SONS OF KORAH,
WHO WATCHED THE EARTH GIVE WAY AND SWALLOW UP THEIR REBELLIOUS FATHERS.
ONE DAY THEY WOULD WRITE PSALM 46.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth…
Be still and know that I am God.
(Psalm 46 8 & 10)
It is one thing to say God allows suffering and brings good out of it, it is quite another to say He brings desolations on the earth. Joni Eareckson Tada stirred a controversy when she said just that in her book, When God Weeps. Suffering is part of God’s plan for His people!
Surprising? Yes. But we who have studied Habakkuk know that He does plan disasters — and that judgment begins with His own.
We don’t understand why He brings suffering, but we who have studied Job remember how God answered Job out of the whirlwind.
God simply pointed to the sunrise, the stars, the seasons…and asked Job to stand against His wisdom, and Job said: “I lay my hand upon my mouth.”
Yet in the midst of sorrow, nothing can separate us from the love of God, and one day, we will understand it all, and, as Teresa of Avila said: “That first kiss from Jesus in heaven will make all our suffering seem like one night in a bad hotel.”
1. What stood our to you from the above and why?
Monday-Wednesday: Bible Study
Listen to this reading of Psalm 46.
2. Ponder Psalm 46 and share anything that quickens you.
3. Read Psalm 46:1-3 and describe the scene and yet, the hope.
4. One day, we will be in a far different place. This is described in verse 4. What do you learn?
5. Read Psalm 46:6-11
A. On the basis of this passage, how would you answer the question: “Does God plan disasters?”
B. Does it give you hope or despair to think God is behind suffering?
Thursday – Friday: 10 minute message from Joni Eareckson Tada
6. Share your notes and comments on the above.
7. What is your take-a-way and why?