Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: The God I Wish You Knew, Week 4 – “Is a Refuge”
- Read Psalm 46:1-11 and take a minute to reflect on it:
“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 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.”
- What current events in our world come to your mind as you read this Psalm?
- Pastor Dale spoke of God being a refuge. What does that word mean? How would you define the word “refuge”?
- In Psalm 46:1-3, God is described as refuge and a tower of strength. Pastor Dale explained that God commanded Israel to have cities of refuge, where people could go to be safe from the consequences of mistakes they had made – whether on purpose or by accident. Tell about a situation in which you sensed God being your refuge.
- In Psalm 46:4, the Psalmist speaks of God being like a river of joy. The word “river” calls to mind a continuous stream that keeps on flowing.
Paul echoes this idea in Philippians 4:4, saying that we who know Christ can “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Pastor Dale explained that Paul wrote this after experiencing beatings, shipwreck, and a long list of other hardships and injustices. In fact, Paul was in prison when he wrote this.
What made it possible for Paul to experience joy, even in difficult circumstances?
- Tell about a situation when God gave you supernatural joy that would not have been your normal human response in those circumstances.
- In Psalm 46:10, the writer says that God “will be exalted in the earth.” Pastor Dale pointed out that God is above all else. Take a moment to consider whether there is currently anything in your life that you have been putting above God. What changes could you make to let God be above all else in your life?
- Pastor Dale challenged us not just to hear spiritual truths, but to take ownership of them for ourselves. How does a person do that?
- Name one person whom you sense God wants you to share His love with and tell your group about them. Pray for an opportunity to do that.