God’s Word for Times Like These is a series of 10 inspirational Bible reading notes produced by Scripture Union International as the world tries to cope with the immediacy and the urgency of Covid-19. In Part 3 King Solomon and Israel had just dedicated the new temple to God and then God speaks to Solomon and tells him that when difficult times come (including plagues), there is a process for the people to receive God’s healing.
Part 4: He is With Us. He is Still in Control.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[b] A song.
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.
Nearly every country in the world is implementing an unprecedented course of protective measures – from closing borders to limiting activities. These measures are in place to restore control and prevent panic.
Ironically, control is somewhat illusive, whilst panic is real and growing.
Are we losing this battle, the same way as the Jews were losing theirs with numerous enemies many years ago? Are we ready to cry out with the Psalmist, that the only help we have, the only strength we possess, the only refuge we can count on, is our God?
He is here with us in the midst of the chaos. He is still in control. He calms us when we become still and know that He is God. So, put down your broken weapon of wanting to be in control and come and ﬁnd conﬁdence in Him.
With your family
Cut out some thin strips of paper and use them to measure the bicep muscle in the arms of every person (bend your arm and squeeze your fist make it stand out!). Use a ruler to measure each strip, name it and record the number. Who is the strongest in your household? I wonder how strong God is?
Each person then writes one way that they know that God is strong on their strip of paper. Share your answers and think of some more together. Now glue the paper strips together to make a much longer strip.
Together, God makes us strong and we can have confidence in his power and strength. Stick your ‘God strip’ on the wall somewhere as a reminder to your family this week.
Now do what it says in verse 10: “Be still and know that I am God”. Each person writes out the words of verses 1-2a. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change.”
Find a quiet place to be still. Set a timer for two minutes and read these words to yourself slowly, over and over again. Pray the words together to finish. Display your creations on your wall as a reminder of God’s caring presence.
Almighty God, still our minds and our hearts. Let us spend time with You and know You more. Amen.