This past weekend, Pastor Mike led us in worship from Psalm 46 which includes a statement attributed to God Himself which is repeated with enlargement:
“I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (v 10)
Note the boldness of these claims! There is no hint of contingency in them. There is no possibility of failure taken into account. Such bold predictions!
In these days, we hear various people making predictions about how we are going to overcome the troubling circumstances in which we find ourselves:
Politicians are eager to promote themselves over opponents with bold claims about the efficacy of their policies and proposals. Other public figures with good intentions are attempting to encourage us with the promise of modern medicine’s ability to thwart disease and death. Compassionate friends and neighbors exhort one another to “stay strong” because “we will get through this.” We comfort ourselves with thoughts of our own health and vitality.
But everyone knows in the backs of their minds that success in our attempts is contingent on factors beyond our control and is, at best, only a partial success:
There is so much we simply can’t know or won’t discover in time to be useful. We cannot control the actions of others – whether they act maliciously, selfishly, carelessly, or in ignorance. One disaster is often compounded by another – either natural or man-made – as if one trouble at a time weren’t already too much for us to handle. And, in the final analysis, those who survive will define success by the magnitude of the body count compared to what it might have been. Certainly not an unqualified success!
Any predictions we make regarding the outcome of our trouble are really just “whistling in the dark.” We are simply attempting to suppress our fears. We know this won’t solve anything. It only gives a boost to our mood.
Is there any hope? Is there any certainty?
Indeed there is hope! There is certainty! It does not come from man. It comes from the Creator of the universe, the only one who can make sure promises and unconditional claims. It is the hope and confidence given to us in the words of this psalm along with many others in the Scriptures, “I will be exalted.”
Set aside all the bluster of man and the hollow comforts of self-confidence and rest in this sure statement by God, “I will be exalted.”
So, how is the inevitable exaltation of God a comfort to our hearts and minds? How can the psalmist consider it and say, “Be still?” That will be the topic of part two of this meditation. God wiling, we will consider it and see that unimaginable good is assured everyone who rests in these words of God, “I will be exalted.”