"God is our refuge and strength"
-Not our works, not sin, not our abilities or giftings, not our achievements, and certainly not our unbelief.
"A very present help in trouble"
-Always close-by and ready to help
But the key to this truth is that "GOD IS".
Because GOD IS and He is who He is, then He is our refuge and strength and a very present help.
-Because of this truth that "God is",
And so if He is who He is then He is our refuge and strength and a very present help.
And so "therefore" as a consequence of realizing this glorious truth:
"we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;"
-All else is temporal, moving and changing, But GOD IS. He is eternal, immovable and unchanging, and so:
v3, "Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah"
-Though in this temporal life, great trials and persecutions may roar at us. Mountains of impossibility may quake, we need not fear, because God is, and since He is, then He is our refuge and our strength and is close-by and a very present help.
v4) "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,"
-Rivers of blessings of knowing the Lord and having our confidence in Him
"the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High."
-The church is the "city of God", which is:
"holy" a people set apart for His own possession, and:
"dwelling places" (plural) many believers and many congregations of believers around the world, where God dwells. Of course, God is everywhere but He dwells in His churches of believers in a special way, He acts personal with them, they know Him personally and He knows them.
Also: God is "the Most High"
-It is a most grievous and blasphemous thing when a man takes this title upon himself.
v 5, "God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;"
-God is in the midst of His church. "The Kingdom of God is within you" or "in your midst". God dwells in the believers heart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart. "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God"
"she [His church] will not be moved"
-because God's seed [Christ] abides in us. That is the reason we will overcome and persevere.
"God will help her when morning dawns."
-The church here is described as "her". The bride of Christ is one body, yet like a human body is made up of many members (body parts), throughout this Psalm we see this truth:
v1, "our", v2, "we", "city of God", "holy dwelling places (plural) of the Most High", v7, "us" and "our", v11, "us", "our".
-Those to whom God is their refuge and strength are not a spiritual island. Those who separate themselves from the body of believers "seek their own desire" and do not see God as their refuge and strength but trust in some other stagnant water of self. "We know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren" and "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another".
-Also realizing this truth that God is also the refuge and strength of many other believers, will help us be less impatient with others.
v6, "The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted."
-Whatever the unbelieving world roars in rebellion against God now, however bold they may seem now, their hearts will melt like wax when they stand before Him. Though they may roar now and for a little while, it will not shake Him or those who take refuge in Him, because: "we have the prophetic word made more sure" Christ confirmed the already sure Word of God and made Himself known to us. "Every word of God is pure, He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him". Many things in this life are temporal and will fade away, but "The Word of our Lord stands forever".
v7 "The LORD of hosts is with us;"
-He has an army of angels to keep charge over us. But most of all the Angel of the Lord Himself encamps around those who fear and take refuge in Him.
"The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah."
-The God of that "worm" Jacob is the believer's stronghold, "while we were yet sinners" and "when we were helpless" "Christ died for us", like the thief on the cross, "there have I though vile as he, washed all my sins away", every debt we owed is "paid in full" by Jesus, blessed Jesus, none but Jesus, "our Emanuel God with us" and so:
"Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you," declares the LORD, "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel". To all those who have put simple childlike trust in the Saviour: "your sins have been forgiven you for His name's sake". If it were only for "our sakes", I would struggle to believe it, but it is "for His", for Christ's names sake that the believer is forgiven and is forever pardoned before the throne of God in Heaven.
-The invitation to all
-Take hold of these truths within your heart, soul and mind. That because "God is", then He is our refuge and strength and a very present help.
"Come behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth."
-None can win by rebelling against Him, and so why continue?
v9 "He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire."
-Behold the miracle of salvation, how God is a changer of hearts. He makes people warring against Him cease. He can and does and is ready to, shed His love abroad into the hearts of the most rebellious. "The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives" and so:
v10, "Cease striving" or (margin) "let go" "and know that I am God;"
-To the unbeliever (to all those who have not truly come to personally know God through saving faith in His Son Jesus Christ): Give up warring against God and be saved. Realize His great mercies, "let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.",
"Cease striving" and know that I am God;"
-"know the truth" of who God is "and the truth will set you free".
"Cease striving" or (margin) "let go" "and know that I am God;"
-To the believer: Take great confidence and security in that God is, and because He is, He is our refuge and strength. Know Him, who He is, that He alone is God. He is eternal and faithful. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
"I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
-The Gospel will be taken "to the ends of the earth". God has His elect "in every place". "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
v11 "The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah."
-The church will proclaim His Name and have strong confidence in Him and His Kingdom will advance in us, because He is with us.
What glorious truth to those who realize that "God is" who He is.