♬ Here we go a-pondering… ♬ Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Just sounded lyrical.
I’m at it again. Ready to dig for another gem?
Several versions of the above verse say “a very present help” or something similar. However, the Masoretic (Hebrew) Text states the verse this way, “God is our refuge and strength, very much found to be a help in distresses.”
I love that version and this one, “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” (Ps. 46:1 HCSB) These two uses of found are a little closer to the definition.
Let’s look at some of the definitions…
* refuge: shelter, from rain, storm, or danger
* very/very much/always: vehemence, exceedingly, abundantly, greatly, highly, might, force, wholly, speedily
* present/found: to come forth, appear, exist, to attain to or find, acquire, occur, encounter, to happen or light upon, to appear, to be recognized, to be discovered or detected, let himself be found by anyone, etc. Vine’s Expository says it “refers to ‘finding’ someone or something that is lost or misplaced, or ‘finding’ where it is. The thing may be found as the result of a purposeful search.” Mainly translated as find or found, as in “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen. 6:8 NKJV)
* help/helper: aid, succor, assistance
* trouble/distresses: tightness, straits, travails, conditions that cause distress, tribulations
The Masoretic Text says in verse 2, “On account of this we will not fear when the earth changes and when mountains are slipping into the heart of the seas. Let its waters foam; let the mountains shake in its swelling. Selah.”
Pause and think on all that. Oh, as I do, I find it so encouraging! It tells me God is my strength and my shelter from rain, storm, or danger, wholly, speedily, with force and might. When I feel I can’t find Him, or have misplaced Him, when I feel lost and I search for Him, He lets Himself be found or discovered by me.
He is my help, aid, and assistance in tight circumstances, in travails, in tribulations. And knowing this, I need not fear when nature and earth spew out their terrors of storms and earthquakes, or when the mountains crack and explode with earth’s inner, molten slag and flows into the sea.
This is the only time the Hebrew word for be still is translated as such. From the definitions, we could apply it to ourselves this way…
Be still. Still…to slacken my hold on impure thoughts. To withdraw from and abandon worldly ways. To refrain from negative thinking. To forsake my old ways. To relax, to sink down into God’s presence, and be quiet.
When the world’s news or surrounding trials attempt to frighten us, we cling to the words of Paul…
“But this precious treasure — this light and power that now shine within us — is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” (2 Cor. 4:7-9 TLB)
May you sink down into God’s presence and know His strength and shelter in all your troubles.
***First posted 9/8/14. Hope you don’t mind a rerun. I’m adding a graphic I made.