11 God our refuge

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
In God's supermacy we have sufficiency and security.
Aim: 

To understand that God is sufficient in every circumstance of the life. 

Bible Passage: 

Psalm 46

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 46

God’s Defense of His City and People

To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The Book of Psalms are praises of a people who God "Yahweh" chose and entered into a covenant relationship.  The title Psalms is derived from the Greek word psalmos, meaning a poem sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments.  In the Hebrew Bible the title for this book is 'Sepher Tehillim' which means "Book of Praises'; Tehillim means praises.

Korahites are members of the Hebrew tribe of Levi or the Levite's.  The Levite's were either priests in the Temple or played music in the Temple.  Some of them were also guards in the Temple. In the Book of Numbers Chapter 16 we read about one of the Levite Korah, who lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. The Lord God punished Korah and his followers for the rebellion and the earth opened up and swallowed them. God spared some members of the Korah family and their successors were later known as the Korahites. Sons of Korah or the Korahites  knew firsthand that the Lord God dwells in the midst of His people and that Korah and his followers were swallowed by earth for their rebellion.

Psalm 46 is one of the twelve attributed to the sons of Korah, a family of Levitical singers. The word Alamoth means - with virgins; which denotes that the psalm is to be sung by Soprano or female voices.

Psalms 46 is part of a group of Psalms called 'Zion Psalms'.  These Psalms are based on the conviction that Zion, the City of Jerusalem, which enshrines the temple is the place of "Yahweh's" presence in the midst of His people.  This is one of the best known Psalms in this group.  The hymn 'A Mighty Fortress is our God' written by Church reformation leader Martin Luther is based on this Psalm. 

The Psalm is divided into three strophes (structural division of a poem) and each concludes with a choral refrain and two of them on the theme of 'God is with us' (Immanuel) and God of Jacob is our refuge.

The term 'Selah' - is a signal for musical interlude and the singing of refrain; it can also mean 'stop and listen' to what you heard and an instruction to measure carefully and reflect upon what you heard. 

 The hosts of heaven are the multitude of angels God has under his command and they are often referred as the hosts of heaven or heavenly hosts (Isaiah 45:12).  God Himself is the commander of this mighty host or army of angels and thus referred in the Psalm as the Lord of hosts.    

The Psalm announces that the confidence of the believer or faithful is based on the divine sovereignty of the creator of the universe and King whose rule on the earth is made known and celebrated in Zion.  

Another notable feature of this Psalm is that two of the strophe's end with the verse "the God of Jacob is our refuge".  God in his wisdom chose Jacob, an ordinary person who was a scheming self made man and changed his heart to trust God fully and blessed him and used him to bring salvation to mankind through Jesus Christ.  Jacob's story shows the nature of man and also the loving and forgiving nature of God and the Psalmist is reminding us that the God of Jacob is a loving, trustworthy and faithful God.

 

 

Main Ideas: 

The Book of Psalms are praises of a people who God chose and entered into a covenant relationship.  The people God so chose were the Israelites.  The word Psalms is derived from the Greek word 'psalmos', meaning a poem sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments.  The Psalms are believed to be written by Moses, David, Asaph, Solomon, Ethan and the sons of Korah.  

Korah was a Levite who lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and God punished them and the earth opened up and swallowed them(Numbers Chapter 16).  Some members of the Korah family were spared and their successors were later known as Sons of Korah or the Korahites.

Korahites are a family of Levitical singers.  Psalms 46 is part of a group of Psalms called 'Zion Psalms'. These Psalms are based on the belief that God's presence is in Zion or the City of Jerusalem and its temple and among His people.  Psalms 46 is one of the best known Psalm in the group.

The Psalm is divided into three parts (strophes). The term 'Selah' is a signal for musical interlude and the singing of a chorus (refrain) and it can also mean 'to stop and listen' to what you heard and also an instruction to measure carefully and reflect upon what you heard.  

The hosts of heaven are the multitude of angels God has under his command and they are often referred as the hosts of heaven or heavenly hosts.  God Himself is the commander of this mighty host or army of angels and thus referred in the Psalm as the Lord of hosts.    

The Psalm announces that, the confidence of the believer or faithful is based on the divine power and sovereignty of God who is the creator of the universe and who reigns over it, yet still is ever present with the believers when they are in need to protect and take care of them. 

The psalmist in the first part announces that what ever happens around the believer, natural calamities or other wise the psalmist has the confidence that God will be our refuge and he will sustain us through it or he will be there to help us through it.  In other words God is always a present help, a help we will always find when we need and seek and God is sufficient for all the circumstances in life.

In the second part, the Psalmist mentions about the presence of God in the city He has chosen, it is the City of Jerusalem, and God dwells in the midst of the city and among His people.  The city and the people who live in the city are glad that God dwells among them.  The Psalmist then mentions about the river whose gentle streams make the city dwellers glad even when nations upraise and uproar around them.  The river means, the presence of God and God's words and ordinances which are streams of life for the believers and they are confident that when morning comes God is going to use his word or power to subdue their enemies.  Their confidence is in the presence of the God of Jacob in their midst and His sufficiency. 

In the third part, the Psalmist shows that, by the power of God He can defeat the enemies of His people and destroy all enemy weapons and cease all wars and His people will have to realize that.  Because of God's power and the way He defeated the enemies, God's name will be exalted among nations and all over the earth.  The God of Jacob is in the midst of His people and He is the refuge of His people and He is sufficient for everything in their life.

The Psalmist by mentioning God as the God of Jacob, is reminding us that the God of Jacob is a loving, trustworthy and faithful God.  God in His wisdom chose Jacob a scheming self made man and changed his heart to trust God fully and blessed him to bring salvation to mankind  through Jesus Christ.  Jacob's story shows the nature of man and also the loving and forgiving nature of God.  

 

 

References:

Understanding The Old Testament (Fourth Edition)- Bernhard W. Anderson 

Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee- Vol. II

Activities: 

Make a Poster with one or more of the verses from Psalms 46.  Draw, sketch or cut out and paste on a paper, color it if needed, with the verse you like most.  You can draw, cut out pictures from magazines, download from internet.  Use your imagination to make it beautiful and outstanding.  Show and tell your class why you liked the verse(s) you chose.  Post it in your bedroom. 

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Why is the Psalm writer not afraid?

a. He depends on God b.He depends on his power and strength c.He depends on his brain power d. He depends on his friends and family.

2. One word for 'God is with us'.

a. Amen b. Immanuel  c. Selah d. Haleluiah

3. Which is the City of God?

a. London b. Tel Aviv c. Jerusalem d. Washington

4. What make the people of the City of God glad or happy?

a. The word of God b. Weather c. Food d. Theme park

5. Why does the Psalm writer call God, God of Jacob?

To show the loving and forgiving nature of God and the nature of man.  

Values for Life: 

God is sufficient in all circumstances of life and God is a present help.  

 

Life Response/My Decision: 

In God I find safety and strength.

Memory Verse: 

Psalm 46:1

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 46

God’s Defense of His City and People

To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord thank you for letting us know through your word that you are present with us all the time.  As you are with us all the time we are safe and secure.  Help us to realize this when we are faced with problems and help us to seek you in our good times and bad times.  Thank you for sending us Jesus to show your love to us and your willingness to shed His blood for our salvation.  Help us to realize this everyday of our life.  In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

status: 
scope and sequence