You Have a Place To Hide
King Hezekiah, whose name means “the Lord strengthens,” pleased the Lord in most everything he did as king. He tore down high places (false places of worship), and refocused the Temple in Jerusalem as the prime location to worship God. Hezekiah was doing everything right! Finally, a king in Judah whose eyes were focused on pleasing the Lord.
Then it all started to fall apart for King Hezekiah. The great king of Assyria (an empire that spanned from modern-day Turkey into modern-day Iraq) appeared at Hezekiah’s doorstep in Jerusalem with a sizeable army and he wanted payment to not tear down Hezekiah’s little city.
Hezekiah realized the odds were against him and Jerusalem, so in an act of desperation he emptied the gold and silver from his banks, he took the gold and silver from the Temple, and he even started stripping the plated metal off the doors of the Temple––anything to get the king of Assyria to leave. Hezekiah paid his dues in fear and expected the king and his army to return from where they came.
But it wasn’t enough. The king of Assyria returned with his massive army surrounding Jerusalem and asked Hezekiah a profound question, “What confidence is this in which you trust?” (2 Kings 18:19).
Clearly Hezekiah first put his confidence in his own ability to handle the great king of Assyria. It’s seen in the way he emptied out the banks and Temple of their gold and silver. Now, however, with no more money to give and nowhere to turn Hezekiah, places his confidence in the Lord’s strength and not his own, even though there are 185,000 Assyrian soldiers surrounding the little city of Jerusalem.
This amazing biblical story is the setting to Psalm 46 when God tells Hezekiah, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). As Hezekiah looks out over the city walls, a sea of Assyrian soldiers occupy his view and fill his heart with fear, yet the psalmist reminds Hezekiah of three things:
1. God is a Refuge in Times of Distress (46:1–3)
I can only imagine the crippling fear King Hezekiah felt when he saw the massive army outside the walls. I’m sure images of the city burning, the Temple falling, and his people being carried away into exile plagued him. Hezekiah, the king who did everything right, found his world being shaken to the ground.
Share this Post
The psalmist reminds us, though, that when it feels like all of God’s creation (earth, mountains, and oceans) are shaking, God is our refuge and strength even as everything is falling apart. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
Additionally, our God is not just the God of the past and the future, but a source of strength and confidence right now in this moment. So even though the odds were against Hezekiah (Jerusalem vs. Assyria), he had no reason to fear because God is going to help him now, in the present moment.
When the odds are against us and we feel overwhelmed, it’s common for us to take matters into our own hands and to solve problems in our own way, just like Hezekiah. The psalmist challenges us to see things differently. If you first understand God is our all-the-time refuge and strength in both moments of great joy and in moments of indescribable trouble, then you’ll have nothing to fear, even if the whole world is shaking.
The hardest part is to put things in that order. Like Hezekiah, I typically fear something, act on my own, fail miserably, and then recognize God is my refuge and strength. Psalm 46 begs us to put our confidence in God first, and then every fear becomes an opportunity to watch God work.
Click here for Part 2 of What’s Your Source of Confidence where we look at how You Cannot Be Moved (Ps. 46:4-7).
Click here for Part 3 of What’s Your Source of Confidence where we look at how God is with Us (Ps. 46:8-11).