God Is With Us

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Stop fighting, and know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme over all the world. – Psalm 46:10

The title given to Psalm 46 is “God Is With Us.” This entire psalm encourages us to recognize that, though we may experience much that is fearful in both the natural world and in our human relationships, God is with us. The natural world can be shattered by earthquakes, or battered by storms that can sweep over us without warning and turn our comforts and our certainties upside-down in a flash. Though this is true, we can trust that God is the only shelter worthy of our faith and trust. We know that he is the strength and the shelter that is always ready to help us in times like those.

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On the other hand, the delicate fabric of our human relationships is often torn by willful dissention, anger,mistrust, even war. When this happens it is because we have either fogotten, or turned away from God. And all too often it is because we have arrogantly taken the role of God upon ourselves. Worse yet, we may even claim that, “God is on our side,” as we carry out the destruction of another person, or a nation. Such behavior can only result in horror and chaos. Those who would use the name of God to support such behavior have abandoned God and entered into the service of the enemy of God.

This psalm teaches us something profoundly different about the nature of God. We are told that God, “breaks bows, destroys spears, and sets shields on fire.” He tells us, “Stop fighting and know that I am God,”—–Not you! Yes, God is with us, but only when we are in humble union with his creative, forgiving and loving nature. If we use God for our malign and destructive purposes; if we hate others in his name, he is NOT WITH US. On the other hand, if we humbly and willingly accept that God is supreme, that his will is the only power worthy of the name, for only his will is absolutely and infinitely life-giving, merciful, and compassionate; and if we begin to live our lives in humble imitation of that, then, and only then, can we know for certain that he is with us, that he is on our side. It is only then that we will know the peace that we most desire.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.