“Our true security is in God, not in God plus anything else” (Kidner, TOTC, 174). God is our “refuge,” in him we find shelter, nowhere else. He is unchanging and will always be our shelter. He is our “strength,” the source of empowerment to face what rages against us, though it be war or famine or storm, and the fear our enemies might bring. The psalmist puts both of these together by saying that he is “a very present help in trouble.”
This confession of faith must come first; we must see God in this way, as he is, if we are to be assured that he will preserve us in the midst of the turmoil and strife that is to come. This confession must be founded upon faith; was cannot wait to see if the Lord will be this and do this, we must come to him in faith, believing his Word alone. Heb. 11:6.
Some commentators think the imagery in vv. 2-3 reflects ancient Canaanite myths (Dahood, 1:278-279). They see this, then, as being Israel’s confession that Yahweh is superior to the pagan Gods. The language, however, is probably not mythological, but eschatological (VanGemeren, EBC, 5:352), pointing to the end of time when God will consummate his plan in history. This is the language of the Day of the Lord, the coming Day of Judgment. Throughout this age, we may expect the Lord to shake the earth, in anticipation of that coming Day of Judgment, bringing about radical political, economic, and cultural change.
This is the language of the Revelation, of apocalypse, the language of the Day of the Lord, the day of God’s judgment. The day of God’s wrath is approaching in which he will judge the world with a great shaking just as Haggai prophesied (ch. 2), quoted in Hebrews 12, when the Lord will shake heaven and earth, overthrowing kingdoms and rulers and mighty armies and will fill his house with glory. His shaking will overthrow the mountains and the earth itself (v. 2). The mountain filling the sea signifies the end of the sea, one of the features of the New Heavens and new Earth (Rev. 21:1).
What will you do in that day? Faith must precede one’s entrance into that day; to go into that day without faith is to face God as Judge rather than as Refuge and Fortress. Your safety in that day cannot be found in governments or markets or even the earth itself, because it, too, will be shaken.
Such days of turmoil as we have seen, whether world-wide or national or personal, are calls from God to us, calling us to him. Whether we are touched by the turmoils of the world or turmoil in our individual lives, the Lord calls us to flee to him for refuge. Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Trust in God by realizing that nothing else is worthy of trust because he alone is steadfast and sure.
There will be days of strife. No matter haw bad this week was, there will be weeks worse than this one, there will be days in your own life, worse than any day you had this week. You must trust him and learn to flee to him so that you will be ready to face those days.