When the Earth Shakes

“Therefore I will not fear when the earth shakes

and when the mountains are shaken into the heart of the sea.”

(Psalm 46:3 {verse 2 in English Bibles})

“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

‘The voice of the one crying out in the wilderness — Prepare the road of the Lord, make straight his paths. All the ravines shall be filled and all the mountains and high places shall be humbled. That which is crooked will be made straight and that which has been disturbed will be made into smooth paths. And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

(Luke 3:4-6)

“Truly I say to you, the one who says to this mountain, ‘Get up and be cast into the sea,’ and is not uncertain about it in his heart, rather in faith says that it will come to pass; it will be.’”

(Mark 11:23)

“But if one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask from the God who gives generously and without reproach and he will give it to him. Whoever asks in faith without being uncertain, for the one who is uncertain is like the waves of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.”

(James 1:5-6)

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief. The heavens will pass away like thunder and the elements will be burned up and undone — even the earth! And the works done in it will be revealed.”

(2 Peter 3:10)

Because Yahweh is a great refuge for all who run to him, there is no need to fear no matter what transpires in the world around us. The earth may quake, the mountains may rumble and spew flames into the sky, the winds may roar, and the waters may rise up over the homes; the nations may rise and fall, but our God is still enthroned and he will preserve those who flee to him. We may face trial and famine and the sword, but Christ is our redeemer always. How we conspire to build our own empires; there is only one kingdom that will stand for all eternity — the kingdom that shall never be moved and which was formed by no human hand — the Kingdom of God. And Jesus Christ, our redeemer, sits enthroned as the head and Firstborn Son of that great eternal kingdom.

But there is more in view than just the troubles of this life. The psalmist speaks of the earth trembling and the mountains being thrown into the heart of the sea. That language carries with it some rich Biblical connotations. The word that I translated as “shakes” or “shaken” is the term מוֹר (mor). Literally, this term means to exchange one thing for another or to change one thing into something different, often with destructive connotations. The word picture here, as the term is applied to nature, reflects a violent transformation that is taking place. The psalmist is not only stating that he does not fear natural disasters and troubles, but that he also does not fear the hand of God bringing destruction and eventually a remaking to the very earth itself. Peter picks up on this language in his second epistle, reminding the church that there will come a time when God does just what this psalmist is speaking of, tearing the creation to shreds, molting it down, and remaking creation free from the effects of sin. 

For those trusting in Jesus, that is good news. For those who are enemies of Jesus, that is fearful indeed. Hence, when Jesus is beginning his public ministry, John the Baptist quotes from Isaiah 40 and proclaims to the people that in the coming of Jesus the very mountains will be laid low and the uneven places will be made straight and smooth. On one level, this is speaking about the hearts of men; on an eternal level, this is speaking of the consummation of history as we know it, ushered in on that Great Day of the Lord.

The question is whether or not you are ready? How about your children, parents, cousins, neighbors, coworkers, or others you interact with? How about the many people who you simply do not know, but who are alive in this world. Will you tell them? Will you make sure they are ready? Will you make sure that you are ready? Find your refuge in Jesus Christ the Lord.

Are you ready for the great atomic power?

Will you rise and meet your Savior in the air?

Will you shout or will you cry when the fire comes from on high?

Are you ready for the great atomic power?

-Charles Louvin

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on April 28, 2021, in Expositions, Psalms and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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