These chapters present quite the contrast. Reading both, I couldn’t help but think of those polar opposites– heaven and hell. Psalm 46– so reassuring. Judges 21– as if all hell breaks loose.
In Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength, assuaging fears even when everything seems to be falling apart. He’s like the river that Jerusalem never had. Yes, a major spring courses through the city even today, but unlike most ancient cities, there was no river. There’s something better. The Lord Himself!
If you’ve been to Jerusalem, you know how steep the streets are and how slippery they become when wet. We saw many tourists in wheelchairs, wearing slings around their arms! Had to really watch our step. So easy to lose our balance, falling down on the hard stone surface.
Not in heaven! Not with God! No falling there. Psalm 46: 10 says this–‘Be still and know that I am God’. ‘Be still…’ in the original Hebrew means to put your hands at your side. A defenseless posture. With nothing to fear, raising our arms to protect ourselves becomes unnecessary. God will be our ‘refuge and strength’…’our fortress’. That will be heaven!
Now the contrast with Judges 21 and a few chapters before. Filled with murder, rape, kidnapping, inhospitality of the worst kind. Coveting and craving reach epidemic proportions. Foolish vow-making, promises carelessly broken, everyone doing whatever they want. To top it all off, they blame God for the mess they’re in! ‘…the Lord has made a gap in the tribes of Israel'(Judges 21:15). Easy to blame the Lord when we’re so bloomin’ innocent! Refusing to look in the mirror of our own sinful lives.
Scripture says that these people ‘had no king’. No one in authority, especially Yahweh God. For living in such a hot climate, they were certainly skating on thin ice! Chaos reigned. Self was on the throne. ‘Do Your Own Thing’ bumper stickers behind every oxcart. If it feels good, do it. If it doesn’t, do it anyway. Caution… cast to the wind.
What a contrast with Psalm 46. Aren’t you glad you’re heaven bound? I am! Wish others were as well. Keep praying for family and friends to come to know Jesus. For people around the world to be welcomed into His family!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the best future anyone could ever have. All because of Jesus. Amen.