Every true believer affirms the grand truth that God exercises supreme authority over all world events. Nothing occurs randomly. Good luck or bad luck do not exist. Blind fate is not real. Chance occurrences are impossible. God alone reigns.
This raises the question: what is God’s relationship to evil and the adversity it creates in the world? Is He a mere passive spectator from His throne? Or does He reign over the dark trials that threaten us? Does He ever choose to intervene in human affairs and reverse them for our good?
In Psalm 46, the psalmist gives us the answer. He writes, “The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted” (verse 6). This statement confidently asserts that God ruled over the threatening armies that confronted His ancient people. He exercised His dominion over the foreign powers that rose up against them and caused their devastating defeat.
This psalm is classified as a song of trust. It is a worship song that expresses the faith of God’s people in His overruling purposes when they faced mounting obstacles. This verse records their firm confession of complete reliance upon Him.
In like manner, this must be our steadfast song today. In our difficult days, we must learn to put our wholehearted faith in God. Even we, as believers, are not exempt from the escalating troubles of life. Suffering is not an elective course in the classroom of discipleship, but it is a required core class.
“The Nations Made An Uproar”
The psalmist writes: “The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered.” These “nations” are the powerful gentile empires that surround Israel and threaten the destruction of Jerusalem. They are poised and ready to inflict great damage to the city. Like ravenous wolves, they are circling the Holy City, soon to devour the people of God.
The word “uproar” indicates that these evil powers are breathing their threats against God’s people. They are ready to inflict great damage upon them. This is no idle threat. These dangerous enemies are ready to strike and cause great harm.
We, too, are often surrounded by threatening dangers. We are faced with the loss of a job. The rebellion of a child. Divorce papers from a spouse. The spread of cancer. The loss of possessions. The turmoil the psalmist describes is not foreign to us.
“The Kingdoms Tottered”
In addition, the psalmist states, “the kingdoms tottered.” This pictures the widespread international distress caused by aggressive foreign armies. The stability of many nations is seriously threatened. Multiple “kingdoms” are crumbling under the military might of these invading powers.
Everything is in upheaval. The international scene is in complete disorder. Crowns are toppling from the heads of monarchs. Thrones are being thrown out of palaces. Society is in total disarray.
Nothing has changed over the centuries. This is the sobering reality of the sinful world in which we live. The stability of modern civilization seems to teeter on the brink of destruction. Only the naive today would be not concerned for the welfare of our world.
“He Raised His Voice”
In the midst of this gathering storm, we read, “He raised His voice.” This refers to the “voice” of God, raised above the uproar of the nations. God speaks into the chaos and overrules the threats of kings with their marching armies. He raised His voice to subdue the nations. He drowns out the tumult of the nations.
In the face of these dangers, God is not silent. He speaks with the voice of absolute sovereignty. No one is His equal. None can resist His will. He issues royal decrees from on high and it is done. God has the final word on every matter.
What comfort we should have today, knowing that God continues to speak into the affairs of our world scene. He is upon His throne, and He is not silent. The Almighty is not a silent observer of international affairs. He is not quiet when His people are endangered.
“The Earth Melted”
When God raised His voice, the psalmist reports, “the earth melted.” This represents the result of His divine decree. His voice causes defeat of the godless nations ready to wreak havoc upon Jerusalem. God intervened, and the invading forces that threatened Israel “melted.” They were reduced to mere shadows.
God is seen controlling the affairs of providence. He intervenes into the outcome of world events. God is dictating the reversal of this situation. He is commanding the defeat of their enemies.
This is similar to Psalm 2, which says, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?” (Verse 1). This image describes a cosmic conspiracy against God Himself. “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us’” (verses 2-3). The world does not want to be tied down by the moral restraints of God’s decree.
How does God respond to this revolt against Him? “He who sits in the heavens laughs” (verse 4). This is not the laughter of joviality, but God scoffing at the insanity of the nations that would raise their voice against God. “He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury” (verse 5). Whenever God raises His voice, He decimates whatever evil men are conspiring against Him.
In this hour of history, world rulers continue to be in rebellion against God. The kingdom of darkness still rages against the sons of light. The world remains a dangerous place for the children of God. We must call out to Him who sits in the heavens, pleading that He would again lift His voice and cause the earth to melt.
How grateful we should be that the voice of God remains stronger than the uproar of the surrounding nations. He commands even dark circumstances to work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Let us treasure this comforting truth of divine sovereignty in our hearts. May we meditate on God’s supreme authority over the nations. May we dwell upon His omnipotence over whatever threatens us. May we rest in His protecting care of us.
Put your trust in Him, where you will be forever safe and secure.