I wish I could keep a Bible scholar on retainer. Sure, I ask my husband. And that counts as asking my pastor, too, but I was thinking about Psalm 46:1 and thinking about how God is “a very present help in trouble” in multiple ways.
Bypassing whether we *should* add nuances to Scripture just because English translations may use words already full of nuance, I still think it’s interesting to think about. Not in a proof-text kind of way, but a meditation on the wonders of God’s revelations in all sorts of passages.
- So, God is a very present help because He is present. He isn’t long-lost and neither are you. He knows right where you are and He puts Himself right there next to you. Actually. Not just a metaphor.
- God is a very present help because He is the perfect helper! Right there next to you happens to be the God who created, sustains, and prepares a way for you. He is present in the here and now as well as the ongoing present time of your entire lifetime and your fore-parents’ lifetimes.
- He is very present because He is so immensely right now. Is it odd that I think of Him like that? Yet He can take eternity and enter into our world with His Word, His Son, His Spirit—His self! Awesome.
- You can call me a nerd, and maybe this isn’t a separate point, but God is “I am who I am”: He is the living God: He is the life: He is the present tense! Without Him is nothing, not even a now. Fascinating.
Then, of course, there is trouble. We all know trouble. There is plenty of trouble which should fill us with content for prayer. But then there is also the trouble of Christ, which He takes upon Himself. All of our trouble coming together in a single focal point that only God can take in the side and wake up to a cleansed Bride.
Scripture sure is good stuff. Thanks be to God.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).