Thursday, 23 April 2020

BIBLE STUDIES FROM CHURCH LEADERS - ADAM RUSKIN

Psalm 46

With the onset of Coronavirus a climate of fear has spread around the nations. We are susceptible to fear as much as the next person, yet this Psalm reminds us of the safety and peace we can enjoy as children of the living God.


The Psalmist begins:

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble”.Psalm 46

With the onset of Coronavirus a climate of fear has spread around the nations. We are susceptible to fear as much as the next person, yet this Psalm reminds us of the safety and peace we can enjoy as children of the living God.

The Psalmist begins:

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble”.

Is it not marvelous that in the face of fear we have a refuge in God Almighty?
Psalm 36 verse 7 states
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings”

What a picture of perfect safety and peace, sheltering in the shadow of God’s wings.

God is our strength. In times of fear and struggle we do not have to rely solely on our own strength or intellect to get us through it. No God is our strength. As we acknowledge our weakness and inability before him, he in turn answers from a position of strength and might. In Judges chapter 7 Gideon’s army is reduced to 300 men, to demonstrate their strength and victory was in the Lord and not themselves. As Joel 3:10 states “Let the weak say I am strong!” as children of our heavenly father.

God is a very present help in time of need. Deists believe that God created the world and then left us to it. As Christians we know instead that God is our ever present help and active in our lives in both small and great ways. Jesus when he saw suffering was moved by compassion to act. In the same way when God the Father sees his children suffering he moves to deliver us from our predicament. Just read Exodus chapter 6 for an example of God’s heart for delivering his people.

There are many reasons why we may fear, some are irrational, some are quite rational and sensible. The picture the Psalmist paints of earthquakes, landslides and floods are fear inducing catastrophes. Yet the Psalmist states:

“Therefore we will not fear”.

Even though the situation set before us may be very real and very dangerous, we consciously and deliberately choose not to fear. Why? As God is our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble. Do you think David wasn’t scared when he stood against Goliath? He may well have been yet he chose to focus on the strength of Almighty God rather than the strength of his human foe. He knew in comparison to God, Goliath was nothing.

In contrast to the earthquakes, landslides and floods, the Psalmist talks of

“a river whose streams make glad the city of God;
the holy habitation of the Most High”.

It is a picture of calm and peace, a gentle stream which brings joy or gladness to the city of God. What is the city of God? Zion, the city of Jerusalem, yet also the new Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 where as believers we will one day dwell with God. We are temples of the Holy Spirit in whom God dwells.

Revelation chapter 22 talks of “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, though the middle of the street of the city”. From the throne of God comes abundant blessing and life. God is in the midst of His people and is our source of life and blessing.

We may be faced with chaos or trial yet the God we serve is mighty.
“he utters his voice the earth melts”.

Paul declares in Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

The Psalmist states
“The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress”.

As Chris Tomlin sings, “The God of angel armies is always by my side”. Just stop and reflect on that for a moment. The God of angel armies is always by your side. There is no situation in life that we ever have to face alone. Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. If ever there was a situation where fear evaporates, I’d say it’s this. Almighty God is with us.

God is in control and the plans and purposes of God are taking place. History is following God’s plan and as Christ reigns the world will know peace.

Isaiah 2:4 says

“He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks”

There will be no more war.

“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
be breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire”.

God is in control. Let’s reflect on the final passage of the Psalm.

“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress”.

“Be still”.
Let’s use this time of lockdown to stop and reflect on the majesty, power and love of Almighty God. Our heavenly father who loves and protects us, who is worthy of our praise and worship and our lives.


“and know that I am God”.
After returning from a mission trip to South Africa in 2005 I was broken at the poverty I had witnessed and the vast disparity between the rich west and the rest of the world. Then I played “You alone are God” by Hillsong and as I sang the chorus...

You alone are God, You alone are God
We declare the glory of Your name
For You alone are God, You alone are God
We declare the glory of Your name
Reign in all the earth, reign in all the earth Jesus
Reign in all the earth, reign in all the earth Jesus

...I realised that yes, the situation was stark and massive, yet He alone is God and He is able. What is impossible with man is possible with God. God is reigning and He is in control. He will be exalted in the earth. Therefore, we do not fear “for the LORD of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress’. Amen.

Be blessed and know the peace of God which transcends all understanding.

Adam Ruskin

Is it not marvelous that in the face of fear we have a refuge in God Almighty?

Psalm 36 verse 7 states
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings”


What a picture of perfect safety and peace, sheltering in the shadow of God’s wings.

God is our strength. In times of fear and struggle we do not have to rely solely on our own strength or intellect to get us through it. No God is our strength. As we acknowledge our weakness and inability before him, he in turn answers from a position of strength and might. In Judges chapter 7 Gideon’s army is reduced to 300 men, to demonstrate their strength and victory was in the Lord and not themselves. As Joel 3:10 states “Let the weak say I am strong!” as children of our heavenly father.


God is a very present help in time of need. Deists believe that God created the world and then left us to it. As Christians we know instead that God is our ever present help and active in our lives in both small and great ways. Jesus when he saw suffering was moved by compassion to act. In the same way when God the Father sees his children suffering he moves to deliver us from our predicament. Just read Exodus chapter 6 for an example of God’s heart for delivering his people.


There are many reasons why we may fear, some are irrational, some are quite rational and sensible. The picture the Psalmist paints of earthquakes, landslides and floods are fear inducing catastrophes. Yet the Psalmist states:

“Therefore we will not fear”.


Even though the situation set before us may be very real and very dangerous, we consciously and deliberately choose not to fear. Why? As God is our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble. Do you think David wasn’t scared when he stood against Goliath? He may well have been yet he chose to focus on the strength of Almighty God rather than the strength of his human foe. He knew in comparison to God, Goliath was nothing.


In contrast to the earthquakes, landslides and floods, the Psalmist talks of

“a river whose streams make glad the city of God;
the holy habitation of the Most High”.


It is a picture of calm and peace, a gentle stream which brings joy or gladness to the city of God. What is the city of God? Zion, the city of Jerusalem, yet also the new Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 where as believers we will one day dwell with God. We are temples of the Holy Spirit in whom God dwells.


Revelation chapter 22 talks of “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, though the middle of the street of the city”. From the throne of God comes abundant blessing and life. God is in the midst of His people and is our source of life and blessing.

We may be faced with chaos or trial yet the God we serve is mighty.
“he utters his voice the earth melts”.


Paul declares in Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”


The Psalmist states
“The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress”.


As Chris Tomlin sings, “The God of angel armies is always by my side”. Just stop and reflect on that for a moment. The God of angel armies is always by your side. There is no situation in life that we ever have to face alone. Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. If ever there was a situation where fear evaporates, I’d say it’s this. Almighty God is with us.

God is in control and the plans and purposes of God are taking place. History is following God’s plan and as Christ reigns the world will know peace.


Isaiah 2:4 says

“He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks”

There will be no more war.

“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
be breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire”.

God is in control. Let’s reflect on the final passage of the Psalm.

“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress”.

“Be still”.

Let’s use this time of lockdown to stop and reflect on the majesty, power and love of Almighty God. Our heavenly father who loves and protects us, who is worthy of our praise and worship and our lives.



“and know that I am God”.

After returning from a mission trip to South Africa in 2005 I was broken at the poverty I had witnessed and the vast disparity between the rich west and the rest of the world. Then I played “You alone are God” by Hillsong and as I sang the chorus...


You alone are God, You alone are God
We declare the glory of Your name
For You alone are God, You alone are God
We declare the glory of Your name
Reign in all the earth, reign in all the earth Jesus
Reign in all the earth, reign in all the earth Jesus


...I realised that yes, the situation was stark and massive, yet He alone is God and He is able. What is impossible with man is possible with God. God is reigning and He is in control. He will be exalted in the earth. Therefore, we do not fear “for the LORD of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress’. Amen.


Be blessed and know the peace of God which transcends all understanding.


Adam Ruskin

Have a listen to this song based on Psalm 46   https://youtu.be/PKs_gQecaDY