Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.

When the Assyrian army came against Hezekiah, the singers and Isaiah wrote Psalm 46.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

God is still bigger than any mountain that we can or cannot see.

Song: Bigger Than Any Mountain Bigger than all my problems (by Stephen Hill)

Bigger than all my fears, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see, Bigger than all my questions, Bigger than anything, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see

Bigger than all the shadows, That fall across my path, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see, Bigger than all the confusion, Bigger than anything, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see

Bigger than all my problems, Bigger than all my fears, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see, Bigger than all my questions, Bigger than anything, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see

Bigger than all the giants, Of fear and unbelief, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see, Bigger than all my hangups, Bigger than anything, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see

Bigger than all my problems, Bigger than all my fears, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see, Bigger than all my questions, Bigger than anything, God is bigger than any mountain, That I can or cannot see

Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king and made a covenant with God to do what God wanted. Hezekiah’s mother believed in God but his father had been very wicked. He closed the temple and set up idols everywhere so the people worshipped idols. Hezekiah tore down all the idols and cleaned the temple in the first month of his reign. The Levites prepared the Passover which hadn’t been done for years. They celebrated by singing, playing instruments, and praising God.

What does it mean to be still? To be still and stop worrying, stop trying to control things, to wait, to relax, stop striving, just to let go, to release, to surrender. It means we cease from murmuring and complaining about the situation, and to give everything over to God. It’s so important to believe that no matter what the trouble or problem is, God is still there.

Psalm 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Many of us have laid down to rest but our mind was going a mile a minute. When it says rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him, God wants our mind to be still, to rest – not be turning things over and over in our mind. To quiet the mind requires a lot of practice.  What we think about is vitally important. About fifty thousand thoughts come into our mind in a day. God wants us to control our thoughts and cast down things that would hinder us. It takes work to meditate on the right things and be still. If there’s a lot of things going on in our mind, we’ll miss what God is trying to tell us.

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

There are 365 days of uncertainty in a year and 24 hours a day of uncertainty. God’s presence and power is in every second of every hour of our time and is available to us whatever the future holds. It really doesn’t matter what the future holds if Psalms 46 is true to us – God is our refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble. That is how we can be still and know he is God. Activity isn’t a sign of progress. Many times when there’s a lot of activity, our mind is in a type of turmoil. When Jesus spoke to Martha, she was very active (preparing food,caring for guests) but her mind was not still. Jesus told Martha she was cumbered with much serving. She was loaded down and probably thinking why wasn’t Mary helping her with all the work she had to do. She was active but she wasn’t still in her mind so it wasn’t profitable for her.

Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass…he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving…and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered…Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Mary was just sitting at Jesus’s feet learning and she was still. God wants us to have a mind that isn’t in a hurry, upset and worried. People can see when we’re doing the things of God if we’re all troubled or not. Martha was troubled in mind so Jesus reproved her. God wants us to be still, to know he’s God, and have a mind that isn’t filled with trouble. Our mind has to be transformed. It takes work to get our mind transformed. When some of us are saved, we’ve been worriers all our life. It takes training the mind to be still but the mind has to be transformed first so we can do what God wants.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Jesus had to get away from all the people and be alone to pray and commune with God so he hear what he had to say.

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass…that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Everyone needs to get away alone to commune with God every day. It’s a trying time now, especially those that have children learning at home on the computer. It’s very trying for teachers in the congregation because they have to teach the school children and their own children. They have a lot of extra work and added burden. Regardless of what we have to do, every day we need to get away. Get up half an hour early before your day usually starts if you have to so you can spend it alone with God and cry out for him to help you be still in trying times. Know that God is your strength and refuge and he’s a present help in all of this trouble. Jesus had mind battles just like we have. When he was in the garden of Gethsemane, what do you think was going through Jesus’s mind? He was troubled and knew what he faced was going to be hard. He may not have felt he could physically handle it. He was asking God to remove that cup from him. We would have done the same thing. But then he submitted his will completely to God and said “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” An angel appeared and strengthened him then. Don’t you think God was concerned about Jesus? God knows what we’re going through, how to help, and is going to send the help that we need in the hard times.

Luke 22:39-46 And he came…to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said…Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them…kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up…and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Jesus was going through the battle basically by himself, but God was right there with him. He sent an angel to comfort him and to strengthen him, so Jesus could get it settled and be willing no matter what happened. When he went into Pilot’s hall they said all kinds of evil against him, but there was a stillness about him and no retaliation. He had a peace of mind because he knew where God wanted him to be and God strengthened him all the way.

There’s lots of news that if you listen all day, you will not have a mind that’s still. God is not Democrat or Republican. God is supreme. Jesus didn’t get involved in politics. We all need to vote, but too much news troubles our mind. Ask God to help you have wisdom in what you do so peace reigns in us – not what the world offers our minds. Ask him to help you have a still mind and to know he’s God. We have a list of how to think if our mind feels troubled, upset, or combative.

Philippians 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true…are honest…are just…are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

If we’re not still, we won’t be able to hear what God has to say. If our mind is going a mile a minute, we wont’ be able to pray “Search me, oh God” for how to get our mind quiet, without troubling things. God wants us to just be still and wait.

Psalms 139: 23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Isaiah 32:17-18 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

Elijah ran 20 miles to Mount Horeb where he prayed for rain and called fire from heaven. Jezebel said she was going to kill him so he ran for his life 30 miles in the desert the next day. He was discouraged and troubled in his mind. He didn’t pray before running for his life, and now he was laying under a juniper tree sleeping. He was tired and starved from two days of running without drink or food. He wished he could just die. God sent an angel to give him food. Elijah ate and went to sleep. The angel woke him to eat and drink more, then he had strength to go 260 miles in 40 days to Mt. Horeb.

I Kings 19:4-8 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness…and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die…And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree…an angel touched him, and said…Arise and eat. And…there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again…said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he…did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb…

God is in the still small voice and wants us to be still so we can hear his voice. Elijah couldn’t hear God in the storm, in a great earthquake, in the wind, when the mountains were rumbling, or in the fire. It was only in the still small voice when everything was quiet that Elijah could hear God. Elijah hid in a cave and God asked him why are you here, what’s the purpose in this? Elijah said he was the only one serving God and some were trying to kill him. God had plans for Elijah and told him what to do and that there were still 7,000 left who were following God. What Elijah thought about the situation wasn’t true. He didn’t pray and was running because of fear for his life. When we get all troubled inside, we’re not still and can’t hear God’s voice. God wants us to be still – to really pray and seek after him so we can hear his voice.

I Kings 19:11-13 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he…went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Psalm 46 was written about the situation in II Chronicles when Sennacherib brought his army against Jerusalem. Verse 4 says, “there is a river the streams thereof shall make glad the city of God.” The city didn’t have running water. People had to go outside Jerusalem to get their water. Hezekiah had 1750 feet of tunnel built underneath Jerusalem to bring water from Gihon spring into the city. It was important because they wouldn’t have any water if the king of Assyria stopped the waters. Hezekiah had covered the spring and stopped all the water to the valley so only Jerusalem had water.

II Chronicles 32:1-4 After these things…Sennacherib king of Assyria came…against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that…he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city…So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains…saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?

God is faithful and told Hezekiah what to do, so he was confident God would help him. The king of Assyria sent people to mock and make fun of them. Hezekiah said don’t even answer them. Don’t even answer when the enemy comes to mock, make fun, and trouble your mind. Get to God and ask him to help you to be still. Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed. God is so faithful and good to us! All he wants us to do is be still and know he’s God. We’re serving a great big wonderful God!

II Chronicles 32:7-8 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude…with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

II Chronicles 32:20-22 And for this cause Hezekiah…and the prophet Isaiah…prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men…of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And…they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there…Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and…Jerusalem from…the king of Assyria…and guided them on every side.