Reading: Psalm 46
In verse 4 of this psalm, a river is described.
There is a river near my town called the Concho. It is not a large river, but it has been here a long time. Native American tribes have camped along it. Cattlemen and ranchers have let their stock drink from it. Cavalrymen from Fort Concho have patrolled it. The Texas Pacifico railway line was built across part of it. This river has seen many things.
The land around this river has changed greatly. It used to be just a wild desert, with buffalo ranging over the dry earth and coyote howls echoing across it at night. Then came the barbed wire and windmills, railways, and homes. The old trading post of Santa Angela that was set up here is now the town of San Angelo, and it continues to grow and grow. This river has seen many things.
And yet, there are many things about this river that hasn’t changed. Men have built dams in some areas to suit their purposes, but it generally flows in the same way it always has. In 1936 the river flooded and damaged about 1,000 homes. Once in a while a huge storm comes and people wonder if it will flood again. No matter what we like to think, we’re still at the mercy of that river.
I don’t think anybody depends on rivers more than the people of West Texas. Here, we anxiously watch every cloud in the sky and hope that it brings us rain. Here, we check the level of our rivers about as often as we check the time. We need the rivers for electrical power, drink, cattle, and crops. Despite all our inventions and conveniences, we know that we’re helpless without that river.
When God describes Heaven as a river, He’s not talking about a dry little creek that has been tamed by men. He is showing us His greatness and strength. He’s talking about a wonder of nature, a Power that cannot be denied!
For Further Study:
- God has often used the image of a river to help us understand all the spiritual blessings that are available in Him. Read Isaiah 48:18; John 7:37-38; and Revelation 22:2-1. What can we learn about God, Jesus, and heaven from these verses?
- What do you think verse 10 means in this Psalm? Why would God need to tell us to “be still” or “cease striving”?