The earth gives way
It was pretty exciting when IKEA opened at Rhodes back in 2004 within the walls of a $150 million shopping centre. Over the site of an old rubbish dump, a new concrete worship centre was built and at the centre was this multi-level adult lolly shop of homewares. People from all over the area would come to buy flat-packed furniture to organise their homes. Some say it is a modern-day wonder of our world. But in my personal experience, while the furniture is very cool and functional, it often doesn't last very long.
In 280 BC, in the Greek city of Rhodes, on the Island of Rhodes, a different wonder of the world was built - a statue of the mythological Greek sun god Helios. At 33 metres high, it was equal approximately to the height of the Statue of Liberty. It was the tallest statue in the ancient world. It collapsed in 226 BC, just 54 years later.
1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5God is within her, she will not fall;God will help her at break of day.6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.7The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
When the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, the statues and remains of false gods fall with them. Whether it is the colossus statue of a mythological figure towering over a city, or the concrete jungle of temporary furniture that fills our hearts for a short time, they all crumble eventually. Except for the Lord our God. God's city will not fall. The Lord Almighty is with us.
I do love IKEA stuff. It fills a small hole in my passing human needs. It brings me some joy, although that joy is of course temporary. But the city of God, the dwelling of God, is established and will remain forever. If our true hope, if our security is not found there, in God Almighty, then our hope, like Helios, will crumble to the sea.
Where do you find your hope for today? For tomorrow? Where will you invest your heart? Where will you find refuge? Strength?
Consider stopping what you're doing now and praying - give thanks to God for how he has provided for you in this past month, or year. Give thanks for the security he has given you and the eternal hope that you have found in him.
Heavenly Father, as the world is always in an uproar, as kingdoms rise and fall, you are our fortress now and always. Thank you for the security you offer me in a world where hope is always temporary. Thank you that you are always with me. You are my fortress. Amen.