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  • Pastor Stephan Hurkens

Emmanuel, God With Us


Psalm 23:4a “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”

Harvey, Irma, Jose, Sandy, Katrina, and the list goes on of hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, threatening everything we know and hold dear. They come sweeping in at speeds promising to destroy everything in their path. Yet God says we need not be afraid.

God assured Moses He would be with him as he led the Israelites to the Promised Land, God said, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you” (Exodus 33:14b NLT) Moses replied. “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.” (Exodus 33:15b,

He speaks of giving us rest. Meaning settling down, to be soothed or quieted; to be secure. To be still. To dwell peacefully. This verb occurs about 65 times. In this present reference, God’s presence will give rest to His people, that is, His presence soothes, comforts, settles, consoles and quiets us.

We can choose rest. We can choose to be soothed or quieted, to be secure and still, dwelling peacefully, even though life around us is threatening to change our environment. We may even lose everything we hold dear.

David, in the 23rd Psalm speaks of times where he could have been crippled by fear, but because he knew God personally, intimately, he confidently spoke of God’s faithfulness and times of restoration for his soul.

You and I need to take time out and restore our souls. We need to be still in the presence of God long enough for Him to calm our fears, for Him to whisper, “I will personally go with you, …and I will give you rest.” We all want that more than anything else. We long for the reassuring presence of God, for His touch. We can experience this for ourselves. We need to focus more on the faithfulness, promises and power of God, than on what we see around us.


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