Psalms 46 Devotions
by Pastor Mark Hudson
John Stott divides the Psalm into 1-3 A General Confidence in the power of God and providence of God; 4-7 a particular experience of the same in the deliverance of the city; and 8-11 assurance that He will establish His universal kingdom of peace. Derek Kidner follows the same division with 1-3 as God’s over of nature or God in the tumult; 4-7 God’s power over the attackers of his city or God in His city; and 8-11 God’s power over the whole warring world or God exalted in the earth. Peter Craigie in his commentary following slightly different division use the following terms: God’s refuge in the context of natural phenomena 2-4; God’s refuge in the context of the nations of the world 5-8; and God’s refuge in the context of both natural and national powers 9-11.
Martin Luther will always be associated with this Psalm with `A Mighty Fortress is our God.’ This is a powerful yet brief hymn for anyone in the midst of turmoil, war, or natural disaster. The hymn begins with “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The Psalm ends with “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” That, essentially, is the difference for a believer and someone who does not believe: God is the first and the last.
An interesting verse is 10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The first part is a rather hard command to follow. In essence, stop talking, stop texting, stop calling, stop watching videos, and just be still. This does not mean sit still and do nothing but be still and know. Know that God is the God of the universe. Know that God is not worried, uncertain about how things are going in the world or your life.
The other side of this verse is our honor in knowing this great God. Knowing God is the unending pleasure and unmitigated joy or our lives. What can provide greater pleasure than knowing God? This is what you are created for. Being still is the avenue to renew your faith, to enjoy God, and to receive love from Him.
Being still is a discipline of godly living. You need to be still to read and study the Bible, to pray, and being still is how you meditate on God’s word and reflect on God’s grace. To be still may be a challenge for you but you must find a way to get away and concentrate on the Bible. You need to find a way, when you pray to be focused, undistracted, and alone. This is easy if there are one or two people in your home. But a mother of small children or teens, this is very difficult.
Yet, this is God’s Word: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” God will be exalted. We ought to be the first to do so. We ought to constantly be exalting Him both corporately and by ourselves and with others.
You may have noticed one other refrain in vs. 7 and 11, “7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress Selah.” The Psalmist writes that “we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea” in v 2. I would imagine that would be a fearful time. I would certainly be tempted to fear if not in all out panic mode. And we are to “Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolation on the earth.” We will have an emotional reaction to these catastrophic events. One of reasons we do not fear is “7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress Selah.” I hope this is the hope of those with Covid, those who have lost jobs, those who miss their spouse, or those who experience anxiety.
Remember, this is reality. If you know Jesus Christ, no matter what happens in your life, no matter what sickness, no matter what loss you ache from, God, the Lord of heavenly host is with you. The God of Jacob is our fortress. Our fortress is not our wealth, our title, our family, or what others think of us. Remember what Hebrews 6:18ff claims, “. . . we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain . . . .” There is no more sure and steadfast hope than Christ. If you believe in Christ, hold on to Hebrews 13:5, “”I will never leave you nor forsake you.”