Psalm 46 is a poem that brings us great confidence and faith. It is the inspiration for my songs and my life. Read the psalm with me first.
For the director of music. Of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song.
1.God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2.Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3.though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5.God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at daybreak.
6.Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7.The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8.Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9.He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10.”Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11.The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This Psalm is again addressed to the chief musician… and I love that the Word of God puts value on the highly skilled in the areas of music and arts… In 1st Chronicles, we read that Zechariah, Eliab and Benaiah were to praise the Lord with Psalteries on Alamoth. As far as I can understand, this may mean to, not through habit, fall into the trap of singing in only one key, but with intelligence, we are to craft praises to appropriately express the fullness of the occasion. This explanation may not be completely accurate as the info available is scarce… but one thing I am confident of, is that these ancient descriptions show that care, time and skill should be used when being part of any song to honour our King. How great is that!
The first two words in this Psalm again bring so much confidence… GOD IS… our refuge, our strength, our VERY present help… GOD IS… Do you actually believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God IS all He says He is? I truly believe that if we grasped this revelation of who God Is, our lives would look extremely different.
God alone is our All in All, all other strength is weakness, and a very present help. You know, yesterday, I watched on the screens at church for a few minutes as Macca led worship at a funeral for one of the dear brothers in our church. Yes, it was sad, yes there was grief and heartache… but I had an overwhelming sense of His VERY present help. Very… more than your closest friend or relative, and even more present than the trouble itself.
I’ll never forget just after my Dad died, that sense of sadness was way too much to bear. I was at the clothesline crying out to God… when I literally felt the arm of God rest around my shoulder to comfort me… VERY present, coming at just the right time. So, with this truth in mind…WE WILL NOT FEAR! Though many trials will try to come and defeat us, we will stand knowing our God is near. Even when heaven and earth pass away… EVEN THEN, GOD IS! Listen to this, ‘Evil may ferment, wrath may boil, and pride may foam, but the brave heart of Holy confidence trembles not’… (Charles Spurgeon of course!)
We then find a Selah… pause, be calm, think for a moment… The music set to this psalm must have been quite colourful if you truly take in the words, I think after such a musical interpretation, the psalmist needed a breath to bring calm, and to reflect a moment. This pause is not a fruit of dismay or doubt, but merely time to re-tune, set your instrument for deliberate music of victory in the midst of a storm. We’ve talked about this before… get ready for the music of the overcomers.
Now we are at the river… whose streams make glad the city of God…The City of God, Zion, whose streams are not intermittent, but ever flowing with grace and favour, rivers of life and joy, supplying all of our needs, bringing life and refreshing. The church is like the city of God. His design, His glory, His purpose, His people, His message, His provision… streams of life running from it. Dedicated to His praise and glorified by His presence.
The City of God has always caused the enemy to rage, so it should be of no surprise that the word says the heathen get angry about the streams of life… How did this happen??? They continually ask, their angry cries tend to swell in volume and intensity… and beautifully, the Lord utters His voice, and the earth melts!!! GOD IS!!
Come and see is what the Psalmist declares. Come and see what God did to overthrow our enemies… our strength and shield, our ever-present help… He was faithful yet again to His Word and His character. There is talk of all that the powerful voice of the Lord achieves… peace to war, end to strife, He crushes even the greatest of enemies until they cannot wreak havoc ever again… ONE word from God is all it takes to still the storm. That’s why you need to have the word of God IN YOU.
Then, the words we all know and so value… BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.The great I am, says remember, I AM.He will be exalted among the heathen AND exalted on the earth….
Why then, do we hesitate to trust in our God… the great I AM. You truly trust, you’ve got to let go of trying to work everything out yourself…Trust is something that people put confidence or reliance in. Learn to let go, and trust God.
I found this song by the great Reformer Martin Luther… this is from a book written in 1866 entitled, ‘Hymn Writers and Their Hymns’ by S.W Christophers.
‘A sure Stronghold our God is He,
A timely shield and weapon;
Our help He’ll be and set us free
From every ill can happen.
And were the world with devils filled,
All eager to devour us,
Our souls to fear shall little yield,
They cannot overpower us.’
Luther’s explanation of Psalm 46 was… ‘We sing this Psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends His church and His word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.’
So I leave you with that thought…’ GOD IS’
What IS GOD to you?? I pray He’s your source, your life, your anchor, your breath, your reason, your song, your healer, your deliverer, your friend, your Lord, and many other things I could list. Be confident in His ability to hold your life in His hands. For you, are His greatest pleasure…