Psalms 46 is a song of celebration for Jerusalem as the special city of God; or as some call it a “hymn of Zion” or a “Zion Song”. This is very familiar Psalm as it was the inspiration behind Martin Luther’s timeless hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” which was written in 1529. It became known as the “Battle Hymn” of the Reformation as it was the song that helped gathered support for the cause of the Reformation.
This Psalm is also one that many believers have held fast to throughout history. I was surprised as to how many people told me this was one of their favorite Psalms. It should be no surprise that it is held in such high regard because after reading through these 11 inspiring verses the reader understands how great, mighty and trustworthy our God is.
Psalm 46 resembles in content and structure Psalms 48; 76; 87; and 122 as they are also called “Zion Songs”. The songs are broken down into three sections as follows...
This hymn is written by the choirmaster for the chief musicians (Sons of Korah) of the Temple. “According to Alamoth” is probably a musical term and was intended for a female or soprano voice. We are not exactly sure what the occasion for the writing of this Psalm, but some believe it was written after Jerusalem was spared from imminent destruction by the Assyrians under the guidance of Sennacherib. You can read about this account in 1 Chronicles 32, but the short story is God sends an angel to destroy all the warriors, commanders and officers of the Assyrian army thus saving the city of Jerusalem.
Verse 1a – “God is our refuge and strength” = God (YHWH) is Israel’s source of power, and security. Over the centuries they had witnessed God’s hand and his favor for them in battle, so they had absolute faith in God. They were secure in the understanding that He would keep Israel safe and he would be their source of victory in battle.
Verse 1b – “Present help in trouble” – When times got rough, tense and dangerous, God is ever present and He makes his presence known. He is a help that can be found when He is sought after.
Summary of Verse 1
God is our refuge and strength but he is also our source of security and power. In this world we need safety and a source of strength to live our lives, and God is this source. We need to trust and have faith in God to be our strength, our provider, and our deliverer etc.
Do you trust God?
Is He your source of strength?
Is He your place of solace?
I pray He is...
We'll continue more next time.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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