The God of Jacob as Israel’s Fortress
The God of Jacob as Israel’s Fortress
Psalm 46. The inscription indicates that this is a psalm composed by “the sons of Korah”. It was written to the tune of “Alamoth”, meaning “concerning maidens or virgins”. This Psalm is an answer to the taunts of the enemy in Psa. 42:3; “Where is thy God?” Prophetically, this Psalm is placed after the appearing of Christ (Psa. 45), yet there are still enemies abroad. Perhaps these enemies would be those of invasion of Gog and Magog, who come down against Israel at 1335 days from the middle of the week.
To the chief Musician. Of the sons of Korah. On Alamoth. A song.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a help in distresses, very readily found.
2 Therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the heart of the seas;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and foam, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
vv.1-3 Israel’s Refuge and Strength. Now that Messiah has appeared and is among His people, the remnant feel that God is there to protect them. There is nothing to be afraid of when God is your refuge and strength! No matter what the turmoil, no matter how great the upheaval in the world (pictured by the earth being removed, the mountains cast into the sea, the sea itself being whipped up into a storm, and the mountain shaking) with God on their side there is nothing to fear. The figures used may very well refer to the gathering masses against Israel under the confederacy of God and Magog.
4 There is a river the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the sanctuary of the habitations of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her at the dawn of the morning.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 Jehovah of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our high fortress. Selah.
vv.4-7 God in the Midst of Jerusalem. A river in scripture speaks of a source of refreshment, and we find in Ezekiel 47 that Christ Himself is the source of the river that flows out of the city, which is called here “the city of God”. We find that God is now dwelling in Jerusalem, in the Person of the Messiah. When the attack comes, “God shall help her”. The victory of Jehovah of God over the enemies of Israel is accomplished by the utterance of His voice. Israel’s joy is that “Jehovah of Hosts” (Jehovah Sabaoth), the One who commands all the armies of heaven, is with them; and God is a high fortress of protection to them.
8 Come, behold the works of Jehovah, what desolations he hath made in the earth:
9 He hath made wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariots in the fire.
vv.8-9 The Power of Enemies Broken. Israel calls on the nations to behold the works of Jehovah, and see the devastation that He has done to the confederacies of men on the earth. He has crushed the power of His enemies, breaking the bow, cutting the spears, and burning the chariots. This is a battle the Lord undertakes Himself. He will remove war from the earth.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
v.10 God Works His Own Victory. Now God Himself speaks to Israel. He asks them to “Be still, and know that I am God”. His victory is all His own work. Israel will have no part in the victory against the second attack of the Assyrian. It is something that God will do for His own self, that He might be exalted among the nations and in all the earth. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever” (Ex. 14:13). The great point of this is that blessing will come through the activity of God working for His own glory, rather than the efforts of man.
11 Jehovah of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our high fortress. Selah.
v.11 The Presence of God. Israel’s joy is that the Lord is among them, and that God is their high fortress. This is the encouragement of the remnant.
Be still, my soul! for God will undertake
to guide the future surely as the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be clear at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
the voice that calmed their fury long ago.1