Psalm 46 is an amazing psalm, inspiring the classic hymn by Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. This Psalm breaks down according to the threefold confession we see in verses 1, 7, and 11. Refuge and strength are two sides of the same coin. Obviously, for a refuge to provide safety it must be able to withstand an attack, it must be strong. And not only is God a strong refuge, he is close enough to help in troubled times.
Verses 7 & 11 echo this sentiment. God is the Lord of Hosts (Sabaoth); meaning, God is the commander of heaven’s armies, all reflecting God’s glory, majesty, and undisputed power over creation. However, God is not only over creation, he is Immanuel—God with us. Not only that, but God is the God of Jacob (later renamed Israel, father of the 12 nations of Israel), the covenant keeping God, He is faithful. And if that wasn’t enough, God is OUR stronghold, OUR Mighty Fortress. That’s the God we worship or as Lockridge put it, “That’s my King!”
In addition to the threefold confession, are three stanzas separated by the word Selah. Selah is a musical term that may mean a pause, crescendo, musical interlude, or repetition. In any case, Selah should draw our attention to what we just read, it inspires reflection and pause. You don’t read this kind of Psalm; you marinate in it.
Creations Close Confederate
Verses 2–3 describe a world in turmoil. From our perspective, the Earth is steady, unmoved… usually. Natural disaster has a way of devastating our senses; what can I trust if not the ground beneath my feet? The world as it’s described in verses 2 & 3 would not inspire confidence, but God is God over Creation. “That’s my King!”
Not only is God the God of Creation, verses 4–6 describe a God who is close. When the psalm was written, God dwelled in the Temple in the city of Jerusalem, “the city of God.” God’s closeness provides security for the city of his dwelling. As we read this psalm in our day, we understand that the dwelling place of God is in the heart of the believer. God is no longer a few doors down at the Temple, He indwells us! “That’s my King!”
God is Creator, He is close, but also, He is our confederate—our ally, the one in whom we have confidence. God’s provision of security is not only in his dwelling place, but in every nation. Those who rebel against the Lord, rebel in vain; to these God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Notice also the future tense when God speaks, “I will…” Those who war against God are frantically fighting, God’s barely warmed up. “That’s My King!”
Do You Know Him?
This psalm, in case you can’t tell, reminds me of S.M. Lockridge’s famous monologue “That’s my King!” Both get me fired up! Both declare a God worthy of exaltation! Both beg the question, “Do you know Him?”
Watch this video and tell us in the comments what sticks out.
By: Tyler Short