Psalms 46:1


The Bible says in Psalms 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.[2] Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;[3] Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” This is a good Psalm for couples to memorize together because it uses the word “our.” Verse one tells us three things that God is for us: refuge, strength, and help. A refuge is a place where you can go to be sheltered from the storm or from an enemy attack. Learn to rely upon the Lord and remember that you can always go to Him for “help.” He is a “present help” because He is always present with us. It is just a matter of always turning to Him and looking to Him in times of “trouble.” Trouble will come because that is the nature of life on this earth. Be ready for trouble by being ready to turn to the Lord for your refuge. God is also our strength. When we rely upon the Lord to put our faith in Him, His strength takes over. Instead of our weakness to face the trouble, He takes over and handles it according to His will and according to His power and ability to do anything. That is why the Lord Jesus said that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, then nothing shall be impossible to us. According to verse two, believers who go to the Lord for a refuge have nothing to fear. Even when the worse possible things happen on the earth such as the worse earthquakes imaginable, there is nothing to fear.


The Bible says in Psalms 46:4-5, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.[5] God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” The Bible uses a “river” to symbolize life that flows from the presence of God. Of course, a river is water. The water cleanses and the water is necessary for life. God is life and all life comes from Him. In the Old Testament God revealed Himself with the name Jehovah, which means “the ever-living One.” In the New Testament God revealed Himself as Jesus the Savior, and Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” Psalms 46:4 mentions “the city of God” and “the tabernacles of the most High.” And then verse five says that “God is in the midst of her.” In the Old Testament the presence of God was symbolized by the city of Jerusalem and the tabernacle and then the temple. In the New Testament God is in us by Jesus Christ. When we get saved, we receive the Lord Jesus into our hearts; that is, into our innermost being. Because God is present with us, we will not be moved and we will be helped. It is wonderful to know that God will always be there for you no matter what happens.


The Bible says in Psalms 46:6, “The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.” The purpose of this verse is to contrast what human beings have done and can do to what God has done and can do. First it says “The heathen raged.” It means that the heathen make a lot of noise and they cause a lot of trouble. They have a certain amount of power because God has given freedom of choice to humans, and God has given authority to humans to rule this earth. The unbelieving heathen use their power to foment rebellion and revolution. They destroy and tear down instead of building up. In other words, the heathen cause the kingdoms to be “moved.” But God is more powerful than human beings. God only has to speak and greater things will happen than what human beings can cause to happen. The heathen can more the kingdoms, but God can “melt” them. God will cast down whom He wants to cast down when the time for judgment has come.


The Bible says in Psalms 46:7-9, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.[8] Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.[9] He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.” In  verse seven a very similar statement is made to the first verse of this Psalm. In verse one it said, “God is our refuge…” This verse says, “the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Remember that Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” after Jacob met God. Jacob was a selfish deceiver, but God forgave him and made something out of his life. The name Jacob represents Jacob in all of His sinfulness before he was forgiven and before he became a true believer. And so whenever we see the phrase “the God of Jacob” in the Bible it reminds us that God forgives our past and gives us a great future because of God’s mercy to us through Christ. If you know Jesus as Savior do not ever look at your old life and get discouraged or get down on yourself. The God of Jacob is your God too, and you can always run to Him for a refuge. He will not condemn you.


Verse eight says, “Come, behold the works of the LORD.” That should be easy to do since God is everywhere and everything is evidence of His work: His work of Creation, His work of giving life, His work of sustaining all that is, His work of being involved in all things, His work of fulfilling His will and His plan for the earth. Surely, if your eyes are open, you can “behold the works of the LORD.” Verse eight says that God has done “desolations” in the earth. God is Judge of all, and sometimes His judgments fall upon people and nations as they should. God decides who is raised up and who is cast down, and sometimes the casting down is a judgment from God.  But verse nine also says that God “maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth.” War is a horrible thing. There is so much human suffering because of war: the death, the injuries, the destruction, and the upheaval of society caused by war is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to any nation. Wars are much too common. Sadly, Jesus told us that throughout the age in which we live that there shall be “wars and rumors of wars.” Because of sinful human nature, it is an amazing blessing and miracle from God whenever we have a time of peace. Pray for peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When people get saved, they have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) Thankfully, we can look forward to the Second Coming of Christ when Jesus will rule the earth upon the throne of David in Jerusalem for one thousand years, and the world shall know peace as it has never been known before.  


The Bible says in Psalms 46:10-11, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.[11] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” There are two commands given in verse ten: “Be still” and “know that I am God.” Be still means to stop doing what you are doing because you are so busy that you are preoccupied and do not stop long enough to think about some things that you need to think about. Jesus taught this truth to Martha when Martha was very busy and complained to Jesus that Mary was only sitting at Jesus’ feet and not helping Martha. The Bible says in Luke 10:41-42, “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.[41] And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:[42] But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” God is the Almighty. When you know that God is God, you know that He has power over all people and over all events. Do things need to be done? God will do them. Do problems need to be fixed? God will fix them. Do enemies need to be conquered? God will decide what to do about them. As a matter of fact God has a plan for all the unbelievers, and nothing will stop His plan from taking place. God’s plan in verse ten is stated very clearly: “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Every single human being will one day glorify the name of God and the name of Jesus. All of human history and every single human life are heading to that great event. It says in the New Testament in Philippians 2:10-11, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;[11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


It says in the first part of verse eleven of Psalm 46, “The LORD of hosts is with us.” Not only is God all-powerful, but also He has millions and millions of angels to do His bidding; as well as all of the believers on the earth to serve Him. The point is that God has plenty of resources to use on our behalf. And God is not far away. He is right here with us. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you


Psalm 46 ends in verse eleven with the phrase, “the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Three times in this Psalm we are reminded that God is our refuge. Psalm 46 starts with this phrase and ends with it. It is important that we remember this truth and put it into practice in our hearts. The next time that something bad or unpleasant happens to you, do not react in the way that your human nature draws you with anger or impatience or other types of self-will. React by going to your refuge: the Lord Jesus Christ.




Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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