2020-4-6 English Notes


            What comfort Psalm 46 has been to people who are crippled by a chronic illness, languishing the loss of a loved one, panicking under heavy persecution, or the victim of some great tragedy.  The comfort, security & joy revealed in Psalm 46 can be appropriated by any believer who finds themselves engulfed in the terror of a man made or natural disaster.  No matter how great the convulsions of nature or cruelty of evil men, God is with His people as their refuge, strength and help.  But to experience God’s presence & help we must surrender our lives completely to His will & care.  Psalm 46 (and many others) make it clear God is exalted through the salvation of His repentant people as well as by the destruction of His rebellious hardened enemies.

            Many of the poetic word pictures in Psalm 46 perfectly fits the time of King Hezekiah & the Prophet Isaiah (2 Chron. 29 thru 31; 2 Kings 18:1-12) when Sennacherib king of Assyria invaded Israel in 701 B.C. (2 Kings 18:13 – 19:35; Isa. 36:1 – 37:38). 

            In light of other Scriptures concerning the end times it becomes evident that Psalm 46 will ultimately & literally be fulfilled for Israel during the Great Tribulation and the Millennial Reign of Christ that follows (Lk. 21:9-11, 25-28, 33; 2Pet. 3:10-14).

            This was one of Martin Luther’s favorite Psalms.  He wrote the hymn “A mighty fortress is our God” based on Psalm 46.  It was when the deadly plague was approaching Germany from Europe & the Ottoman Turks had conquered Hungary (1526).  Pope Leo X had condemned Luther as a heretic & he was being hunted by the Catholic Church.  But Luther always found God to be a very present help in trouble. Let’s study Psalm 46 now so we too can find God to be a very present help no matter how great our troubles may be!


Psa 46:1  <To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.> God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

            There is great comfort just knowing for whom this Psalm is for.  By God’s Grace the sons of Korah were spared when their Father & cohorts descended alive into hell (Num. 16:1-40).  They were also saved from a plague that killed 14,700 people (Num. 16:41-50).  Out of gratitude they dedicated themselves to humbly serve God.  Our ultimate safety & strength is not in wealth or powerful armies but in The LORD God!  “God is with us, & powerfully & miraculously preserves his church & his word, against the implacable hatred of the devil, & all the assaults of the world, the flesh & sin” (Luther)


Psa 46:2  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

            No matter how great the danger we will not fear because of our faith in the Greatness of our God! (Ps. 27:3; Matt. 8:24-26; Heb. 13:6).  What is the worst thing you can imagine that could happen to you?  Even then there is no reason to Fear! (Isa. 41:10, 13; 54:4; Rom. 8:15)

            These are poetic expressions often used to describe the evil committed by people & nations & the judgment of God it precipitates (Isa. 17:12-13; Judg. 5:4-5; Mic. 1:4; Nah. 1:5).

            There will be a literal fulfillment of this verse in the Great Tribulation.  At that time the earth will be going through terrifying physical trauma.  It is prophesied that “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (Rev. 6:14; 16:18-20; Lk. 21:25-26). 

Psa 46:3  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.   [Ps. 93:4]

            Our God is in total control of the sea.  He reveals this truth by His design in nature (Job 38:11) and by manifesting His righteous wrath in History (Job 9:4-6; Jer. 5:22-24). 

            Waters can be a poetic metaphor for “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15).  Mountains can be metaphors for empires or cites.  (Jer. 51:25; Dan. 2:35, 45).  Thus there is a poetic picture here of the crumbling foundations of society.  Nations are being toppled & there is great political, economic & social instability.


Psa 46:4  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.   [Isa. 33:21]

            The great fear of an Eastern city in time of war was that their water supply should be cut off during a siege.  If they could secure a water supply, the city could hold out against attacks indefinitely. This verse would have an historical literal application to Hezekiah’s Tunnel & pool of Siloam (2Chron. 32:2-4, 30; 2 Kings 20:20).  What joy this water supply would bring God’s people when besieged by an enemy!

           This river also has a future prophetic application to the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem (Ezek. 47:1-12; Rev. 20:1-6).  When eternity begins after the Millennium the heavenly Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21:1-2; Heb.11:10, 16). Out of that city there is a “pure river of water of life… proceeding out of the throne of God & of the Lamb” (Rev.22:1). We are all given an invitation to be part of that eternal Kingdom & to drink “freely” from that river of life! (Rev. 22:17).  Have you accepted the invitation?  Only Jesus Christ can offer it.  You must receive it from him (John 7:37-39; Matt. 11:28).


Psa 46:5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

Psa 46:6  The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. (Heb. 12:22-29)

            If we study Psalm 46 in light of Psalm 2 we learn some more insights into the End Times.  Around the time of Armageddon “the heathen rage, & the people imagine a vain thing & the kings of the earth set themselves against the LORD, & against his anointed (Jesus).”  When they do, God steps in with supernatural power to destroy His enemies!  These enemies “make war with the Lamb, & the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, & King of Kings (Rev. 17:14). 

Psa 46:7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  {literally true of the Jews in Revelation 7}

      The nameThe LORD of hostsis a revelation of God’s sovereignty over all creation.  It refers to the angelic hosts with which we are presently involved in a spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:12) and who will also participate in the end time battles of Armageddon (Rev. 8; 12:7; 14:15-19; 15:1). The ‘hosts’ also includes God’s sovereign control over the forces of nature & animal kingdom (Rev. 6:8, 12, 15-17).

            But using His titlethe God of JacobGod is giving assurance of salvation even to His rebellious people.  Jacob means “supplanter” [cheat] and yet God redeemed him from his sins, saved him from his enemies, changed his name & his character, & promised to bless him throughout eternity! (Gen. 28:13-15).  So this title gives us all comfort for we have all had our times of rebellion against God.


Psa 46:8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

            Here God’s people are invited to go out & examine the field of Christ’s Victory.  The whole earth is filled with the desolations of His righteous, omnipotent judgment.  This is the time described by Daniel & Jesus as the great tribulation (Dan. 12; Mat 24:21-22; etc.;).                 


The Bible says God “creates good & evil” (Jer. 18:11; Lam. 3:38; Amos 3:6).  But other Scriptures tell us God is totally free of evil & can do no evil (I John 1:5; Heb. 1:13; James 1:13).  So how do we reconcile these two truths?  God is morally perfect (Deut. 32:4; Matt. 5:48) and it is impossible for Him to sin (Heb. 6:18). But His absolute justice demands that He punish sin.  The execution of God’s justice is sometimes called “evil” because it seems to be evil to those undergoing it (Heb. 12:11).  However the Hebrew word for evil [ra] does not necessarily mean moral evil.  God, in His permissive will, lets men wage war with one another to their own destruction.  They are merely harvesting the fruit of their own sin (Isa. 24:5-6).  Why does God allow evil men run their self destructive course till history’s end (Isa. 24:19-21)?  To find satisfying answers to these major questions we must learn to “Be still, and know that He is God.”  The Apostle Paul struggled with all the suffering and evil in the world but came to the following conclusion: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18-21).  Only Christianity offers the World a final solution to the Problem of Evil!

Psa 46:9  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.

            Wars won’t cease until the Messiah, King Jesus is seated on His throne (Ps. 2:6; Dan. 7:13-14, 27).  Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6) & He is going to bring in a 1000 year reign of perfect peace both politically & throughout nature (Isa. 11:9; Rev. 20:1-6).  There will be no social, political or religious oppression (Isa. 14:3-6; 42:6-7; 49:8-9; Zech. 9:11-12; Isa. 2:2-4).  Only Jesus can, and He surely will, usher in Worldwide peace with justice for all (Zech. 9:10; Isa. 9:7; 11:5; 42:1-4; 65:21-23; Jer. 23:5; Ps. 72:1-4, 12-14) 


Psa 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.   [Isa. 33:10]

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge Selah

    Be still before him, without murmuring, objecting to, or opposing His will or His ways.  Calmly & humbly submit to him (Ex. 14:13; Isa. 30:7, 15).  His being God is sufficient reason for being still before Him (Isa 45:9).  It is as if God says to the wicked:  “I am God, who can avenge myself when I please upon you.  So cease to provoke me to wrath by your sins.  It is as if God says to the repentant humbled soul: “I am God; & thus able to pardon all your sins, even the greatest sins.  So cease to dishonor me with your unbelief (Heb.3:7-13). We come to know God by His great deliverance of his people but also by His great wrath upon His enemies (Rom. 1:18-22; John 3:19-21; 2 Thess. 2:10). Are you God’s Friend or enemy?  Do you love Him or ignore Him?

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