Read Part 1.
Help from the Person of God
Psalm 46 (NKJV)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
In Part 1, we looked at the corporate aspect of Psalm 46, seeing that it speaks about help for the people of God. This help is found in the person of God, the subject of this article.
Our Help Is Here: Help from the Person of God
God is clearly the subject of this psalm. Twenty-five different references to Him appear throughout these eleven verses. We see a divine name or title eleven times (God, the Most High, the LORD of hosts, the God of Jacob, the LORD), a metaphorical description five times (refuge, strength, help), and deity pronouns nine times (I, He).
This God who is our Help is the God who made heaven and earth. As the Most High, there is no God or power above Him. This God is the LORD. Notice in verses 7, 8, and 11 that the word “LORD” is in all uppercase letters. This use designates that the original Hebrew has the word for the most sacred name of God—Jehovah or Yahweh. It is probably derived from the same name that God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14, when He revealed Himself as I AM WHO I AM. This God has the power of self-existence, needing nothing outside Himself to exist. He has all the resources of life in Himself, whereas we need food, water, oxygen and other external circumstances to live.
God’s sacred name not only refers to His self-existence but also speaks of His covenant relationship with His people. This God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and—as focused on in Psalm 46—Jacob—is the same God for the Korahites, for the Israelites, for the first-century believers in Christ, and for you and me. The God who showed mercy and faithfulness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has not changed—His people can still count on Him. Notice that this sacred name is paired with “of hosts” in verses 7 and 11. This reminds us that God is omnipotent and commands all the powers of the universe. This self-existent, faithful, promise-keeping, all-powerful, exalted creator God is our Help!
The metaphors in Psalm 46 indicate our dependence on God. He is our refuge, the One we run to for shelter. We trust in Him to protect us. He is our strength. Apart from Him, we are weak and faint. We have reason to fear if He is not our refuge and strength in trouble. He is also our help, providing the aid we need in our distress. This God is our fortress who protects us in troubled and unstable times—our stronghold and safe place. He is our defense. We do not need to fear trouble. We can trust God.
God’s names, titles, and descriptions remind us of His character, but we also learn about Him through His works. This God dwells with His people and helps them “at the break of dawn” (v. 5)—not a second too late. He opens His mouth and unleashes His omnipotent decree: “he uttered his voice, the earth melted” (v. 6). When He thus speaks, compliance is the only option. None can withstand His judgment. Regardless of your view on global warning, we haven’t seen anything yet! God will one day speak, and the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and “the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12 NKJV). The psalm mentions the desolations God has brought on the earth. We can see astonishing things today that show the power of God. The Grand Canyon shows evidence of the catastrophic effects of the power of God. Hurricanes, tornados, and volcanic eruptions are just glimpses of the infinite strength of the Almighty. This God has power to stop wars, break the bow, shatter the spear, and burn the shields with fire.
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (v. 10). Calm down. Quiet your troubled soul. Make certain that you truly know that God is God and that He will be exalted in the earth. Consider the greatness of God, Who is the permanent, powerful, preeminent protector of His people. We should not fear trouble if we know Him. We should not fear to take the gospel to those near and far away, even if they react with hostility. God is our refuge and strength, and He will be exalted in the earth. Our Help is here.
|Doug Smith is blessed to be the husband of Krystal and father of three daughters. He is a member of Cornerstone Chapel, in Bristol, Tennessee. Doug has preached in a supply capacity and taught hermeneutics with the Cumberland Area Pulpit Supply, a ministry which focuses on training men for ministry in rural Appalachia. He is currently an intern with the New England Center for Expository Preaching. He also blogs at Gazing at Glory. You may email him with any questions or comments.|