A Psalm a Day: Psalm 46

posted in: Personal, Prayer, Psalms, Reading, The Bible | 0

Throughout September 2022, I managed to read and reflect – briefly – on a Psalm each day. For December 2022, attempted to pick up the discipline. I got part-way through that month, and so after a long hiatus, am determined to get going. I’ll read the Psalm, pray, and then ponder a few questions:

  • What is this Psalm about?
  • What does this Psalm teach about God?
  • How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?

I’ll close the post with a simple prayer, trying to draw the themes together.

On the 13th of September 2023, here’s Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “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 Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

What is this Psalm about?

This Psalm is described in most English translations as ‘a song’ – and it certainly reads like something that can (And perhaps should!) be sung by God’s people. It is a song about God – describing him, setting who God is in the context of the future (v1-4), the present (v6) and the past (v8-9). It is a rich and encouraging song of praise, with much to teach us about God.

What does this Psalm teach about God?

This Psalm is fairly straightforward in what it teaches about God! ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (v1), God has a city where He lives (v4), is a helper to his people (v5), our fortress and present (v7, 11). God is simultaneously a powerful desolator (v8b) and the ultimate peacemaker (v9). Verse 10 makes it clear that God can be known and exalted.

How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?

One thing I’ve noticed recently in some parts of the evangelicalism(s) I’m around, is a return to Psalm-singing in public worship. Psalm 46 makes me think that’s a great trend! But more than that, this is a wonderful reminder of who God is and what He has done, as well as where God’s people are going, and how we can be still with God on the way. In a time when wars rage, and peace of all kinds is hard to find, Psalm 46 speaks to past present and future, reminding us that ‘The Lord Almighty is with us’!

A prayer drawn from Psalm 46

Lord, we thank you for the truths of Psalm 46. That in you we can find stillness and peace amidst war and strife. Help us to be still and know who you are, to be still and know what you have done, and to be still and know that we will be with you in your city. Amen.

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