Each Day in the Word, Saturday, November 18, 2023

Psalm 46:1-11 NKJV

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
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

A beloved exhortation to the Church to continue confident in the Lord! As it was a song for Israel during their time of tribulation, to sing of God’s mighty deeds, so this, clearly, remains a psalm to be sung out in the very midst of this world that so hates God’s truth and those who hold firmly to it. God inspires the writer to depict the character of the city as a little stream that will not dry up — as opposed to the great rivers, seas and oceans of the unbelieving world, which will dry up and vanquish.

Many might very well know this, but even if they do, it’s worth repeating for those who may not know. Luther penned ‘Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott’ (our English translation reading: ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’) based off of Psalm 46. That opening line alone was translated over eighty times into fifty-three languages prior to 1900. The message remains as clear as ever —- this is a song for those being persecuted or martyred, just as Psalm 46 brings one to pray and sing for the same.

The voice in the psalm is the voice of the Church, the holy city, which is the dwelling place of God. One can now see the importance of the first person plural all through the psalm: “we,” “us,” and “our.” God is “our” strength, “we” shall not fear, The Lord of hosts is with “us,” and so on. This is the voice of God’s people, the same voice that prays, “Our Father.”

Again, continuing confident in the Lord is as simple as belief in Christ’s fully atoning merits for you for the forgiveness of your sins, which, doesn’t come from your reason or strength. Rather, by the grace of God, it comes as He draws you to Himself; bringing you to stay fixed and focused upon your Savior through His Word and Sacraments! Through faith in His wounds for you, you are mighty as well!

Let us pray:  O Lord, keep us ever mindful of our Lord’s triumphant victory — that, through faith in His fully atoning merits for us for the forgiveness of our sins, we are mighty, indeed. Amen.

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