I grew up singing the hymn “A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD” it is a big memory for me. I am not sure how many people who have song that hymn are aware that Psalm 46 was the inspiration for the hymn. So today I would like to take a look at the Psalm, which is itself a song, and see why it inspired Martin Luther so much he wrote “A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD.”
Psalm 46 (kjv)
“God is our refuge and strength”
1 GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and through 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.
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.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen 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 out refuge.
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.
10 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 out refuge.
Alright before I go through this verse by verse I first want to explain “Selah” the word that pops in every so often in the psalm. The truth is no one really knows what the word means at this point in time. The two leading ideas is it represent a point when just the musical instruments accompanying the singing of the Psalm play with out words for a set of time. The other theory is that we are meant to stop and reflect on the meaning of the verse that was just spoken. I personally tend to think the answer might very will be both theories are correct, that while the instruments are played we are asked to reflect on the verse. All right now lets actually look at the verses.
Verse 1 is a declaration all of us believers should take comfort and understanding that God is are refuge and strength in times of trouble. We should look to Him for He is always their with us.
Verse 2 can be a bit of stumble with how it is worded. However it is saying We do not fear even if the earth is removed or mountains are thrown into the sea. Why do we not fear? Because God is with us.
Verse 3 is reaffirming that even if it looks like we are about to be overcome we still should not fear because again God is with us.
Verse 4 and verse 5 tell us that God is in the Holy temple and because God is their the holy mountain the city Jerusalem cannot be moved. We as Christians should be aware because we are born again that the Holy Spirit, God, now rests in us and strengthens us which means this promise extends to us and that we can not be moved and death cannot overcome us for we are always with him.
Verse 6 talks about the unbelievers are angry their kingdoms have been moved by God. God utters his voice and the earth is melted. Meaning even the unbeliever have to submit before God. You should also realize their is another thing to understand as a christian that because we are now a temple for the Holy Spirit the heathen kings will rage against you.
Verse 7 Reminds us to take comfort for God is with us. He is are refuge.
Verse 8 and 9 Show us that though the heathen kings rage God will stop them. He will break them. With that rod of Iron that is referenced through out the Bible. He will end war, God will destroy the instruments of war and give the earth peace.
Verse 10 tells us to calm ourselves and take comfort for He is God. He will be exalted among the heathen he will be exalted on the earth. This means everyone will praise God and no one can overcome Him.
Verse 11 is a closing declaration That God is with us and that again He is are refuge.
I think it is obvious to see why Martin Luther wrote “A MIGHT FORTRESS IS OUR GOD” after reading this Psalm. It is declaring the entire time God is are refuge and he is forever with us and we can not be overcome as long as we take refuge in the Lord. That truly is the most Mighty Fortress I have ever heard of.
That is an amazing Declaration of Gods glory That he is are refuge peace and safety only come through God!