Psalm 46 is beautiful. A poetic vision of the exalted God of heaven and earth, above, but present in the trauma of life.
In the midst of mountains toppling, roaring seas, and the battles of men, there is, “a river whose streams make glad the city of God,” that is the dwelling place of the Lord (Ps. 46:4).
Twice the author encourages, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Ps. 46:7, 11). Why?
The psalmist paints a chaotic picture at the opening of this psalm, with troubles abounding. Yet, he assures us of the Lord’s ever present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:2). Life seems to be imploding. The earth seems to be collapsing. But God.
To the repetition. The psalmists use of “hosts” is not only a reference to the angelic hosts of Heaven, but the “heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them,” (Gen. 2:1).
The author is making a simple point: He is the Lord of hosts. Whether of angels or universes, or the life on earth, He is Lord of all.
The “God of Jacob is our refuge,” an unmovable shelter in the midst of dramatic change. Why Jacob?
One would have very little trouble believing they God would be a refuge to limping Israel, Jacob’s new name. But the God of that sneaky, cheating, heel-catching Jacob? Yup.
Psalm 46 is speaking into our humanity. When troubles abound, and the platitudinal decorum of congregational function lacks power to change circumstance, we can find ourselves planning as Jacob, not limping as faithing Israel.
How will we survive our present trouble? As a conniving heel-catcher? Or a God dependent, limping Israel?
The message is simple, even when we’ve tried to make our own escape, find our own peace, and rebuild fallen towers of refuge, the God is Jacob will still be our rescue. He will not leave us to the elements. What does He say?
“Be still, and know that I am God,” (Ps. 46:10). Stop planning your own escape, rescue, and recovery, and be still in the knowledge that the God of Jacob, the Lord of hosts, is your refuge and strength in every season of trouble. He spoke the universe into being, so He can recreate your life as well.
Yeshua/Jesus came to find Jacob’s like us, and thankfully, His grace causes us to be more than conquerors by resting in Him (Ro. 8:37).
Be well. Shalom.