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. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Psalm 46 brings comfort to me. There are beautiful, as well as fearful thoughts here. Verses 1-3 remind me of what Jesus said to the disciples in the midst of a terrible storm, when they were in danger of capsizing and drowning. He asks them, “Why are you afraid? Where is your faith?”
Jesus was explaining to them that no matter how frightening a situation is, we must have faith (trust) in God. If God allows us to drown, that is fine. If God decides to save us from drowning, that is fine. This is total trust in God’s wisdom and power. The disciples had not learned this kind of trust yet.
In these three verses, the Psalm describes the world in convulsions. Some commentators say these represent the anger of the nations. Some say they represent actual physical events. Some say they represent the storms of life. Some say they represent all three.
Because of the later verses in this chapter, I believe they represent the physical condition of the earth right before Jesus returns. Verses 6-9 say this:
“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 with fire.”
About the last plague to come upon mankind, the Book of Revelation says this:
“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
“And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.”
“The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
What is so beautiful in this Psalm are the verses that give us hope, peace and courage:
“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.”
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
As these days draw near, let us pray for God’s courage, faith and peace.