Psalm 46 Commentary
God is our Refuge: A refuge is a physical place to which you run and seek protection. Protection against the surging seas is available but only when the individual escapes and becomes God’s refugee.
God is our Strength: We can fight off our enemies with the unlimited strength that lies behind our feeble arms. In an event that the impossible happens, and we lose our battle, God remains our ever-present help. Think of the citizens living behind the mighty American military. You should feel secure with the thought that the LORD is more than the known strength of human military machinery.
Therefore, the saint is not afraid.
Two pictures are given. First: the destruction of the earthquake and surging seas. With the surging seas, we get the thought of utter chaos and hopelessness. The stability of the mountains is shaken and thrown into the instability and hopelessness of the surging seas.
This is life in a boat in the middle of nowhere at sea. Your life-supporting host is the instability of the ranging sea. You have good reasons to fear. One wrong step and you are completely gone. Your boat is the safest place but it is getting such a beating from the roaring and surging sea that you definitely know the end is quickly coming.
There is no arguing that the sinner’s life is hopeless and constant danger and fear. They turn to drugs, alcohol, and vanities but it all comes to emptiness.
On the other hand, is the second picture. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.” There is water in this city also but it is gentle and life-supporting.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22 verses 1 and 2.
Interestingly, it is the El-Shaddai God residing within the city of peace and tranquility who is responsible for utter confusion outside of the city. When He lifts His voice, the earth melts. The thought here is that the LORD is over all and remains in charge. Even the surging seas answer His call. He is the master of the wind.
Then the psalmist invites us to behold the desolations and wonders on the earth. The desolations could refer to the confusion and utter hopelessness that you find out there. You don’t want to be there. The wonders may refer to the water of life flowing from the throne of grace, making glad the city of God. It is a backdrop to life as originally designed by the Creator God. Then humans enjoyed immortality in the Garden of peace and tranquility.
Unlike the sinner’s den of confusion and utter hopelessness, the saint can, from within the city of gladness, be still and know that God is the LORD, the El-Shaddai God.
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