God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (v. 1).
Psalm 46 was the inspiration for the great hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God, by Martin Luther.
The word refuge can also be translated as fortress.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing (Luther).
Judah had just achieved a great military battle – without fighting! The Assyrians had surrounded Jerusalem, and their military leader called out King Hezekiah and the people of Israel.
Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? (2 Kings 18:32-33)
Oops! Big mistake.
Every now and then when someone challenges God – God takes up the fight. That’s what He did. The prophet Isaiah was sent to give King Hezekiah a message from God.
I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David (2 Kings 19:34).
The story of Israel’s deliverance continues:
That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, there were all the dead bodies (2 Kings 19:35).
Psalm 46 describes this victory.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (vv. 6-7).
Martin Luther, in his hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, describes Hezekiah’s victory and what we can expect with our battles.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
Are you overwhelmed right now with something that is totally beyond your ability?
Is it a disease? How about a relationship or financial difficulty? Have your enemies surrounded you? Are they laughing at you? Has the evil one brought fear and defeat into your life?
Psalm 46 says:
Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire (vv. 8-9).
Martin Luther explains victory in the light of Jesus, who is our Defender:
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.
What do we conclude from both Psalm 46 and Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God? Knowing our God of victory, and Jesus as our Savior, remember:
Stop striving (NASB); Surrender your anxiety (TPT); Be still (ESV); Rest, God’s got this (OGV) (v. 10).
God has won the war for your soul. He will not forsake you in the battle you confront today.