God Will Strengthen And Protect Us And Have The Victory Through Us (Psalm 46)
The Sons of Korah wrote 11 of the psalms and they are some of the most beautiful of the psalms. Psalm 42 is the first of these psalms, 44-49, 84-85, and 87-88. And as you look at these psalms, you realize that some of the most memorable lines from the psalms come from them. They are from the lineage of Korah who were rebellious in Numbers 16 and were swallowed by the Earth. Korah’s sons were spared (Numbers 26:9-11).
After 7 generations, the prophet Samuel came from the lineage of Korah (1 Chronicles 6:31-38, 1 Samuel 1:1, 20). And they became doorkeepers and custodians of the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 9:19-21; 1 Chronicles 2). There was also a group from this lineage that were known as expert warriors in King David’s army (1 Chronicles 12:6). And during the time of King David’s reign the family became great leaders in the music of God’s people. Heman the Korahite is mentioned a few times as an important singer.
I mention all of this today because of what this psalm is. Psalm 46 seems to be a battle song. It is fitting that a family of warrior musicians would write it. I wonder how often they sang it when Israel went to war or was preparing for battle.
And Martin Luther picked up on that and wrote a hymn that is still in our hymnals today that was inspired by this song about the warfare of God’s people against the works of Satan. And even though this is by no means a translation of the psalm into music. Luther did an incredible job of capturing the essence of the psalm for the New Testament Church.
It is called, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper He amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
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.
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.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That Word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever.
And, as you will see Luther picked up on the idea of the text very well. This is a psalm that we need to take up today and carry into the battles we face. Have you taken a look at the world today? Have you looked at the society we live in?
This is a message we need to carry near and dear to our hearts.
God will strengthen and protect us and have the victory through us.
We Trust The Lord (Psalm 46:1-3)
We have likely sang that God is our refuge and strength so much that we don’t think about the meaning of it. But to say that God is our refuge is to say that He is our safety. In Him we find safety from whatever is facing us. And to say that God is our strength is to say that He is our strength for the battle and is with us presently.
This is important because we tend to think of running to the Lord for safety to the exclusion of the rest. We don’t often consider that He is our strength for what is taking place in us. And we lose sight of the fact that we are supposed to be out there doing battle with the wickedness of the world. We forget that we are to be out there sharing the good news of Christ and conquering the nations for Him.
And because God is this for us now, even if the earth were to give way and the mountains be moved into the sea, the waters roar around us, even if all the earth were to give way then we would trust the Lord. Our faith in Him is unshakable. It is unwavering. Because God is these things for us, we will never be shaken. No matter what may come, we will trust the Lord.
This is a very strong statement of faith in the Lord. No matter what happens in the middle of this storm, we will trust the Lord.
Things have gone from ugly to plainly Satanic in recent days. The statue in New York City to honor the fight for the murdering of babies looks like something that was torn down in the Old Testament. And this Satanic performance at the Grammy’s was on a whole different level of evil on parade than I have ever witnessed.
And I would say that the different things I’ve seen proclaimed even here in Conway in recent days has filled me with some anxiety. But here I find myself understanding that I need to trust the Lord. He is my strength, the Church’s strength and our refuge.
I assume, like many of you, that this is something that is not going to improve over time. I assume that things in our society will continue to decline, at least for a while.
And even though this is what the society I am living in is turning in to, I will trust the Lord. Even though everything around me seems to be falling apart, I will trust the Lord.
God Is With Us And We Are Protected (Psalm 46:4-7)
I love the imagery that is found here. It calls us to see God’s presence with us. The river running through the city of God was found in the Garden of Eden. But we see it appear again in Revelation 22:1-5. Both of these point us to the same idea. It is pointing us to see that God dwells with His people and because of that we are safe.
In Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve personally. He was right there by their side in a way that we fail to grasp. And at the end of history, God will dwell with His people in aver personal way. We will see Him face to face. And we should not miss the fact that God dwells with us right now.
Even right now, God is in the midst of His people and will help His people in their hardships. In the battles that we must fight, we can trust that the Lord will be our help (Psalm 46:5).
When the mightiest of the mighty kingdoms of this world go into an uproar, we know that with one word the Lord will silence them (Psalm 46:6). The Word of God that created the world can also uncreate it and any civilization that He pleases.
By the way, we read of this happening in 2 Peter 3:1-5.
“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:1-7 ESV)
We know and believe that there is coming a day in which God will judge the world in righteousness. Why then do we fear? Why then do live so afraid. The same God who created the world will judge the world in righteousness. He is who we worship. He is who is on our side. He is our refuge and strength. He will dwell with us at the end of history and He dwells with us now.
We say that God is on our side and then a few things go wrong and we start to act like we are on our own. But that is not at all how we should behave.
When we see that our town is working toward doing something wicked, we will not be dismayed. We will understand that God who made Conway Arkansas a possibility could unmake it or do anything else in between. And He is on our side.
When a school district does wicked things, we don’t begin to think that all is lost. We must understand that God is on our side and He can do all things. It must never cause us to lose heart and leave the battlefield.
God Fights For Us (Psalm 46:8-11)
Look around and examine what God has done. Look at Scripture and see the mighty victories of the Lord. Look at history and see victory after victory that the Lord has won. Society after society has rejected the Lord and paid the price for it. He has brought country after country low. He has been with His Church and brought victory after victory into place after place. Look around and see what God has done (Psalm 46:8). God has won war after war across the face of the Earth and that is something that we believe He will continue to do (Psalm 46:9). The mightiest of the Earth fall before the Lord, the bow is shattered and the chariot is burned. Every weapon of man is laid waste.
God will win the victory.
And that is what we are to know in this moment. God will win the victory.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)
Know who God is. Know what God is capable of. Be still and trust Him. He will have the victory. God will be exalted among the nations. He will be victorious. And He is on our side.
What a wonderful thing to think on and hear as we are going into another week of labor in a world that is lost in sin and rebellion! God will have the victory!
Countless hardships will be endured by us in our lifetime and we rest assured that God is on our side. There will be numerous battles that we must fight and in them, God is our strength.
As Christians we understand that it is through the finished work of Christ and the preaching of the gospel that this victory will ultimately be had. We will see victory as Christ goes forth in victory.
Unbelief will cease. Rebellion will cease. And God will reign upon Earth and bring complete peace.
R. Dwain Minor