‘Luther’s Psalm’ Psalm 46:1-3

Text: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore (a conclusion) will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”

Psalm 46:1-3.

Good morning, ever-secure Christian!  Because we truly believe that our Lord God is our Refuge and our strength; that He is a help that is present in every kind of daily trouble – we know that we are completely and Eternally secure in Christ Jesus.  Praise His Holy Name!

“Title: To the Chief Musician.  He who could sing other Psalms so well was fitly entrusted with this noble ode.  Trifles may be left to commoner songsters, but the most skilful musician in Israel must be charged with the due performance of this song, with the most harmonious voices and choicest music.

“Subject: Happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure; this is the doctrine of the Psalm, and it might, to help our memories, be called ‘The Song of Holy Confidence’, were it not that from the great reformer’s love to this soul-stirring hymn it will probably be best remembered as Luther’s Psalm.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 218)

“We sing this Psalm to the praise of God because God is with us and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends His church and His Word against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of Hell, against the implacable hatred of the Devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh, and sin.”  (Martin Luther 1483-1546)

If this great Psalm was held in so high esteem and used so frequently by Martin Luther and his contemporary Reformers – surely it should recommend itself to you and I in this increasingly apostate 21st Century time?  Praise God that we have such examples to follow.

“Luther and his companions, with all their bold readiness for danger and death in the cause of truth, had times when their feelings were akin to those of a Divine singer, who said, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’  But in such hours, the unflinching Reformer would cheerily say to his friend Melanchon, ‘Come, Philip, let us sing the Forty-Sixth Psalm’; and they could sing it in Luther’s own characteristic version:

A sure stronghold our God is He,

A timely shield and weapon;

Our help He’ll be, and set us free

From every ill can happen.


And as the world with devils filled,

All eager to devour us,

Our souls to fear shall little yield,

They cannot overpower us.

(S.W. Christopher in ‘Hymn Writers and Their Hymns’ 1866.  Featured in Treasury of David, by C.H. Spurgeon, page 218)

This week’s Bible Lesson leans heavily on Spurgeon’s great work on the Psalms, as I continue to seek to reintroduce the 21st Century church worldwide to the power of this classic Christian volume.  I make no apology for quoting Spurgeon’s writings, as time has proven without doubt the efficacy of his Spirit-filled ministry. 

Verse 1. “God is our Refuge and strength.
Not our armies or our fortresses.  Israel’s boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God...Do not forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the words.  God alone is our all in all.  All other refuges are refuges of lies.  All other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all-sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 218)

Adam Clarke (1760-1832) states: “It begins abruptly, but nobly; ye may trust in whom and in what ye please; but God (Elohim) is our refuge and strength.  A very present help.  A help found to be very powerful and effectual in straits and difficulties.  The words are emphatic: ezrah betsaroth nimtsa meaod, ‘His is found an exceeding, or superlative, help in difficulties.’  Such we have found Him, and therefore celebrate His praise.”

In our written KJV Bibles, we find mere men and women like ourselves, sinful, and weak, and foolish creatures, living in fallen bodies, and on our way to Hell, but for the grace of a truly Sovereign Creator Lord God Who has deemed fit to prepare and send forth His Son to be our Saviour, Redeemer Lord.  But for God’s Sovereign grace, none of us sinners would ever have been blessed with full redemption and Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus.  Fact.

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Verse 2.  “Therefore will not we fear.  With God on our side, how irrational would fear be!  Where He is, all power is, and all love; why therefore should we quail?”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 219)

Verse 2. “Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.  Let the worst come to the worst, the child of God should never give way to mistrust; since God remaineth faithful, there can be no danger to His cause or people.  When the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the heavens and the earth shall pass away in the last general conflagration, we shall serenely behold ‘the wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds,’ for even then our refuge shall preserve us from all evil, our strength shall prepare us for all good.”  (John Wesley {1703-1791} preaching on the occasion of the earthquake felt in London, on March 8th, 1750.)

Thought:  If God be our Refuge and strength – we are Eternally safe and secure in Christ Jesus, our Salvation is in Him alone.  Praise His Name!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I invite comments that are Christian in nature. All comments are moderated, and any negative submissions are deleted and never published.