A Mighty Fortress is our God

A Mighty Fortress is our God

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalms 46:1

Psalms 46:1-11

 1God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

 6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!

 7 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

 8 Come, see the glorious works of the LORD: See how he brings destruction upon the world.

 9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg, Germany. In 1520 Luther was condemned for his Protestant views by Pope Leo X and commanded to renounce or reaffirm his 95 Theses. He was given 24 hours to consider his choice. Luther apologized for his harsh tone. But Luther refused to recant his writings. He is quoted as saying: “Here I stand. I can do no other.”

He was branded a heretic and outlaw. Luther was buffeted by political and theological opponents. He became a “wanted” man. At times, his life was in real danger. Between 1527 and 1529, Martin Luther was in exile hiding. He was fleeing from the power and resources of the Roman Catholic Church. During this period, he was also translating the Old Testament. The convergence of these events gave rise to Luther’s composition of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” The words are a paraphrase of Psalms 46.

It has been translated into English at least seventy times. The most common English translation used by Protestants outside of the Lutheran tradition was made by Frederick H. Hedge in 1853.

There are times in the life of every child of the King where they seem to be facing overwhelming obstacles and irresistible forces. The Father is provided Psalms 46 for times such as these to be an encouragement and a source of faith, confidence, and strength.

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father provided a strong foundation upon which children of the King are to take their stand. He strengthens us to do so. Nothing and no one can shake or crack this foundation. It is earthquake-proof. It provides a mighty fortress for each of us.

Father thank You that you are my mighty fortress and helper in time of need.

INSIGHT

Tribulation is part and parcel of the lives of children on planet Earth.

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Psalms 46 is a Psalm of confidence! It provides a firm foundation for facing trials, sorrows, and even existential threats that are so much in the news of the 21st century.

The Father God is a refuge for every child of the King. He is stable and unmovable with awesome power and a sustaining presence. He has power over the cataclysmic forces of nature and the schemes and plans of the nations. Eventually, His sovereign will be done on Earth. Peace on earth will be established by the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we require His help, He is there for us. When we fully understand this and put our faith in this promise, everything can change. It creates a dramatic paradigm shift.

Our circumstances do not serve change. Rather our ability to cope with them radically does.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Therefore, there is no cause of concern for us.

Children of the King are the object of His concern, lovingkindness, and mercy. Knowing this truth, there is no need to fear even in the worst of calamities. At the time when it was written, what were the most immutable, impregnable, forceful realities known to the human race? Undoubtedly earthquakes, the seas, and mountains, and the like.

Psalms 46:2-3

 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

What a tremendous thought that the Father who created these things controls them as well.

Psalms 102:25-28

 25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.

 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them.

 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever.

 28 The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.

How are we to do when we are facing grave danger or overwhelming circumstances? How does the Father tell us to react?

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God!

Amid all the turmoil, the Father speaks to the earth itself, the nations which are in an uproar, and by application to us.

“God is calling the raging world to ‘Stop! Be quiet! Stop your babbling and warring! Know that I am the one and only God!’” (Tesh and Zorn).

The Hebrew word translated be still or cease striving is raphah. Raphah generally has the sense of to slacken, relax, and decline, drop, let go, and refrain, or cease (NIDOTTE). We might say in modern colloquial English cool it or loosen up.

Raphah could well be translated, stop fighting, cease, be inactive, desist, do nothing, or drop your weapons (UBS). The traditional Be still is widely misunderstood as a command to be reverent and meditate on the blessings you have received (UBS).

The Hebrew word translated know is yada. Yada is used in the sense of acknowledge, recognize, admit, confess. Know that I am God can sometimes be translated as “learn that I am God” or “see that I am God.”

“On some days, we may feel as if our world has been shaken and everything we depend upon will be cast into the sea. But if we put our hope in God, we have no need to fear, because we have a refuge that can never be moved” (Stanley).

¯\_()_/¯

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