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HOPE 365 Toolbox - Weekly Devotion - Psalm 46

Weekly Devotion - Psalm 46

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Psalm 46
By Rev. Roger Sylwester

Psalm 46: 1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble,
Therefore we will not fear
though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake
in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble
with its tumult.

Marilyn and I read this Psalm after Patra Mueller asked if I would write this devotion. Marilyn read these first three verses, looked up and said, “This pretty well describes the past week!” So it does!

How do we respond to the changes in our earth, the shaking of the mountains, the roaring of the waters, the raging of the nations and the tottering of the kingdoms (v.6)?

One clue is found in the instructions found before the Psalm begins. “To the choirmaster. ….A Song.”  It is to be sung/proclaimed as God’s people raise their voices together in worship. Even as the psalm speaks of desolation and war, spear and chariot, there is a response to be made by us in the middle of the psalm and at the end:

The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. (v. 7, 11)

Our times may not permit us all to gather for worship, but over the centuries Christians have together sung one of the most popular hymns based on Psalm 46.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God was written by Martin Luther “to interpret and apply this Psalm to the church of his own time and its struggles.” It was probably written in 1527 and by 1529 already in a hymnal. The melody “Ein Feste Burg” is also attributed to Martin Luther and has been the only tune to which this hymn has been sung.

How do we face our future confident that God will speak the final victory? “For us fights the valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, who is this? Jesus Christ it is….He holds the field forever. He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit.”

We are not alone. There is nothing that can separate us from our Lord and God. We are God’s own through his Son. Luther will write else about what we are to do. Since we are secure in our Lord, we are free to turn our attention to our neighbor who is in need. Who is our neighbor? The question continues to be asked daily. How do we help our neighbor in his or her bodily needs? How do care for the earth? How do we take His good gifts and use them so the Spirit can give new life? No easy answers - only the promise that -

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.