Opening stanza of Psalm 46 begins powerfully: “God is our refuge and strength” (verse 1). The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther appropriately translated these words in his famous hymn as “A mighty fortress is our God.” It could be rephrased to say that God is “our impenetrable defense” God is our refuge and strength: Many of the other psalms begin with a description of the psalmist’s crisis. In this Psalm, the poet begins with God’s provision. He looked to God for help in difficult times and found it. He could say these things by experience: emphasizes two main truths about God: His strength and His established presence. This leads to the natural responses of trust and thanksgiving. Scholars are unclear if any unique event inspired this psalm. However, some phrases in this passage resemble those found in the writings of Isaiah. It is also possible that Israel itself was facing war or international conflict when this was written, and that the songwriter wrote to encourage the children of Israel to stand in the strength of the Lord. Knowing this provides incredible insight into the interpretation of Psalms 46:10. It promises that God is “with us.” And contrary to what we often think or are told, this means not arming ourselves but disarming ourselves.
It reads in Psalm 46:1-11
(For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Highest dwells. God is within her; she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.