Ps 46 and 47

These two Psalms are connected thematically. It seems much of the time that each Psalm is not connected. Yet I believe there was a reason why these two Psalms are placed back to back. You might even include 48 too. Let me show some connections I found.

Psalm 46 starts powerfully with a description of who God is. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” NIV Can it get any better than that? God himself protects us. He gives us shelter. He also is our source of power and courage to face our day. Who doesn’t need these on a regular basis?

I’ve always loved the second phrase …”an ever-present in trouble.” He is always there in difficulties. He’s there all the time. In the times we don’t feel like he’s there, he’s actually there with us. He doesn’t ever leave us as orphans. We may feel forgotten but he’s still there with us. Over and over again in the OT God reminds his people, “I will go with you.” We are to hold on to this truth. He IS present.

The Psalmist though isn’t experiencing these things completely. See at the end of the Psalm in verse ten. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations.” Note the tense here used. I will be exalted. This is future tense. We are commanded to be still and know he’s our God. That’s what we’re asked to do: rest, wait, know. Those are extremely difficult when there is no answer seen. We clamor and grasp at anything that will support us when things are not going well. The posture the Lord wants us to have is rest, stillness and an awareness of His power. That’s hard particularly when the future hope is not there.

Here’s good news. Our hope is not always going to be in the future.

There will be a time when hope is realized. This is what has happened in Ps 47. “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. ..He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.” NIV The tone has changed. Joyful shouts, applause and cheering for our God. Praise and raised up hands to the only one who deserves it. And why does he deserve such acclaim?

He has subdued the nations. See the tense again. Now its past tense. God has subdued. Completed action. It’s over and done. In 46 the push was “be still …I will be exalted.” Now it’s different. The Lord has acted. God’s people are thrilled and respond in praise back to him.

These two Psalms are put back to back to tell what the life of faith is like. There are moments, days of trouble and struggle. Our job is to be still and remember who is our God. These days seem so long and painful. But the day will come when He answers. These fears and difficulties will be, by the Lord, put in the past. He will answer definitely in eternity but many times also in this life.

So our job is to hang on to our faith in the day of trouble, remember who our God is and remember that one day he will respond in power.


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