Journey Through The Scriptures

Psalms of Wisdom and Instruction

Lesson 4: The God of Jacob Is Our Fortress

(Scripture to Read: Psalm 46:1–11)

This powerful psalm speaks of God as the mighty fortress of Israel and her people who is able to protect His holy city no matter how great the dangers are that might arise. The wording of verses 23 deliberately uses exaggerated language to illustrate and underscore the point being made. The worst thing that could happen from a natural standpoint would be for the earth to “give way” so the mountains crumbled.

This picture of natural catastrophe suggests that even if Jerusalem’s enemies came against her in full force, God would help her to stand. The psalmist can rejoice: Israel and Jerusalem are secure in the Lord.

There is also great personal comfort to be found in these verses. God-fearing people of every generation have held to the promise of His ever-present care and help. The setting for this psalm appears to be a time of war and chaos, perhaps involving a historical event when Jerusalem was under siege or threat. But even in such times, God calls His people to “be still” and wait for His protection and deliverance.

Study Questions

  1. What is the benefit we can derive from the assurance that God is our ever-present help?
  2. The name "the LORD Almighty" (v. 7) speaks of God as the Leader of the armies of heaven. How does this description of God bring comfort when we feel surrounded by enemies?
  3. Why is it often so hard for us to "be still" in the middle of our problems?

Something to Think About

Twice in Psalm 46 we are assured, “The LORD Almighty is with us: the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vv. 7, 11). This is why the psalmist can urge us to rest confidently both in God’s timing and in His ability to bring about the results in our lives that He desires.