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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 46

Verses 1-11

PSALM 46

The confidence of the remnant of the Jews in God, acquired by the experience of what God has been for them in the time of trouble.

(v. 1) With Christ before their souls, presented in Psalm 45 as the One who will vanquish all their enemies and establish a reign of righteousness, they can say, with the utmost confidence, “God is our refuge, and strength.” Moreover, not only can they say “we have heard” of the great things God has done for His people in times past, as in Psa_44:1-8 ; but, with a deepened experience of God's goodness, they can add, “God is...a very present help in trouble.”

(vv. 2-3) With the confidence that God is a present help in trouble, the godly can face their circumstances which call for a “refuge,” “strength,” and “help.” They find themselves in a scene of confusion and upheaval. The earth is removed, or “changed;” the mountains, speaking of stable governments ( Mat_21:21 ), are being overturned in the midst of nations in a state of turmoil. The roar of the masses, in revolution against every form of constitutional government, strikes terror into the hearts of men “for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” ( Isa_5:26-30 ; Luk_21:26 ). Nevertheless, having God for their refuge, the godly can say, “Therefore will not we fear.”

(vv. 4-7) Delivered from the fear of present circumstances, however terrible, the godly can in calmness contemplate what God has before Him according to the purpose of His heart. They see “the city of God,” and “the tabernacles of the most High,” made glad by the river of God. The mountains that surround them may be removed, but the city to which they are going “shall not be moved.” Furthermore, they see that the dawn of the morning is near when God's city will come into view (v. 5, JND). The heathen may rage, and their kingdoms be removed, but nothing can hinder the fulfillment of God's purpose. God has but to speak and every enemy will melt away. If, however, God is against the nations, as the Lord of hosts He is with the godly; and being with them is their refuge, even as Jacob found when God said to him, “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee into this land” ( Gen_28:15 ; Heb_13:5-6 ). So too Elisha experienced at Dothan, when he said to his servant, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” ( 2Ki_6:14-17 ).

(vv. 8-9) Moreover, with the purpose of God before their souls, the godly see that, through the desolations of the earth, God is working to fulfill His counsel, and in due time will make wars to cease; for if God makes desolation, He also makes peace.

(v. 10) Having thus seen the purpose of God, and the governmental ways whereby God carries out His purpose, the godly have only to be still and wait for God to act. In due time God will be exalted in the earth; then it will be made manifest that the Lord of hosts is with His people, and the God of Jacob their refuge.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 46". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-46.html. 1832.