“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:7).
Psalm 46 paints a picture of the earth in turmoil. The opening verses depict God as a refuge, a shelter from the terrible destruction of the world as the very ground falls away and the seas rise up in wrath. As the psalm continues, war breaks out, furthering the calamity upon mankind. But when God speaks, the tumult ceases. He is the LORD of hosts, the God of Jacob, and those who will be still and know that He is God will realize that He deserves to be exalted in all the earth.
This is a powerful psalm, speaking to the awesome power of the great and mighty God. The description of the earth falling apart is frightening. The ground is something we take for granted, certain that we can always count on it to remain firm under our feet. Yet the psalm describes a disaster so great that the earth itself “gives way,” and the mountains are “moved into the heart of the sea” (v. 2). Even the sea is moving outside of its allotted boundaries, roaring hungrily as it devours the lands long thought to be invincible.
Yet in the middle of this frightening picture, the psalmist calmly states, “We will not fear” (v. 2). And why will we not fear? Because “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v. 1).
That first verse sets the stage well for the rest of the psalm. The war described in verse 6 is as terrifying as the depiction of the world falling apart, yet even in that, God is exalted as being in control of it. He can make the war cease with a word. He is the LORD of hosts, the great God of armies. He is the God of Jacob, the God who loves frail, sinful humanity and claims them as His own people. He Himself is our refuge, our strength, our help, our fortress. He doesn’t just provide those things for us; He is those things. “Therefore we will not fear […]. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vv. 2, 11).