Psalm 46:1-11

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Alamoth (intro) = “with virgins” or “maidens’ voices” — This could also refer to the name of the melody.

refuge and strength (v.1) — God is a source of refuge (i.e., defense) and strength (i.e., offense) for His people, enabling them to hold their ground both physically, against enemy forces that would seek to push them off the Promised Land, as well as spiritually, against the accusations of the enemy that their sins have disqualified them to be God’s “special treasure.” The depth of  God’s solicitude is stressed by the further description of Him as being a very present (i.e., always available) help (a variant form of the same word applied to Eve — often translated “helpmate” — in Genesis 2:18 and 20) in trouble. — Wechsler, pages 131-132

The river (v.4) whose divisions (or “streams”) make glad … the holy dwelling places (i.e., the Temple compound and all its compartments, as in Psalm 43:3) of the Most High parallels both the phraseology and specific concepts surrounding (1) the Garden of Eden, from which a river flowed out and was divided, and where God and man were meant for glad communion in each others’ presence (see Genesis 2:10; 3:8); (2) the reestablishment of God’s (i.e., Jesus’) presence in the Holy Place, where He will dwell among the sons of Israel and at which time a river will open up just  below the altar and bring the gladness of life and healing to all along its course (Ezekiel 47:1-12); and (3) the renewal of Creation, all of which will become God’s holy “tabernacle,” where man will at last commune in the unfettered presence of God — from whose throne, secured forever on Mount Moriah in the New Jerusalem, will flow a river of life and healing for all (see Revelation 21:3,22; 22:1-2). — Wechsler, page 132-133.

makes wars cease (v.9) — Isaiah 2:4

be still (v.10) = cease striving, relax

know (v.10) = experiential knowledge, which requires a relationship with God

The interpretation that makes the most sense to me is that this psalm looks forward to the Tribulation when God will defeat the nations and His faithful remnant will be saved and enter His rest. Even if it was written in reference to some historical event, I think there can be no doubt it will be sung and have its greatest application in the future.

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