Psalm 46 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:7

How can I find stillness while the world around me seems to be in an uproar? Whether it is busyness or world events or family struggles or work challenges, it seems like there is always some part of our lives that is dealing with the stress of life. Psalm 46 reminds us that there can be a calm in the middle of the storm.


The psalm divides nicely into two sections each ending with the refrain quoted above. The first section focuses on God's city and the second on God's works.

The central verse line is found at verse 6, "Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall, He lifts His voice, the earth melts." In this short statement we encounter the central idea of the psalm. The world may be in an uproar but God power is so great that He calms the storm with just the word of His mouth.

God Is Our Refuge

Psalm 46:1-7

God is our refuge. What more do we need? How I wish I could continually convince my heart of this truth. If I truly believed this then I could say with the psalmist:

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:2-3

Do I fear? Then I don't fully trust that God will be my refuge. Where can I find this peace? In verse 4-5 the psalmist describes the city of God:

  • It has a river that brings gladness
  • It is where God dwells
  • God will be her help

In Revelation 21-22 we read about a city of God from which flows a river of healing. Where is this city? It may be that the image in Revelation is about a literal city at some future date, but we don't have to wait for this city. God dwells right now among His people. The Holy Spirit flows as a river through His people to bring peace and healing even today. We don't need to seek some mystical city of the future. We can find this help right now by gathering together with God's people in His church today.

Be Still

Psalm 46:8-11

In the second section we are told to look at the work of God - the "desolations He has brought on the earth." Considering the earlier image of God's voice melting the earth and now the use of the term desolation, you might expect a description of warfare and destruction. But instead the image is one of peace. God's power has destroyed the worlds power to make war. He has ruined their weapons. The desolation of God is to end war and bring peace.

We do not need to make war with the world or with any of the struggles we have in life. God is with us and He will be the one to bring peace. And this leads to the only words spoken by God Himself:

“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10


If God is our refuge, if His people are the city we live in, if He is our defender, then we can "be still." If we allow God to rule in our lives then we no longer need to fear or fight.

Jerry Wyrick

This post is part of a series on the Psalms.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship, Psalms and tagged , .