“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her; she will not fall. God will help her at the break of day.” (NIV)
Today, many of us don’t worry about dying of thirst. But having enough water is a big deal in the Middle East. In all of Israel, water is like a precious treasure, like gold. So, when we read that in God’s city there is a river, a never-ending supply of life, it’s deeply comforting. We have the same comfort today: in the middle of this whole mess, God will never stop giving us life.
The Greek Old Testament translation of Psalm 46:4–5 makes it even more powerful:
“The violent rush of the river cheers/gladdens/encourages the city of God. The Most High sanctified/consecrated his dwelling place. God is in the midst of her. They [God’s city is God’s people] will not be shaken/disturbed. God will help her with his face [or early].”
God’s life comes to us like a river—not a tiny, trickling stream, but a powerful, rushing river.
In the book of Revelation, the river runs from God’s very throne (see Revelation 22:1–2, Ezekiel 47:1–12). This river of life represents God’s life-giving presence. God never leaves us; He is always with us. The rest of Psalm 46:4–5 emphasises the same thing: God, the Most High, makes His dwelling place (that is, His people) holy. God is with His people, who will never be shaken, disturbed, or thrown off because God “will help them with His face.” God will help us with His personal presence.
Lord, no matter what happens in this broken world, we can always count on You. You will never leave us or forsake us. You are always near! And we will always be able to drink from the river, Your life-giving presence that rushes into our lives. We praise and thank You for loving us so much! Amen.