“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (NIV)
In this part of Psalm 46, we see a stark contrast between the craziness of our world and the steadfastness of our Lord.
The nations rage. In the Greek Old Testament, the idea is that the nations were stirred up, meaning they were shaken or unsettled. And we are reminded that kingdoms fall—even the most stable of governments can be thrown into a downward spiral pretty quickly.
In the midst of the upheavals, God makes His voice heard and the earth is shaken—it melts. The Psalmist doesn’t tell us how God’s actions frighten the nations, but somehow they do. Does God do something directly? Or does He simply allow this sinful world to go its own way for a bit? We don’t know. But the end result for our world is the same—an unsettled fear.
As God’s people, however, we need not fear, for the Lord Almighty is with us. Again, this could be translated as “the Lord of powers” or “the Lord who is the strongest of all” is with us. This is a military term suggesting that God is with us as our Warrior God. He is fighting for us. The God of Jacob is our helper. Our God, who has been the God of His people from the very beginning, is our helper, our protector, and our stronghold.
What does this mean for us in practical terms? First, when the emotion of fear comes our way, we have the privilege of talking to the Lord about it. We can have a conversation with Him anytime, anywhere, and say: “Lord, I’m scared . . . but I trust You.” Second, the Holy Spirit within us will bring us comfort and peace, often in unexpected ways and at just the right time. Third, we have each other. God is with us in prayer, the Spirit, and the church.
Lord, we place our trust in You, knowing that You are the One who fights for us, the One who has always been the God of Your people. Thank you for giving us the privilege of prayer to pour out our thoughts to You, for giving us your comforting Spirit who reassures us constantly, and for giving us each other to love and to be loved. Amen.