This is a song or Psalm of holy triumph. The prophet exhorts the Church to make God in Christ her confidence. A reference is made, towards the close of the Psalm, from beholding the desolations of the earth, to consider the blessed of those who have the Lord for their God.
To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah. A song upon Alamoth.
That blessed scripture in which Jehovah saith by his servant the prophet, that he hath laid in Zion for a foundation, a tried stone, serves to explain the nature of what this verse saith concerning God as a refuge. Until Christ is our foundation we have nothing to rest upon, nor trust in, against the storms and troubles of life. But if Jesus be our confidence we shall ride, as Noah did, tranquil amidst descending torrents, borne up and sheltered by the ark, Christ Jesus. It is said of Luther, the great minister and instrument in the Lord's hand of bringing about the reformation, that whenever storms or threatenings seemed to be coming upon the cause of Christ, he used to stir up the minds of the people with calling upon them to sing this 46th Psalm. Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Genesis 7:1-16.
Reader, it is blessed to observe how the scriptures, in various places, open to our view the holy and sacred persons of the Godhead, as the united source of all our mercies. When John saw this river in a vision, which by its streams makes glad the city of God, he tells us he saw it issuing out of the throne of God and the Lamb; thereby not only intimating that the throne of God and the Lamb is one and the same, but also as plainly showing that the operations of the grace of the Holy Spirit in watering the church all flow from the same holy undivided Three in One. God the Father is this river, Jeremiah 2:13; God the Son is this river, Zechariah 13:1; Song of Solomon 4:15; God the Holy Ghost is this river, John 7:37-39. Reader, do you know in your own personal experience what it is to be washed, to be refreshed, to be kept alive, and renewed from day today by the sweet streams of this river?
How was this accomplished in the wars of Joshua? Joshua 10:12. How was it in the wars of our spiritual Joshua? John 18:6. Reader, how is it now when God the Holy Ghost speaks in the hearts, and to the heart's of sinners? 1 Corinthians 14:25.
Who that reads these verses and observes what is going on in the earth, but must be overpowered with the conviction, that everything in the kingdoms of nature and of providence is rendered subservient to that one design, and is ultimately ministering to it, through which the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever? Revelation 11:15.
What a blessed verse this is! And what a blessedness would it induce in the minds of the faithful, if they were everlastingly living under the gracious influence of it. Oh! how would it prompt our hearts to cast all our care upon him that careth for us. Blessed Lord! I dare not pass over the perusal of this kind precept of thine, without looking up and praying for grace to do as thou hast said. Yes! blessed Jesus! I would be still! Knowing that thou art God of thy church, God of thy redeemed, God of the whole earth, safely may we leave all with thee, whether private, public, or personal concerns.
Blessed conclusion! Jacob's God is our God! God in Christ the sure refuge of his people forever, Amen.
READER! pause and contemplate the happy state of those who have God for their refuge. All the perfections of the Godhead are made over for their security, who have a God in covenant to fly to in Christ Jesus. The wisdom of God is engaged to guide them. The power of God is pledged to protect them, and his word, and oath, and promises, are all sealed to be everything they need. Moreover, in Christ Jesus and his righteousness they find strong foundations whereon to plead for the fulfillment of God's covenant assurances. There is a fulness of merit, and a fitness of salvation, to answer every case and situation, of the church, which Christ hath purchased with his blood. And the Holy Ghost, in his gracious influences, and breathings, and manifestations, so reveals the love of God to the heart, and so directs the mind into the patient waiting for Christ, that when our souls are living under these united sources of a believer's security, we may well exalt with the church and say, Jehovah is our hope and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Reader, mark down then for a rainy day, a day of trial, a day of trouble, this song upon Alamoth, for God's hidden ones. The city of God shall be refreshed and made glad with the streams of love, and grace, and mercy, which flow from a covenant Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. God hides them when he shows himself. They are taken in, and made secure in an impregnable city. The Lord hath founded Zion, the poor of his people shall trust in it. This city is the city of God. God is in the midst of her. God hath owned her. God will protect her. God will bless her, and God will reign in her forever. And the inhabitants shall be made glad with the river, the ocean, the sea of divine love. Lord Jesus! give our thirsty souls now to drink of this river, the streams whereof rejoice the soul; and by and by bring us to that kingdom and city which is above, where thou leadest thy redeemed to fountains of living waters, and where thou hast forever dried away all tears from all eyes. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 46". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://pro.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29