Confidence in God. (1-5) An exhortation to behold it. (6-11)
Verses 1-5 This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his church in the worst of times. We may apply it to spiritual enemies, and the encouragement we have that, through Christ, we shall be conquerors over them. He is a Help, a present Help, a Help found, one whom we have found to be so; a Help at hand, one that is always near; we cannot desire a better, nor shall we ever find the like in any creature. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters, who build their confidence on a floating foundation; but let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times. The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God's sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word dwelling richly in us, we shall be established, we shall be helped; let us trust and not be afraid.
Verses 6-11 Come and see the effects of desolating judgments, and stand in awe of God. This shows the perfect security of the church, and is an assurance of lasting peace. Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days, and in silent submission let us worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign. Let all believers triumph in this, that the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob, has been, is, and will be with us; and will be our Refuge. Mark this, take the comfort, and say, If God be for us, who can be against us? With this, through life and in death, let us answer every fear.
Psalms 46:1-11 . Upon Alamoth--most probably denotes the treble, or part sung by female voices, the word meaning "virgins"; and which was sung with some appropriately keyed instrument (compare 1 Chronicles 15:19-21 ; well-known words, "A mighty fortress is our God." The great deliverance ( 2 Kings 19:35 , Isaiah 37:36 ) may have occasioned its composition.
1. refuge--literally, "a place of trust" ( Psalms 2:12 ).
strength--( Psalms 18:2 ).
present help--literally, "a help He has been found exceedingly."
trouble--as in Psalms 18:7 .
2, 3. The most violent civil commotions are illustrated by the greatest physical commotions.
3. swelling--well represents the pride and haughtiness of insolent foes.
4. God's favor is denoted by a river (compare Psalms 36:8 , Zechariah 14:8 , Revelation 22:1 ).
city of God, the holy place--His earthly residence, Jerusalem and the temple (compare Psalms 2:6 , 3:4 , 20:2 , 48:2 , &c.). God's favor, like a river whose waters are conducted in channels, is distributed to all parts of His Church.
most High--denoting His supremacy ( Psalms 17:2 ).
5. right early--literally, "at the turn of morning," or change from night to day, a critical time ( Psalms 30:5 ; compare Isaiah 37:36 ).
6. (Compare Psalms 46:2 ).
earth melted--all powers dissolved by His mere word ( Psalms 75:3 , Hosea 2:22 ).
7. with us--on our side; His presence is terror to our enemies, safety to us.
refuge--high place ( Psalms 9:9 ; compare also Psalms 24:6 Psalms 24:10 ).
8. what desolations--literally, "who hath put desolations," destroying our enemies.
9. The usual weapons of war ( Psalms 7:12 ), as well as those using them, are brought to an end.
10. Be still, &c.--literally, "Leave off to oppose Me and vex My people. I am over all for their safety." (Compare Isaiah 2:11 , Ephesians 1:22 ).