46:0We do not know who wrote Psalms 46, 47 and 48. We do not know when their author wrote them. (The author is the person that writes something.) What we do know is that something happened that saved the city of Jerusalem. What was it?
We are not sure, but many Christians and Jews think that it was when Sennacherib attacked Jerusalem. This was in 701 BC. BC means ‘years Before Christ came to the earth.’ Sennacherib was the king of Assyria. Assyria was a strong country, and an enemy of Jerusalem. Assyria attacked Jerusalem in 701 BC. But God protected the city. (Protect is another word for ‘keep safe.’) One night, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers died. We do not know why. It was a strange illness, but we do not know what it was.
If Psalms 46-48 are from this date, then perhaps the author was the prophet Isaiah. Many of the words in these psalms are also words that Isaiah used in his book, but not many other Bible writers used.
But it does not matter who wrote these psalms. What is important is that they tell us that God can protect his city. The city of Jerusalem is a picture of God's people. God can protect his own people! If you want to know more about Jerusalem, read Psalm 87 in this set of psalms.
The City of God
This is for the music leader.
It is for the sons of Korah
It is a song for women's voices.
46:0The sons of Korah sang the music in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was the house of God in Jerusalem. You can read more about the sons of Korah in Psalms 42-43 in this set of psalms. You can read about the Temple at the end of Psalm 4 in this set of psalms.
1 God is like a place where we can go, where he will protect us.
He will always give us help when troubles come.
2 So we will not be afraid when the earth moves under our feet,
or when the mountains fall into the middle of the seas.
3 We will not be afraid
even when the seas make a loud noise and move a lot.
We will not be afraid
when the mountains move a lot as well.
46:3Verses 1-3: A verse is a part of a psalm. This psalm has 11 verses. We are not sure what SELAH means. Perhaps it means a place for music, or a place to think and pray.
4 There is a river and the waters from it make the city of God very happy.
The city is the holy place where the Most High God lives.
5 God is in the middle of it. It will not fall down.
God will give it help early in the morning.
6 The nations made a loud noise. Kingdoms fell.
When God spoke even the earth melted!
7 The Lord of Everything is with us.
The God of Jacob makes us safe.
46:7Verses 4-7: In the psalm, the city of God is Jerusalem. For us it means ‘the people of God.’ In verse 5 we read ‘early in the morning.’ This is when they saw what the angel of the Lord had done in the night, look at 2 Kings 19:35. In verse 6 ‘the nations’ are people like the Assyrians. The loud noise was to frighten the people in Jerusalem. But the kingdoms that fell, because somebody destroyed them, did not include Jerusalem! In verse 7, ‘God of Jacob’ is another name for ‘God of the Jews.’ Because Jerusalem did not fall to Assyria, the psalmist wrote, ‘The Lord of everything is with us.’ He meant that God was fighting for Jerusalem. Christians believe that God still fights for his people. He is the same God that the psalmist called ‘the God of Jacob’ and ‘the Lord of everything.’ (The psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm.)
8 Go and look at the things that the Lord has done.
He has done surprising things in the earth!
9 He is the one that makes wars finish all over the world.
He breaks bows; he destroys spears; and he burns shields in a fire.
10 Be quiet! Know that I am God.
I will make them lift me high among the nations.
I will make them lift me high in all the world.
11 The Lord of Many Armies is with us.
The God of Jacob makes us safe.
46:11Verses 8-11: Verse 8 tells us that God has done surprising things in the earth. These are things that not only surprise us (because we did not think that they would happen) but also make us a bit afraid. Verse 9 tells us that God stopped the war. Verse 10 tells us that God spoke to the people that were fighting just as a parent speaks to noisy children. (Noisy means ‘making a lot of noise.’) It is as if God said, ‘I am your leader. Stop all this noise.’