On Psalm 46--Part 1
(Psa 46:1) To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Heb 13:5) ... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
(Psa 46:2)MKJV Therefore we will not fear when the earth changes, and when mountains are slipping into the heart of the seas.
(Psa 46:3) Let its waters roar and foam; let the mountains shake with the swelling of it. Selah.
In the verse above, the word for "swelling" means also "a rising up". In Hebrew, the word refers to the earth, not to the sea. Future changes in the earth are mentioned in various passages.
(Isa 2:2) And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
(Luk 21:25) And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
(Luk 21:26) Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Passages related to Ps 46:2-3 can be found also in Revelation. In Revelation, after the sixth seal was opened, "every mountain and island were moved out of their places" (Rev 6:14). In the context of the end of the plagues mentioned in Revelation, we read that "every island fled away, and the mountains were not found" (Rev 16:20). Isaiah mentions also that the day of the Lord will affect "all the high mountains, and ... all the hills that are lifted up" (Is 2:14).
In spite of all these events, believers can say "we will not fear" (Ps 46:2) because "God is our refuge and strength" (Ps 46:1).
(Psa 46:4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
The Hebrew word translated "tabernacles" means also "dwelling places". Unlike to the earth, which will be changed, the city of God shall not be moved.
(Psa 46:5)ESV God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The times preceding the return of the Lord could be likened to the night, due to spiritual darkness. However, eventually there will be "morning", for "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab 2:14). After the Lord will return, Hab 2:14 will be fulfilled. Moreover, the period of time when "morning dawns" corresponds to the transition time. The Lord will help his people during that transition time. His people belong to the city of God and thus represent the city of God (Heb 12:22-24). The Lord is in them and will be present with them visibly.
Ps 46:4 mentions that there is "a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God". Passages related to this statement include Ps 36:8, Rev 22:1-2, Eze 47:1-12, and Psa 110:7. Now, Ps 36:8, Psa 110:7, and Eze 47:1-12 do not use the Hebrew word for "river" found in Ps 46:4, but a different word which also means "torrent, valley, ...". However, it may be that different words have been used in order to describe better what these waters are like. In Ps 36:8 we read that "You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures"NKJVTM , which agrees with the fact that "the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God". The city of God can be associated with Jerusalem during the millennial reign of Christ and with the new Jerusalem after the millennial reign of Christ. In both contexts we find a description of a river. Rev 22:1-2 describes the river of life in the new Jerusalem. Eze 47:1-12 describes waters flowing from the temple in Jerusalem.
(Rev 22:1) And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
(Rev 22:2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
In the vision of Ezekiel, the "waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward" (Eze 47:1). We could relate the eastward direction of the waters with the fact that the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the way of the gate facing east (Eze 43:4).
(Eze 47:8) Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
(Eze 47:9) And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
(Eze 47:12)ESV And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.
Moreover, Psa 110:7 mentions that "He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head". The Hebrew word for "brook" is the same as the one translated "river" in Ps 36:8 and Eze 47:1-12. The fact that the river flows in the way may indicate a figurative description. This would agree with Rev 22:2, which seems to imply that the river flows in the midst of the street. Since these waters are associated with life, we could take them as an illustration of the Holy Spirit, for "it is the spirit that quickeneth" (Jn 6:63).
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