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Psalms 46-47

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord is the Refuge, Strength, and Ruler of His People

Psalms 46-47

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Lesson Number 34

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The believer is safe and secure in the Lord forever.
  2. The believer will sing and shout to the Lord forever.

Practical Application

  1. Be still and know that God is God.
  2. Make a New Year’s resolution based on Psalm 47!

Questions

  1. What is a likely occasion of Psalm 46?
  2. Who would be particularly comforted by Psalm 46?
  3. Is the river in Psalm 46:4 only symbolic?
  4. How is Psalm 47 categorized?
  5. Why is the nation of Israel celebrating in Psalm 47?

Answers

  1. There is a good possibility that the occasion of Psalm 46 was after God miraculously delivered Jerusalem from the siege of Sennacherib and the Assyrian army in 701BC. At that time, good King Hezekiah and the people of Judah followed the counsel of the prophet Isaiah and trusted the Lord completely for deliverance. God answered with one of the great miracles of the Bible (2 Chronicles 32).
  2. This is a wonderful psalm to share with any believers who are fearful concerning their security. This psalm moves from the present to the future and guarantees the safety and security of the believer all the way through.
  3. At first we may think this river is only symbolic of the peace of God, because there is no river in Jerusalem. However, since this psalms looks to the future, it could be taken literally because we know from Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 14 that there will be a life-giving river flowing out of Jerusalem during the future earthly kingdom of our Lord. Also, Revelation 22 speaks of the river with the water of life in the New Jerusalem.
  4. Psalm 47 is an enthronement psalm that looks forward to the Lord’s universal reign over all the earth.
  5. Israel is celebrating their future deliverance from oppression of foreign nations when the Lord restores His chosen people to all their inheritance – including the Land of Israel.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Psalm 46:10 could be paraphrased, “God is God; I am not.” We can stop striving to look out for ourselves, because we can rest in the Lord. Discuss how this simple truth can be so powerful.
  2. Psalm 47 is used in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah (the Hebrew New Year) around the world. What better New Year’s resolution could you make than to resolve that you in some way will bring praise to the Lord every single day of the year? Make a list now of some of the ways you could do this.

Challenge

  1. All the peoples of the earth will join Israel in celebrating the Lord’s reign. We know from Revelation 4-5 that our praise of the Lord in His earthly kingdom will merge with our praise of the Lord in eternity. Let’s start practicing now!

Key Verses

  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  • “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
  • “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” Psalm 47:1
  • “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” Psalm 47:6a

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