Ps 46 and 47 Today we are losing the rich heritage of our hymns. How many of us know the backdrop of this hymn?
Martin Luther composed this hymn based upon Ps 46 as he faced numerous threats and dangers from the pope and his forces regarding his stand “salvation is by grace and faith alone.” When the enemy of fear came calling, Martin Luther would say to his friend and co-worker, Philip Melanchthon, “Let us sing the 46th Psalm.” Luther’s composition declares one’s absolute reliance on God and His power and is still a comfort to believers today.
Martin Luther noted God is our refuge (a place of safety, thus the mighty fortress), He is our protector; He is our Commander in Chief, the Lord of Hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth) and He commands His armies to fight for us. God is with us “in” times of trouble.
Principle: If we don’t know God in times of peace, we will not recognize Him in times of trouble. We should know that God is all around us. He is on our side. He goes into battle with us and commands His heavenly armies to fight for us and with us. We are never alone! He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. “A Mighty Fortress” is Our God, A bulwark never failing, Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing; For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; ….The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.