Verse 11. "The Lord of hosts is with us " - Having heard these declarations of God, the people cry out with joy and exultation, The Lord of hosts, the God of armies, is with us; we will not fear what man can do unto us.
"The God of Jacob is our refuge. " - He who saved our fathers will save us, and will never abandon his people in distress.
Selah. ] This is a firm, lasting, unshaken, well-tried truth.
ANALYSIS OF THE FORTY-SIXTH PSALM
Two things especially are to be considered in this Psalm: - I. The confidence the Church has in God, ver. 1-8.
II. The exhortation to consider him as the Lord of hosts, the Punisher of the refractory and disobedient nations, often by means of war and the only Giver of peace and tranquillity, ver. 8-10.
I. He begins with a maxim which is the ground of all the confidence which the people of God can have. God is our Asylum, or place of refuge to fly to; our Strength, Stay, Munition, on which to rely: "A very present help to deliver us in time of trouble." From which maxim this conclusion is drawn: "therefore will we not fear;" not even in the greatest calamities, nor in the midst of the most numerous adversaries. This he expresses, first, metaphorically; next, in plain terms: - 1. Though the earth on which the Church is seated be moved or removed.
2. "Though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; " that is, the greatest and strongest empires and kingdoms should be ruined and overwhelmed.
3. "Though the waters roar and be troubled." Though multitudes of people threaten, and join their forces to ruin the Church.
4. "Though the mountains (i.e., kingdoms) shake with the swelling thereof." Waters mean people, Revelation 17.
More plainly, for we have the interpretation of these metaphors, ver. 6: "Though the heathen raged, and the kingdoms were moved," yet we were not afraid, nor will we fear. We have a fine illustration of this bold feeling (from a consciousness of rectitude, and consequently Divine protection) from the pen of a heathen poet: -- ustum et tenacem propositi virum Non civium ardour prava jubentium, Non vultus instantis tyranni, Mente quatit solida: Neque Auster, Dux inquieti turbidus Adriae, Nec fulminantis magna Jovis manus.
Si fractus illabatur orbis, Impavidum ferient ruinae. HOR. Car. lib. iii., od. 3.
"The man, in conscious virtue bold, Who dares his secret purpose hold, Unshaken hears the crowd's tumultuous cries; And the impetuous tyrant's angry brow defies.
Let the wild winds that rule the seas, Tempestuous all their horrors raise; Let Jove's dread arm with thunders rend the spheres; Beneath the crush of worlds, undaunted he appears." FRANCIS.
2. Of this undaunted state of mind he next descends to show the reasons: - 1. "There is a river," &c. The city of God was Jerusalem, the type of the Church; and the holy place of the tabernacles was the temple.
The little Shiloh, that ran softly, watered Jerusalem; and the promises of the Gospel, that shall alwavs flow in the Church, shall make glad the hearts of God's people.
2. "God is in the midst of her," to keep, to defend her; "therefore she shall not be moved," i.e., utterly removed, but "shall remain for ever." 3. "God shall help her and deliver her;" right early-in the proper season.
4. "He uttered his voice, and the earth melted." The hearts of the men of the earth, that exalted themselves against his Church, at the least word uttered from his mouth, melted-were struck with fear and terror.
5. "The Lord of hosts is with us." And even the armies of our enemies are at his command, and will fight for us whenever he pleases: "He is the Lord of all hosts." 6. "The God of Jacob is our refuge." He is our Asylum, and he will save us, ver. 7, 11.
II. The second part contains two exhortations: - 1. He calls on all to behold the works of the Lord; and he produces two instances worthy of observation:
1. JUDGMENT is his work, and he afflicts refractory and sinful nations by WAR: "See what desolations he hath made in the earth!" 2. PEACE is his work: "He maketh war to cease to the end of the earth." 2. Then, in the person of God, he exhorts the enemies of the Church to be quiet; for their endeavours are vain, and their rage is to no purpose: "Be still, and know that I am God." 3. And he concludes with a gracious promise, of being celebrated among the heathen, and through the whole earth.