November 15, 2022: Our constant rock

Reading: Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.



With its delightful imagery and message of comfort, it’s no wonder that Psalm 46 is so popular, with lines like “The Lord of hosts is with us” often quoted. When reading this Psalm, I’m caught most by the juxtapositions throughout. The waters roar and foam while the calm streams make glad the city of God. Kingdoms totter and the earth melts, but the city of God shall not be moved. The mountains shake and tremble, but the God of Jacob provides refuge. God brought desolations but makes wars cease to the end of the earth.

And through all the changes of the earth, our constant rock is the Lord of hosts who provides us safety, security, strength, and shelter. To provide us these comforts, our Lord must be very present and with us, not distant and uninvolved. I don’t picture the God of Psalm 46 as a conquering God commanding the earth and wars. Instead, I picture a protective parent whispering to me, “Shh, be still and quiet; watch the morning dawn and know that no matter what, I’ve got you.”

Isabel Vitale



God of Jacob, quiet my heart as you quiet the raging earth. Spur my legs as I run to your open and safe embrace, and once there, help me be still and notice your love. Thank you for holding me as a parent holds a child. Open my eyes to behold your works all around me.