God Is Our Hope And Strength: A Response to Psalm 46

Today we come to Psalm 46 which is is a firm favourite with many people and for good reason. Its opening line sets the theme of God’s reassuring strength and presence:

  1. GOD is our hope and strength: a very present help in trouble.

It is in the context of that reassuring strength and confidence that we can face our fears and deal with what the prayer book calls ‘ all the changes and chances of this fleeting world’ and 2020 is certainly a year in which we have seen more than our fair share of those changes and chances. And so the psalm continues:

Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved: and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof rage and swell: and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.

The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God: the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.

God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed: God shall help her, and that right early.

And then, towards the end comes the wonderful prophecy of peace, and the vision of God as peacemaker:

He maketh wars to cease in all the world: he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.

It was through Mary’s obedience that the Prince of Peace was born into this world, so I pick up the thread of the final line of my poem on psalm 45 to begin this poem, a poem for strength and encouragement written in the midst of this appalling year in which it seems, as I say in the poem, that ‘everything around us falls apart’. Everything except our loving God.

As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.

XLVI Deus noster refugium

Through her our saviour came, Love’s revelation,

For God was in the midst of her, and now

We too are called, in every generation

 

To find in him our hope and strength, though

Everything around us falls apart,

And all our towering schemes have been laid low

 

Now is the time to take his truth to heart

And to be glad within the holy place

That he himself has made in us. To start

 

Each day with him, abiding in his grace

As he abides with us. To know his peace

To turn towards his light and seek his face

 

And let his flowing spirit find release

And flow through us into his weary world

That wrongs may be redressed and wars may cease.

 

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9 Comments

Filed under christianity, imagination, Poems

9 responses to “God Is Our Hope And Strength: A Response to Psalm 46

  1. Such a poem.
    Such a Psalm.
    Indeed, for such a time as this.
    Thank you.

  2. lynndmorrissey

    t his poem says it all. We find our strength and hope in God alone. I was reading a so-called Christian political book, particularly slanted at encouraging American Evangelicals to vote a particular way in our upcoming election, stating that we need a strongman to fight for us (in so many words). I think that the author forgets that the Christian’s strength is in God alone. Thank you for this reminder, Malcolm. I love Psalm 46.

  3. Peter

    Psalm 46 was the first psalm I learnt as a new Christian, even as a non-believer it had stirred me when I heard is spoken in the film Zulu. The L-rd finds all manner of ways to speak to us, even when we have our backs to him.

  4. Barbara L Parry

    Wasn’t this the Psalm read in the film, “Chariots of Fire”? Welcome back from your sailing and pilgrimage adventures, and thanks for continuing to share your inspiring words in these troubled times based on these ancient texts!

  5. Dear Malcolm

    Many thanks.

    Jan

    > WordPress.com

  6. Pingback: He Is The Great King: a response to Psalm 47 | Malcolm Guite

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