There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells
God is within her,
she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day
Be still and know
that I am God
The Lord Almighty is with us; The God of Jacob is our fortress
This beautiful excerpt from Psalm 46 is set in the backdrop of tumultuous times. Words like "quake" and "uproar" are used. Those two words describe the last two weeks of my life as I've experienced emotional transitions and relational conflicts. I'll bet you've had times like that, too. My greatest need right now is to find a quiet place in God and just camp there. I have a great desire for the peace of God and for his refreshing. And I take comfort in the words of this psalm.
THE GOD OF JACOB?
But what's this about "The God of Jacob"? How does this title of God fit in the context here? I wasn't sure how so I did some reading. This is what I found: Genesis 31:38-40 tells us that Jacob was a good shepherd. One of the most beautiful relationships in the Bible is that of a Shepherd to his sheep. It is a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments.
Jacob was a hardworking protector and caregiver. He was with the sheep under his care constantly to his own discomfort, in all kinds of weather. He was always alert to their well-being, he rarely slept. Specifically, we are told he protected them from wild beasts. He kept them safe. They prospered and multiplied. They had nothing to fear. They experienced peace.
HE IS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD
So how does this all fit together? The Lord Almighty in the last verse means "He is the Ruler of all things." Then we are told that the God of Jacob is our fortress. A fortress is a protected place. So, taken together, we are being told three times that God is our protector. He is our Good Shepherd. He leads us beside still waters. He can and will take care of us, if we will let him. I feel better already!