Jesus said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you killed the *prophets and put to death the people that (God) sent to you. I often wanted to bring you together, *like a mother bird that brings her young birds together under her *wings. But you would not come". (Matthew 23:37) (A *prophet speaks for God. A *wing is what a bird flies with.)
The Story of Psalms 46, 47 and 48
We do not know who wrote these 3 psalms. We do not know when their author wrote them. (The author is the person that writes something.) What we do know is that something happened that saved the city of Jerusalem. What was it?
We are not sure, but many Christians and Jews think that it was when Sennacherib attacked Jerusalem. This was in 701 *BC. BC means "years Before Christ came to the earth". Sennacherib was the king of Assyria. Assyria was a strong country, and an enemy of Jerusalem. Assyria attacked Jerusalem in 701 *BC. But God *protected the city. (*Protect is another word for "keep safe".) One night, 185 000 Assyrian soldiers died. We do not know why. It was a strange illness, but we do not know what it was. This is what the Bible says in 2 Kings 19:34-36:
v34 (God said) ‘I will *protect this city and I will save it. (I will do this) for myself and for my servant David’.
v35 So, it happened that night that the *angel of the *LORD went out. In the place where the Assyrians were, he killed 185 000 (of them). When the others woke up in the morning, they saw all the dead bodies.
v36 So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went away. He went and returned to Nineveh, where he lived.
If Psalms 46-48 are from this date, then perhaps the author was the *prophet Isaiah. Many of the words in these psalms are also words that Isaiah used in his book, but not many other Bible writers used.
But it does not matter who wrote these psalms. What is important is that they tell us that God can *protect his city. The city of Jerusalem is a picture of God’s people. God can *protect his own people! If you want to know more about Jerusalem, read Psalm 87 in this set of psalms.
(This is) for the (music) leader.
(It is) for the *sons of Korah.
(It is) a song for women’s voices.
v1 God is *like a place where we can go, where he will *protect us.
He will always give us help when troubles come.
v2 So we will not be afraid when the earth moves (under our feet),
or when the mountains fall into the middle of the seas.
v3 (We will not be afraid)
even when the seas make a loud noise and move a lot.
(We will not be afraid)
when the mountains move a lot as well. *SELAH
v4 (There is) a river (and) the waters from it make the city of God very happy.
(The city) is the *holy place where the *Most High lives.
v5 God is in the middle of it. It will not fall down.
God will give it help early in the morning.
v6 The *nations made a loud noise. *Kingdoms fell.
When (God) spoke even the earth *melted!
v7 The *LORD of Everything is with us.
The God of Jacob makes us safe. *SELAH
v8 Go and look at the things that the *LORD has done.
(He has done) surprising things in the earth!
v9 He is the one that makes wars finish all over the world.
He breaks bows; he destroys *spears; and he burns *shields in a fire.
v10 Be quiet! Know that I am God.
I will (make them) lift me high among the *nations.
I will (make them) lift me high in (all the) world.
v11 The *LORD of Everything is with us.
The God of Jacob makes us safe. *SELAH
What Psalm 46 means
The *sons of Korah sang the music in the *Temple in Jerusalem. The *Temple was the house of God in Jerusalem. You can read more about the sons of Korah in Psalms 42-43 in this set of psalms. You can read about the *Temple at the end of Psalm 4 in this set of psalms.
Verses 1 – 3: A verse is a part of a psalm. This psalm has 11 verses. Many Bible students think that verse 7 should come three times, not twice. It should also be after verse 3. We are not sure what *SELAH means. Perhaps it means a place for music, or a place to think and pray.
Verses 4 – 7:In the psalm, the city of God is Jerusalem. For us it means "the people of God". The *Most High is another name for God. In verse 5 we read "early in the morning". This is when they saw what the *angel of the *LORD had done in the night, look at 2 Kings 19:35 in The Story of Psalms 46, 47 and 48. In verse 6 "the *nations" are people *like the Assyrians. The loud noise was to frighten the people in Jerusalem. But the *kingdoms that fell, because somebody destroyed them, did not include Jerusalem! In verse 7, "God of Jacob" is another name for "God of the Jews". Because Jerusalem did not fall to Assyria, the *psalmist wrote, "The *LORD of everything is with us". He meant that God was fighting for Jerusalem. Christians believe that God still fights for his people. He is the same God that the *psalmist called "the God of Jacob" and "the *LORD of everything". (The *psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm.)
Verses 8 – 11: Verse 8 tells us that God has done surprising things in the earth. These are things that not only surprise us (because we did not think that they would happen) but also make us a bit afraid. Verse 9 tells us that God stopped the war. Verse 10 tells us that God spoke to the people that were fighting just as a parent speaks to *noisy children. (*Noisy means "making a lot of noise".) It is as if God said, "I am your leader. Stop all this noise". The end of verse 10 means two things. In the time of the *psalmist it meant that God would make people see that he was "the *Most High". For Christians it means that they lifted God high on the cross of Calvary to make everybody see what he was doing. Those that wanted Jesus to save them would then come to him. (They killed Jesus on the cross of Calvary.)