What good is a fort, if you don’t know where it is? Once you find it, how can it help you, if you don’t know how to get in? If you find it and get access, how can a fort help you if it has weak points? God is a fortress, bigger than any fort so that the world knows where it is, accessible to anyone under attack by the devil & the strongest shelter, having thicker impenetrable walls than any other fort in the universe. The word “strength” implies that God is the source of strength to those who are weak and defenseless; that we may rely on his strength “as if” it were our own; feeling as safe in his strength as though we had that strength ourselves. We may make it the basis of our confidence as though the strength resided in our own arm. Centuries after this Psalm was written & sung, Jesus would come and say “ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” ~ Matthew 22:37 God’s Fort is Love Himself! Jesus came to prove this.
v1, “A very present help in trouble.” Echoed from Psalm 18:2, He is the Deliverer. God is with us – this is like a chorus throughout the psalm – His company declared in v1, v7 & v11. God is available to us. God is accessible at just the right time when we need Him the most. Factually leading the Hebrew Christian writer to conclude, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16.
v2 “Therefore we will not fear,” Is our persevering confidence in God’s Power? How much of our life is disrupted by fear or anxiety? Satan attacks us with this weapon of fear to paralyze us and keep us from stepping out in faith and aggressively trusting the Lord to accomplish great things for Him. The Lord Jesus constantly addressed this weakness in the hearts of His disciples. Luke 12:22-34 – “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” And as Jesus comforts His disciples in view of His departure: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1.
v4-6 The Joy of our Life can be in appreciating the Presence of God, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her”. The symbolism of the river brings the life giving power and presence of God, it reminds us of Rev. 22:1-2 “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life”. If we want to experience joy in a close relationship with Jesus, never forget his promise fulfilled. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit” ~ John 7:38.
v10, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Paul put it best, that we should bow our knees now before it is too late – “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
What could we accomplish for the Lord if we were freed from struggling with Fear? Fear of failure, Fear of inadequacy, Fear of people’s opinions, even Fear of financial ruin or of the loss of our health. Jehovah is not only a means of escape from pressures and trials. He is also Lord over them. He is not an escape from history, but the one who is busy working on his purpose throughout history. He is therefore not just a Savior to be trusted, but also a Lord to be acknowledged. So the Psalmist goes on: Stop fighting, and acknowledge that I am God.
v11, The Fortress, This truth conveyed is adapted to the people of God in all lands and at all times, as showing that God has power to defend his people against the most formidable enemies! Read Revelation