"God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day." ~ Psalm 46:5 NIV
I paced in our bathroom, waiting for what seemed like a lifetime. I was dreading another negative pregnancy test. When the two-minute timer went off, I saw two lines: Pregnant. I could barely believe it. In a moment’s notice, my world shifted. I dropped to my knees in gratitude to the Lord, not fully understanding what the next nine months would hold.
At the end of an eight-hour labor, my first daughter was born. When they placed her on my chest, fear hit me. She was blue, and not responsive. I questioned her lack of cries, and without hesitation, the nurse called a code and five NICU staff rushed into the room to wheel my brand-new baby away. What should have been such sweet joy, turned into anxious pain as my world flipped upside down.
Whether it has been car accidents, cross country moves, traumatic births, seriously ill babies, job changes, or brain injuries, my world seems to be constantly changing. Fear and anxiety have plagued me, insecurity and doubt have hit in tidal waves, but the one thing that has sustained me through every up and down has been the hope I have in Christ.
A Brief Overview of Psalm 46
Psalm 46 is a beautiful hymn that celebrates God’s promises to His people and His blessing to the world. The Psalm is broken into two stanzas with a refrain (Psalm 46:7,11). Psalm 46:1-6 speaks to God as our fortress.
He is described as our refuge and help in time of need (Psalm 46:1-2), a river that provides joy and gladness for His chosen people (Psalm 46:4), and is present with us — helping and holding the whole earth in His hands (Psalm 46:5-6).
The second stanza of Psalm 46:8-10 speaks to God being exalted among the nations. The writer highlights God’s goal for Zion, the holy city, that all people live out His peace and plan for human flourishing (Isaiah 2:1-5). Wars will cease, and fear will dissipate when all nations, every tribe, and tongue, stands still and knows the living God.
Psalm 46:7 and 11 are the refrain of this Psalm. It is stated twice, once in each verse, that the Lord is with us.
"God Is Within Her, She Will Not Fall" Bible Meaning
The Old Testament can often refer to a “she” or “her” in books like the Psalms and Proverbs that leave us wondering “Who is ‘she’?” In this case, Psalm 46:5 is referring to “she,” as God’s chosen people (Leviticus 26:12; Deuteronomy 23:14).
The author of Psalm 46 was originally speaking to those of Jewish descent, detailing the great blessing that would come through Zion, God’s special city. Psalm 46:5 describes God being in the midst of His people, or His holy habitation (Psalm 46:4), working in and through them.
Since God is with His people, they will not fall. They have strength and help in their time of need (46:1).
Jesus Makes the Promise of Psalm 46 Possible for Us Today
No longer were God’s chosen people restricted to the outer court of the temple, in the holy city, but the curtain torn meant all people were granted access to God. Daniel Gurtner, in his article The Veil was Torn in Two, outlines it this way:
“The veil was a physical, visible barrier indicating that access to God was strictly prohibited because of his holiness. It is imperative to remember that the holiness of God remains unchanged from all eternity — even after the veil is torn.
What has changed, then, is that the atoning death of Jesus on the cross has provided the appropriate wrath-bearing sacrifice, one which the bulls and goats of the old covenant could not provide (Hebrews 10:4).
The author of Hebrews expounds on this very clearly: “We have confidence to enter the holy places” (Hebrews 10:19), and this is accomplished by the blood of Jesus. This is the “new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20) that Christ opened for us through the veil, which, the author says, is through his flesh. This means that the breaking of Jesus’ body at the crucifixion is the unprecedented means by which believers have access to the presence of God.”
Because of the access we now have through belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are considered God’s chosen people. The Apostle Peter sets before us a new identity:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
It is from this identity that we can now view the entirety of the Bible. Through belief in Christ, we are now God’s chosen people, and part of His holy nation. God is now in the midst of us, and we will not fall — for He is holding us up.
Growing in the Promise of Psalm 46
That day the hospital staff rushed in and rushed my newborn away, I did not feel held by the Lord. My hope for this new little life faltered because my faith in Christ during that moment was not secure. I was not trusting that God was powerful and mighty — was not holding us up. I was not believing that the sovereign Lord was in control, and with me, no matter what happened.
Through every traumatic season of life or uncertain circumstance, my eyes have been opened to more of God’s grace. My identity in Christ has only expanded with each new chapter of life. With every challenge and change, my faith in the words of Psalm 46, and the Word of God as a whole has become stronger.
Though we may face adversity in this life, we can rest in the fact that God is with us, and that all people will one day exalt His name among the nations. He may not cure every disease, or bring about seamless transitions in life, but He will use our uncertain circumstances to refine our faith in who He is. He will take each challenge and drive our identity as chosen, beloved, and secure, deeper into the depths of our hearts.
As we wrestle through the uncertainty of life, let us cling to the whole Word of God to find our security. I pray we trust in His word of Psalm 46 and look to the whole Bible to define who God is, and whose we are.
May we seek His word out to shape our faith and place our hope in Christ. No matter what comes our way, we can model our prayers after Psalm 46, praising God for His presence and goodness.
A Prayer from Psalm 46
I now know that God is our refuge and strength. He is our very present help in times of need (Psalm 46:1). In the time spent sitting in a hospital, in times of moving, during relational discord, and a flailing occupation, anxiety shall not plague us. God is with us and will uphold us with His righteous hand (Isaiah 41:9-10).
Though the earth gives way, and the mountains crumble, though political parties fall, and humanity looks bleak, we will not fear (Psalm 46:2-3).
It is God that makes us glad through times of trouble (Psalm 46:4). He provides peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). He makes all things come together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). He sent His son Jesus to provide the living water we all need through faith in Him (John 4:14).
Streams of living water that provide contentment, joy, eternal life, and flourishing despite our circumstances (John 7:38). Because God is with us, we will not be moved (Psalm 46:5). For who can be against us, when God is for us (Romans 8:31)? Who can shake the unbreakable cornerstone — the rock on which the church stands (Ephesians 2:20)?
God’s mercies are new each morning, and His help comes with the morning dew (Lamentations 3:22-23). Though our world may flip upside down, help us to trust that God is more powerful than anything we may face. At His word, the earth melts away (Psalm 46:6). Praise God that He is with us and is our fortress.
Let us behold the great works of the Lord. Let us gaze upon His beauty all the days of our lives (Psalm 27:4). One day, all nations will be still (Psalm 46:10). They will know that Jesus is the one, true, living God. For now, let us proclaim His excellencies (1 Peter 2:9). Let us be obedient to His word (John 14:15).
Let us be still as we rest in His presence and grace (Psalm 46:10; Matthew 11:28-30). Grant us boldness to tell the good news of the gospel from the rooftops (Matthew 10:27). For it is through the gospel of Jesus Christ that all nations, every tribe, every tongue, shall proclaim that He is Lord, and the ultimate peace and presence of God will be restored (Revelation 14:11; Revelation 21:1-7).
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/giulia_bertelli
Stephanie Englehart is a Seattle native, church planter’s wife, mama, and lover of all things coffee, the great outdoors, and fine (easy to make) food. Stephanie is passionate about allowing God to use her honest thoughts and confessions to bring gospel application to life. You can read more of what she writes on the Ever Sing blog at stephaniemenglehart.com or follow her on Instagram: @stephaniemenglehart.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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