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Book of Psalms
King James Version
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.1
1 God is a place of trust and strength. Since He has always exceedingly proved his help, He may be depended on in dire straits. Verses 1-3 constitute the first stanza, which portrays the security of God's people even when the foundations of the earth are shaken.2
2 The convulsions of nature, the earthquake that throws the mountains into the sea, the roaring of the waves, the cataclysm of the tidal wave - these phenomena as well as any commotions and revolutions in the political world need not shake the one who trusts in God. God is a proven refuge.2
3 The mountains shake with the swelling thereof represents the pride and haughtiness of insolent foes.3 The word Selah here marks the close of the first stanza.2
4 A river is a beautiful figure of God's protection. It represents a state of calm security in sharp contrast with the wild ocean of v.3. The second stanza (vs. 4-7) depicts the peace of the city of God, while all that is outside her walls is in a state of uproar. Streams probably picturing canals leading from the river to water gardens and dwellings. God's protection is dispensed freely through innumerable channels. The streams shall give the city of God great occasion for rejoicing and thanksgiving.4 The city of God or Jerusalem was where God was represented as having His place of abode. In David's day the ark, the symbol of God's presence, was housed in a temporary dwelling or tabernacle.2
6 The nations raged against God and His people. When God spake to them in His wrath the inhabitants of the earth were consumed.4
7 This verse is the refrain to the second stanza (see v. 11). The refrain sounds the keynote of the psalm. God is Lord of the heavenly bodies and angels. The God of Jacob is on our side. His presence is terror to our enemies, safety to us. The word Selah marks the end of the second stanza.2,3
8 The third stanza (vs. 8-11) portrays God's power manifested in His dominion over the mighty movements of nations, and the sublimity of His serene exaltation above them. God destroyed those who were vexatious to His people.4
9 God has brought about a firm and well grounded peace. The usual weapons of war as well as those using them are brought to an end.3,4
10 God himself spoke the sublime words be still and know that I am God. Here God tells the nations to stir no more against His people. He is the only true God; their gods are but dumb and impotent idols. God will make Himself glorious by His great and wonderful works.4
11 This verse is the refrain to the third stanza.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 3 pgs 743-745
3. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - http:// bible. crosswalk .com/ Commentaries
4. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible - http:// bible. crosswalk .com/ Commentaries
5. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - http:// bible. crosswalk .com/ Commentaries
6. The Catholic Encylopedia New Advent: Psalms - www.new advent. org/ cathen/ 12533a.htm
7. Living Word Bible Church - Five Books of Psalms - http:// www.lwbc .co.uk/ 5_books _of_ psalms.htm