Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Today it seems, in a polarized political world and social media situation allows for the instant giving and receiving of differing opinions and arguments, one feels pressured to “take a stand.” The old adage goes “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”
I believe that the psalmist who penned Psalm 46 (often known for being the inspiration behind Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress) invites the reader to ponder where they stand. However, the question is not about whether or not we stand up for our own beliefs and opinions, but rather where we stand in the cosmic battle that is happening around us.
Psalm 46 envisions a castle, a fortress if you will. The Castle serves the purpose of protecting those inside. However, your opinion of that castle depends entirely on where you stand relative to it. If you are on the inside, you are safe and protected from any enemy attack. You are invited to “Be Still” for you have nothing to fear. However, to the one who stands on the outside, the castle sends a warning – “Be Still” – to the enemy. There is no reason to attempt an attack. You cannot win. There is only safety and security for those who stand within, and only fear or loss of hope for those who stand without.
Psalm 46 reminds us that this is especially true for the Mighty Fortress of our God. Nothing can come in or out without His allowance. The only question is – where do you stand?
My prayer is that you would know he is inviting you to come inside through His Word and Sacraments – through the people of His Church. He does not want you to wander off into enemy territory. He wants you to know the security and safety of living inside the walls of forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation.
Mighty fortress, defend me against every attack of the evil one – be it and attack of body, mind, or spirit. The old Evil foe, scowl fierce as he will, he can harm us none, he’s judged, the deed is done. One little word can fell him. Amen.
Written By: Pastor Koenig