What is The Meaning of Psalm 46:5?

What is The Meaning of Psalm 46:5?

Today's bible study is on the meaning of Psalm 46:5 which is often misinterpreted. Before we start, let's outline the verses in a couple translations. 

Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."


NIV: God is within her, she will not fall;

    God will help her at break of day.

ESV: God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

    God will help her when morning dawns.

 

The Incorrect Meaning of Psalm 46:5

You'll see this verse used across Pinterest, products, and across culture in a selfish way. The incorrect application has been to assign it to a business venture and success for a woman. It's used as a "feel good" inspiration quote.

"God is within her, she will not fall" doesn't mean you can overcome anything and succeed because YOU are strong. It doesn't mean that you as a woman will be unstoppable, in fact, it's not even talking about a woman. "She" doesn't represent a woman at all. 

 

Why This Interpretation is Wrong

Do you remember when satan was kicked out of heaven? Do you recall why he was kicked out? It was because he wanted to take God's place (Isaiah 14:13–14) as the Most High. He wanted to be God. 

  “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”

Do you remember what happened in the Garden of Eden? What did satan tempt Eve with? It was to be "like God" having all knowledge aka being a god herself. 

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 

Don't you see? The battle of sin is a tension between following God and making yourself a god. The biggest sin that separates us from God is humanity wanting to be their own god vs glorifying the one true God.

In this passage, if we look at it through the incorrect interpretation, that makes us "strong" and "confident." When we switch our lenses and focus on how this verse Glorifies God, we will feel small and weak in comparison because HE is great and worthy of all Praise. 

As usual, to help us understand a verse correctly, it's best to look at the whole chapter in context. 

 

Psalm 46 

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

The Correct Meaning of Psalm 46:5

“Praise directed to the Lord, the God of Israel is certainly the primary emphasis in the Psalms.” - Holman Study Bible New King James Version Commentary

The book of Psalms is a collection of Praise to God through songs, prayers and poetry. The intention is to glorify God and not ourselves. Knowing this, and reading the full chapter, we quickly see that this verse isn't about a woman at all but instead it talks about the city of God (His people as a whole). The focus isn't even on that. If you read it carefully you can see the focus is on God and His amazing attributes. 

God's Attributes in This Chapter:

  • God is the place of Refuge and Strength 
  • He is Just  
  • He is a Promise Keeper 
  • God is Everlasting 
  • God is Mighty 
  • He is Victorious 
  • He is King of Kings 

 

In Conclusion

After reading this chapter you should be in awe of how amazing our God is. We have to remember that on our own we are lost and sinful but God is just and good and we can rely on Him when we are weak. In the scariest of circumstances we can seek refuge in our King of Kings. When we hear rumors of wars we remain calm knowing that God has already won the war that matters.

 

Lastly, a worship song 

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