God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength

Representative Text

1 God is our refuge and our strength,
in straits a present aid;
therefore, although the earth remove,
we will not be afraid:

2 Though hills amidst the seas be cast;
though waters roaring make,
and troubled be; yea, though the hills
by swelling seas do shake.

3 A river is, whose streams make glad
the city of our God;
the holy place, wherein the Lord
most high hath his abode.

4 God in the midst of her doth dwell;
nothing shall her remove:
The Lord to her an helper will,
and that right early, prove.

Source: Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #36

Text Information

First Line: God is our refuge and our strength, In straits a present aid
Title: God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English
Refrain First Line: The Lord of hosts is on our side
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

A celebration of the absolute security of the city of God. Scripture References: st. 1 = vv. 1-3 st. 2 = vv. 4-5 st. 3 = vv. 6-7 st. 4 = vv. 8-9 st. 5 = vv. 10-11 This song in celebration of Zion's security (see also 48 and 76) has heartened God's people throughout the ages. Luther echoed it in "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (469). Traditionally ascribed to (or assigned to) the "sons of Korah," the psalm was no doubt composed for liturgical use at the temple. As a song concerning the royal city of the kingdom of God on earth, it expresses Israel's hope in the certain triumph of God's kingdom. The psalm's imagery of a river that "make[s] glad the city of God" (v. 4) serves as a metaphor for the unfailing flow of God's sustaining and refreshing blessings, which make the city of God like the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2: 10). In this psalm we confess fearless trust in God, "our refuge" (st. 1), and extol God's refreshing river and protective presence (st. 2). God stills the rage of the nations, inspiring us with faith's strong confidence (st. 3). The LORD's mighty victories assure us of the people's peace (st. 4), and God's reassuring word "Be still, and know. . ." inspires us again with the confidence of faith. (st. 5). The versification is based on the 1650 Scottish psalter version, which was altered in both the 1871 and 1912 American psalters and now again in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Hymns based on Psalm 46 are at 468, 469, and 610. Liturgical Use: Suitable for many occasions in Christian worship, especially for times of war or persecution, confusion and loss, whenever the conflict between church and world sharpens. Also for Old or New Year services. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

WINCHESTER OLD

WINCHESTER OLD is a famous common-meter psalm tune, presumably arranged by George Kirbye (b. Suffolk, England, c. 1560; d. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, 1634) from a melody in Christopher Tye's Acts of the Apostles and published in T. Este's The Whole Book of Psalmes (1592) set to Psalm 84. Ki…

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STROUDWATER


[Chant] (Norris 13511)


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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #36

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