There are quite a few places in the Old Testament in which God is addressed almost exclusively as the God of Israel—as if he is the Jew's God as opposed to the gods of the nations round about. In fact, the Jews are repeatedly warned against serving these other gods. The first of the Ten Commandments is one example: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me" (Exod. 20:2, 3)

The conclusion and proper application of this psalm is the response which has already appeared following stanza two (v. 7) and now appears a second and final time in verse 11: "The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Who is he, this God who is his people's refuge? The answer is given in the two names of God in this refrain.

We come now to verses 8-10. We need to see that, although the language grows out of the earlier material, the stanza is not really looking to the past but ahead to the future when God shall defeat all armies and establish his eternal reign. In Psalm 2 God in the same way mocks those who take arms against himself and his Anointed. He tells the Son, "I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery" (vv. 8,9).

Yesterday we said that God’s city has two points of reference. The first is to the earthly city of Jerusalem, and the second is to the safety of God’s people throughout history, culminating in the new Jerusalem, which is a symbol of heaven.

In this week’s lessons on Psalm 46, on which Luther’s great hymn is based, we are reminded that our complete confidence and trust rests in the Lord, who promises to be with his people forever.