Thursday, November 10, 2016


"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.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress."

[Psalm 46:4-11]

During one of our recent house church gatherings, my wife Wendy shared this passage of scripture. 

Together we talked about how it reminds us that God is with us, that He makes wars cease and how we are called to "be still and know that [He is] God."

But one thing jumped out at me during our conversation that I had not considered before: Why does this Psalm remind us twice that "the God of Jacob is our fortress"?

Why not "the God of Moses" or "Abraham" or the "God of Joseph"?

What's so special about Jacob that the Psalmist feels the need to remind us - twice - that it is the God of Jacob [specifically] who is our fortress?

I think it's because Jacob was a clueless loser who spent most of his life totally oblivious to who God was or what God's plan was for his life.

For example, God promises that Jacob will be blessed by God, even before he is born. Yet Jacob spends most of his life trying to trick his father into giving him the blessing. 

Later, God speaks to Jacob in a dream and says, "I will be with you wherever you go" and "I will not leave you". Yet when Jacob wakes up his response is to say: "Surely the Lord was in this place and I didn't know it!'

Even later, Jacob wrestles with God all night in his tent and refused to let go until God blessed him.

All the while, Jacob failed to recognize that he was holding on to God and that there could be no blessing greater than this.

So, Jacob spent his life fighting to win something that God already promised was his anyway. 

He heard God say, "I'm with you wherever you go" and yet he built an altar because he thought "God was in this place."

Then he had a chance to hold God in his arms all night long and then agreed to let go of Him on the condition that he could receive that blessing that was already promised to him before he was born.

Jacob was clueless.

That's why the Psalmist reminds us that it is the "God of Jacob" who is our refuge. Because we're often clueless too.

If he had said, "The God of Joseph" then we might despair that God was only for those who endure suffering and unjust imprisonment without once complaining about our condition.

If he had said, "The God of Moses" then we might conclude that God was only for those who faithfully and courageously defy oppressive empires and lead captives into the Promised Land.

If he had said, "The God of Abraham" then we might think that God was only for those who step out in blind faith to wander the wilderness as we await further instructions.

But he didn't say any of those things.

He reminds us to be still and know that God is near us, and that He is the God of those who are oblivious to all the blessings that are already raining down over us night and day because of His amazing love for us.

"The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of the Clueless is our fortress"




Sheila Passenger said...

Hello, does one wonder how a man could wrestle with God and overpower him? This is because he was actually wrestling with an angel who was representing God. God used an angel who represented him. Exodus 23: 20-24 " “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, SINCE MY NAME IS IN HIM. “But if you truly OBEY HIS VOICE and DO ALL THAT I SAY, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. “For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. “You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces."

What is very interesting is that God spoke further of this angel at Isaiah 63:8-14. Please look this Scripture up. You will see that God said that this angel was "the angel of MY PRESENCE". At these passages, God also said that the angel was His "Holy Spirit" And also "My arm"

So now we can understand why one angel (of the three) whom Abraham spoke with, said that his name was JEHOVAH (YHWH) He was an angel who was representing God and was on a mission from God to check out the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I found this information very interesting. Possibly, the Holy Spirit that resides in God's people could be Holy Angels that represent God and stand in for "God's presence"

Keith Giles said...

Actually, these are Pre-Incarnate appearences of Christ, or "Theophanies" as some scholars call them.