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The Scriptorium

The Faith of a Child

And a little child shall lead them. Psalm 46.1

Our Refuge and Strength (1)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 46.1
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Sing Psalm 46.1-3
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
God is our refuge and our strength; He is our help in times of need.
Thus though the earth beneath us should change, the sea consume the mountain range;
waters may roar with raging speed; yet God will rescue us at length.

Read Psalm 46 (don’t forget the superscription!); meditate on verse 1

1. What kind of psalm is this?

2. What mood does it seek to evoke?

It is instructive to reflect on the role of children in Scripture in helping us to learn simple but profound trust in the Lord.

Think of the unnamed servant girl who urged Naaman to seek the Lord for healing (2 Kgs. 5.1-3). The youth, Elihu, shamed both Job and his interlocutors by the depth of his faith in God (Job 32.6ff). Isaiah explained that, in the days when Messiah reigns, a little child shall lead even the fiercest into the glory of the Lord (Is. 11.1-9). Jesus came as a little Child, and as a Child He amazed the teachers of His day (Lk. 2.41.47). Jesus often used children to explain the kind of faith which characterized those who dwell in His Kingdom (cf. Lk. 18.4, 5).

Whenever we read Psalm 46, we probably think of Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, which was based on this psalm of the sons of Korah. We sing that hymn boldly and with resolution, as we think people of great faith ought to sing it.

But the sons of Korah set this psalm for singing by “Alamoth”. They gave it to the chief musician for a choir perhaps comprised of girls and young boys singing falsetto – the meaning of “alamoth”. They put these powerful words of faith, confidence, and resolve in the meekest of voices, to demonstrate that even the weakest among us can know the Lord as our Refuge and Strength, come what may.

Are you feeling a little weak in faith? Let the little children lead you into the strength of the Lord as we work our way through Psalm 46.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Moses is another Biblical character we can follow from birth to death.
He wrote us a song that parallels Psalm 46.1-3.
The superscription of this work is A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
It is lovely to note that Moses had the same faith in God that the sons of Korah wrote about.
Here are the first verses of his work:
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting,
You are God.” (Ps. 90.1, 2)

Moses, like Daniel and Joseph, had an unsettling childhood. And yet, when they were feeling weak in faith, they turned to God and all the things they remembered about Him. And this remembering of God’s faithfulness in the past taught them that God is a “very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46.1).

Their examples lead us into the strength of the Lord now because they found Him to be faithful through all generations in the past.

We can, too.

1. Why is it important that we teach our children to sing bold, powerful hymns?

2. Meditate on Ephesians 5.18-21. What is the relationship between singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs and the filling of the Holy Spirit?

3. How would you describe the state of singing such songs in your walk with the Lord? Do you think your faith would benefit if you sang about it more? Explain.

We sing this psalm in praise to God, that he is with us and wonderfully sustains his Word and Christendom against the gates of hell, against the raging of all the devils, fanatical spirits, the world, flesh, sin and death. Martin Luther (1483-1546), Summaries of the Psalms (1531-1533)

Closing Prayer: Psalm 46.10, 11
Wait in silence on the Lord as you preview the day ahead. Sink into His Presence. Rest your day in Him, then lift your voice with confidence to praise Him.

Sing Psalm 46.10, 11
(St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
Rest in the Lord and be at peace, all who are mired in sore travail:
Lift up our God, praise Jesus our Lord; proclaim to all the earth His Word!
God is our stronghold, never to fail: thus may our hope and joy increase!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

Free Christmas Gifts
Luther’s great hymn can strengthen our faith, but only as we sing it understanding what he, following the sons of Korah, intended. Our book, A Mighty Fortress, walks through each stanza of Luther’s hymn to reveal the powerful testimony this song provides. Order your free copy by clicking here. Order several copies and give them to friends for Christmas.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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