The God of Jacob

Many of us love praying with the Psalms. There seems to be something there to catch whatever emotion we might be feeling, whatever deep desire we want to express.

I read a commentary from the Luther Seminary site recently on Psalm 46 that I thought worth sharing, as Psalm 46 is an old favorite of many. It proclaims our refuge in God: because of God “we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea.”

Each of the three parts of the psalm end with the lines: The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. I confess that when I read that psalm I don’t really think about what it means to say our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Here is what the commentary observes:

The God of a cheating scoundrel is our refuge! Jacob was a cheating scoundrel; the kind of person you would not want to have a financial relationship with. Jacob had cheated his brother and his uncle. Both men vowed to get their revenge on the cheat, Jacob. God, however, would not let that happen. God quelled the fierce anger of Laban, Jacob’s uncle, and Esau, Jacob’s brother, welcomed him in peace.

The good news today is that God indeed is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We may call upon God when we are in any kind of trouble, even when we are the ones who have caused our own trouble. The God of a cheating scoundrel is our refuge. Do not fear, fellow sinner. God is your refuge, too.

God is our refuge. Not only the refuge of the strong, the holy, the faithful. The refuge of all of us. The God of Jacob is there for us always.