For Canadians, summer is a time to be outside when the weather is most pleasant. We just returned from our annual trip across the four western provinces with a beautiful variety of trees, landforms, waterways, and skies.

There are a number of psalms with reference to creation. I particularly like what Burgess does with Psalm 46. Note how the stanzas are linked to each other in logical flow and yet how the central theme of the psalm—God’s presence, protection, and “peaceful victory”—comes through as loud and clear as the vivid imagery in this psalm.

An interesting trivial note is the use of the word “car” in the second to last stanza. Today in common language it is almost exclusively used to refer to the motorized automobile but of course it was not yet invented at the time of this translation and yet the word was already in use to refer more generally to “a vehicle with wheels”—in this case a chariot.

 

God is our refuge and our tow’r,

Our aid forever near :

Though earth should quake, and ocean low’r,

Yet shall not Sion fear.

 

Though mountains, sever’ d from the shore,

Fall thund’ring through the deep;

Though wild the waters rave and roar,

And shake the rocky steep.

 

A gentler stream, with gladd’ning tide,

Shall God’s fair city lave,

And, where the Highest’s tents abide,

Shall send its silver wave.

 

God, in her midst, with guardian might,

Defends her lowliest bow’r ;

And sure and soon as morning’s light,

God sends her succ’ring hour.

 

The heathen rag’d, but earth’s wide coasts

His voice dissolves with fear :

Our shelter is the Lord of Hosts,

And Jacob’s God is here.

 

Oh, come, his peaceful vict’ries know,

His wonders near and far ;

He cuts the spear, he breaks the bow,

He burns the warlike car.

 

Hark, how he quells the heathen’s boasts,

And sways the earthly sphere :

Our shelter is the Lord of Hosts,

And Jacob’s God is here.

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