46:1 our refuge and strength. The word for refuge in this verse means “shelter.” The word “refuge” in Psalm 46:7,11, is stronger, meaning an impregnable high fortress. It is said that this psalm was largely the inspiration for Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress.”
46:1 very present help. The modifier “very” in this verse is a strong word, indicating that God is an intensively present helper for His people in times of trouble.
46:2 mountains be carried. This is more than poetic imagery. The mountains were carried into the sea during the great Flood, and this will happen again in the coming tribulation period (Revelation 6:14; 16:20).
46:3 swelling therof. Selah. The first stanza of this psalm, reminding us of the awful judgment of the great Flood in ancient times, during which Noah and those in the ark were safely carried through by the same God who is our refuge and strength, ends with the contemplative pause denoted by “Selah.”