This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

The River and the City The River and the City

The River and the City


Magazines such as U.S. News & World Report, Kiplingers, and Money often publish articles about the best places to live or retire. These cities are chosen based on a combination of features that include scenery, the economy, and the range of amenities offered to residents. Safety is another important factor.

Safety was the primary concern of the city described in Psalm 46. Verse 4 identifies it as “the city of God,” where the Holy Place was located. This description enables us to identify the city as Jerusalem. The situation depicted in the psalm suggests that it was written at a time when Jerusalem was being threatened by its enemies, though we don’t have enough historical details to say for certain when this took place. Scholars think it could have been written during the time of Jehoshaphat or during the reign of Ahaz.

Even more important than the historical setting is the emphasis within the psalm on God’s protection and its description of the city. Both themes are echoed in Revelation 22, and it points forward to the time when the Messiah will reign.

The image of a river “whose streams make glad the city of God” speaks of divine provision (v. 4). Like the city depicted in this psalm, one of the benefits of our relationship with Jesus Christ is the experience of God’s presence. Those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ “are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).

The turmoil of natural disasters, wars, and political uproar continues today (vv. 2, 6). The Lord’s counsel to those who are distressed by such upheavals is: “Be still, and know that I am God” (v. 10).

Pray with Us

We are proud of the character and scholarship of the MBI faculty! It’s a privilege for us to pray for the Theology department professors, asking the Lord for a good start of the spring semester for Gregg Quiggle, Sanjay Merchant, and Michael McDuffee.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month