For Christmas this year, some of our good friends surprised Dawn and I with an unexpected Christmas gift. They had known about our losses when our basement flooded several years ago. On of the things we lost was our yearbooks from our Florida College days. They were able to track down 3 of the six we lost. Dawn and I were so excited about having them again. We spent the morning breezing through the books just reminiscing about our days at Florida College. We saw faces we hadn’t seen in a really, really long time. As we continued to look through them I saw a picture of Ferrell Jenkins. Brother Jenkins, at that time, also ran a bible lands tourism business while he was a professor there. He had set up class every other year to visit the bible lands right after school let out for the summer. One year, as he was talking up the trip, he handed out a business card. The card had the following scripture on the front. “Be still, and know that I am God (Psa. 46:10).” It got a little giggle out of us, as it was brother Jenkins’ card. But, the verse has been on my mind since I saw the picture. Be still and know that I am God.
The word still here means something I entirely different than what had always thought. God isn’t saying, “don’t worry I got this.” No, the Hebrew word literally means, “stop moving, cease, be still.” To fully grasp what God is saying, look at the context of the Psalm 46.
God is our refuge. The psalm opens teaching us to trust in God. In times of trouble, when things get tough, it is God we are supposed to turn. A refuge is where people would turn during oppression. They would flee to that shelter because they knew that shelter would protect them. (Jericho was that refuge for Canaan before God destroyed it). We can be still because God is the one protecting us. The Psalmist is saying, watch what God can do for you.
God is in His holy city. The key here is that because God is in His holy city, that city cannot be moved. Everything else around us can be move. The earth can be moved, the waters will move, the mountains of this world can be carried off, but God’s holy city isn’t going anywhere. Therefore, there is no reason to fear. God’s city cannot be moved. It cannot be moved because he is there. For the Jews, I am certain that there mind was upon the holy city of Jerusalem. They were certain that it would remain. But, we know better, we know that the psalmists eyes were upon heaven. The language of a river which flows through the city is reminiscent of John’s description of the holy city in Rev. 21-22. This is the city of inheritance, the city of promise and the city of rest. This is the eternal city that no man, no angel, and not even Satan himself can conquer. The all hell may assail against her, God is there. The Psalmist is saying, stop worrying, relax. God has this. He isn’t going anywhere and neither are you (if you are in His holy city).
God helps early. Some translations add “in the morning.” The point here is that God doesn’t wait to help. He is eager to come to the aid of those that need him. I know that there are times when we feel overwhelmed by what is going on around us. I know that there are times when we really need God’s answered prayer to come right when we think we need it. And I know that there are times when the answer that comes back is not what we thought it would be. It is then that we often feel God isn’t helping. It simply is not true. God comes early to our needs. He is cares for you. He longs to see you succeed in life, to be protected, just like any father would. We just need to remember, just as when we were little children, what we think we need is not the same thing as what we really need. So, be still. Be at peace. God is willing to help you.
The earth melts at His voice. That is, the earth softens as wax at the mere hearing of his voice. I believe the “earth” in reference is not the physical earth, but rather the nations, those that would rise up against him. God is so power, so majestic, so awe inspiring that the mere presence of his voice will cause the most proud of nations to tuck tail and run. Be still and let God deal with those that oppress you.
Come and behold the works of the Lord. The Psalmist is essentially say sit down and watch what the Lord can do. Now, this does not mean that God doesn’t ever expect us to do anything. (Paul said as much when he asked are we to sin and let grace abound?) In light of our psalm, the Psalmist is saying let God take care of it for you. When you feel overwhelmed. When the world is trying to break your spirit. When you feel like you are at your wits end. Let God cry out over the storms of life. “Peace be still.” Just wait until you see what the Lord can do for you.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Be Still and Know That I am God
Volume 8 Issue 3