God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. InterludePsalms 46:1-7, 9-11 NLT
This morning I read Psalm 46. Verse 10 contains the very familiar words, “Be still, and know that I am God!” I was struck by several things this morning.
I found it interesting that this sentence ends with an exclamation point, as if maybe God is giving me a very strong instruction, and it is an imperative sentence with the understood subject pronoun “You.” Just tidbits from English lessons, but what it means is that it is a command…to me…stated with strong feeling.
But even more interesting than the grammatical issues is the context of the chapter. We tend to take a few words we like from the Bible and cling to them and use them however we want to, and they always end up on decorations around the house. But we often fail to consider the entire passage and miss the full meaning.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important to read God’s Word in whole chapters and books, not just fragments in devotionals. The rest of chapter 46 is full of words describing times of trouble, earthquakes, fear, mountains trembling, oceans roaring, nations in chaos, kingdoms crumbling, the earth melting, destruction, war…not exactly the stuff that makes me feel the “be still and know” feelings.
I tend to think I can “be still and know…” when the house is clean and quiet…with a pretty candle lit…and soft music playing…and my steaming cup of coffee or tea…and my to-do list is under control…and when all is well in my little world…you see the problem???
What the passage also contains is reminders (in the middle of all the chaos) that God is my refuge, my strength, my help, my river than brings joy, my protector. It states multiple times (in the midst of all the chaos) that “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us,” and he is our fortress.
It’s in the middle of all the chaos that is beyond my control that he commands me to be still and know that he is God. That is a pretty big lesson to learn and a lot more important than grammar. So the crazy thing is when I am in the painful middle of fear, chaos, destruction, and trouble…that is precisely when God commands me to “be still” and “know that he is God.”
It’s easy to be still when the house is peaceful or when I have things under control.
This holiday season take a moment in the chaos to “Be Still and Know that He is God”. He is still in control even wen you are not.