“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
My friend Satish and I were talking today, and he made a comment that is lodged in my head. Let me paraphrase his observation: You can tell how well one’s quiet time with God is going by how much that person is struggling. The better the peaceful one-on-one time with the Lord, the stronger and better equipped we are to face the travels and troubles ahead.
It is a truth that Psalm 46 spells out for us. Verses 1-9 describe a turbulent walk. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” begins the chapter. From there, we read about churning, foaming waters and crumbling, quaking mountains. Nations and wars “rage”, kingdoms collapse, and chariots burn. Through all of this, God is in control, bringing “desolations” on the earth. Then, abruptly, as the description of chaos reaches crescendo, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Be still. Raphah (still) is a Hebrew word that means “relax,” “refrain,” “abandon,” “leave it alone.” In other words, let go. Whatever battle is raging in your life, let it go. Relax – be still – and recognize God for Who He is. He is the conqueror of all. He is the exalted one, over all – everything – there is nothing outside of His reign!
Grab your Bible, take a minute and read Psalm 46. Notice something: verse 11 is a repeat of verse 7:
‘”The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
God is our ever-present fortress. This is really important to understand, so much so that the psalmist repeats the statement. When you read a statement repeated in Scripture, it is for emphasis. It means a very important message is being conveyed. Not only that, both times the statement ends with the word selah. Whenever you see selah in Scripture, stop. The word means “pause and ponder this.” Consider the message – deeply. Meditate on it.
When I meditate Psalm 46, here is how it boils down: God is God and I am not. All the thoughts and ideas and concerns and things that I focus on need to be stripped away, for they all melt away in the presence of our Wonderful, Wondrous God. God is, and I am His. He (not my limited insights or comprehensions) defines reality. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is also personal and His Holy Spirit indwells me. God will bring whole nations to their knees. Whatever I bring before Him is small potatoes – no problem for God.
As we begin our descent into another busy week, I want to encourage – urge – each of you to take some time (preferably first thing in the morning) and be still before the Lord. Set aside the busyness, the stress, the troubles. Relax. Let go. And spend time with the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth, Our Heavenly Father. Recognize Him for Who He is. And realize that He is with us – always. Talk with Our Father, spend time prayerfully in His Word. Be still, and know that He is God – the Almighty Who loves you beyond comprehension.
Have a blessed week!