You’ll find it on mouse pads and magnets, travel mugs and tee shirts, wall art and water bottles. The words of King David. The words Martin Luther needed to hear when someone brought him discouraging news. “Come,” he said, “let us sing the forty-sixth psalm.”
“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
“Be still,… “ Psalm 46:10
As soothing as those words may sound, God means them as a gentle but firm reproof. “Calm down” (CEV), he says, Father to child. “That’s enough!” (CEB).
Perhaps because David had just finished battling his enemies when he wrote this psalm, God was speaking very pointedly. “Stop fighting” (ERV), “cease striving” (NASB), and “desist” (YLT).
Okay, then. It’s clear we are to lay down our weapons and trust God for the victory, which will certainly be his.
I can almost sense the weight of his hands on my shoulders. You too?
Is he holding us back? Or pulling us closer? Yes.
The Hebrew word, raphah, literally means “sink” or “relax,” like the butterfly perched on the leaf or the caterpillar balanced on the stem. The Lord says, “Let go of your concerns!” (GW).
We nod in agreement, even as we hang onto those concerns with both hands. If we don’t worry about our parents’ health, who will? If we don’t fret over our children’s future, who will? If we don’t agonize over life’s disappointments, big and small, who will?
God will. That’s what he wants us to understand.
“…and know… “ Psalm 46:10
Only when we stop striving and “take a long, loving look” (MSG) can we “recognize” (AMP) the truth about God. About his mighty power and his matchless strength. About his sovereignty, now and forever.
Only when we seek the mind of Christ can we “know” (GW).
Only when we remain still can we “see” (VOICE).
Only when we admit we don’t understand can we “learn” (CEV).
Have you ever said, “I know that I know that I know”? That’s what we’re talking about here. Absolute conviction. Unwavering certainty.
“…that I am God;… “ Psalm 46:10
Not just any god with a small g, but “the True God” (VOICE). In Hebrew, elohim is a plural word. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The whole of God. All of God.
Elsewhere in his Word we’re reminded “the Lord is God” (Psalm 100:3) and “there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:35).
Look no further. Search no longer. Seek no more.
Be still. Believe.
“…I will be exalted among the nations,… “ Psalm 46:10
This isn’t followed by a disclaimer: if things turn out as God plans or if we don’t blow up the planet. No, it’s going to happen. “All nations on earth will honor me” (CEV), God declares. He will “rule the nations” (GW) and be “exalted among the heathen” (GNV).
Wow. Even those who have looked in the wrong direction? Yes. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
“…I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
If a person ever said such a thing, we would shrink back in disgust. What pride! What hubris! What an ego!
But this is God speaking, the One who stands “supreme” (GNT) and “above everything” (MSG). He rightly claims, “I am exalted throughout the world!” (CEB).
Oh, Lord. “Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). We know the answer. No one is like our God.
Each photo in this post (taken during my journey through New Zealand) is meant to capture something the Lord created for our pleasure and for his glory. He made the smallest fern and the tallest mountain, the sheep in the pasture and the swans on the lake. He also made running streams, wispy clouds, and icy glaciers from the waters that cover the earth. “And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9).
Then the Lord created you. “And it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Do you believe that about yourself? Because he does. God knew what he was doing the day he made you, and he knows what he is doing now.
The God who formed all 12,316 feet of Mount Cook? This is a God you can trust.
Now it’s your turn
So, beloved. Will you cease striving and be still? Can you stop fighting and rest in God’s mighty strength?
To share your thoughts, just add your response under Post a Comment at the bottom. Bless you for taking a moment to do so. I read and cherish each one, and so do others.
Next time we’ll hop over to the New Testament and unpack #5 of the verses you love. We know this one by heart. But do our lives reflect the truth of it? Let’s find out.
Your sister, Liz
Looking for a new Bible Study this autumn?