“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. Have you ever noticed this verse and thought it meant a spa-like moment of relaxation and rest with Jesus? Ahhhh. Yes, a bit of quiet time communing with my Lord. It was surprising to me to learn that the meaning of “be still” was not exactly the comforting and relaxing one I believed. Yes, there is an element of that, but there is so much more!
Bible Verses about Rest
There are plenty of verses that speak about taking time to rest, meditate on his word, and quieting ourselves in His presence:
Psalm 119:15” I will meditate on your commandments and reflect on your ways.”
Psalm 63:6-8 “I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.”
John 15: 4a “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”
But in scripture, context is everything!
Psalm 46 was not a quiet, restful prayer, but a triumphant celebration song! It was sung in procession as a praise hymn honoring God’s deliverance from an enemy (possibly the Assyrian army.) It is sometimes called “Zion’s Battle Song.”
My Life Application Bible gives the theme of Psalm 46 as “God is always there to help, providing refuge, security, and peace. His ultimate victory is certain, and he will rescue those who love him.”
Read those themes again: “Always there to help”, “victory is certain”, and “he will rescue.” Those are strong promises we can claim!
What a great reminder to see God as a refuge I run to and take shelter in the midst of my battles!
Verses 1 and 2 say “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
This shows us how to have a fearless trust in God even in the worst scenarios. Our world could fall apart and we can stand without fear and trusting in God’s protection. When we are in distress, he is our strong fortress.
(An interesting fact I learned: Martin Luther paraphrased Psalm 46 into his well-known hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”)
Who do you listen to when the waves of a storm are crashing over you and the wind is howling?
The Voice of God
It tells us to stop listening to the noise of our storms and worries and listen for the voice of God.
Verse 10- “Be still and know that I am God.” The Hebrew words “be still” have various meanings, but here it can mean “stop fighting!” or “enough!” I picture God telling me those same words when I’m wrestling with or battling an issue. Enough! My focus turns from what is swirling around me and towards him instead.
What are you battling today? Can you stop fighting and place it in the hands of our strong and mighty Father?
The second part of verse 10- “and know that I am God” speaks to knowing He is God, He’s in control!
Reflect on the things you know God can accomplish and the ways He has already guided and directed your life.
He is God and We are Not
We have to leave our fear and impatience behind, and trust His plan. It’s important to have knowledge of his nature and character, his promises, and remember how he has saved us and others in the past.
Plant in your memory the ways he has delivered you, helped you, and sustained you so you can recall his unfailing love and strength when you need them. There is no need to crumble or run away! Be still- stop fighting!- in the face of trouble.
Acknowledge his sovereignty and rule over our lives.
He’s the One in charge, unchangeable and all-knowing, ever-present. He will make our lives work together for good. I loved this comment from Gill’s commentary on this verse: God knows “how and where to hide them till the storm is over.”
I love the word picture of God sheltering us in a safe place in our storms!!
Can you “be still” and surrender?
Can you answer the call to stop fighting, to let go, and believe He is in charge?
Do you fully trust Him?
That’s the essence of this verse. Yes, He wants you to reflect on Him, but not always passively. Stop fighting your own battles. Tell God you acknowledge he is in charge of your life and take shelter in Him.
“Let the Lord fight your battles- He has not lost one yet!” Toby Mac #speaklife