4.10.2016

psalm 46 - be still

This Psalm has come up so many times this past week, particularly the concept of "Be Still." Psalm 46 is the home of the overused verse: "Be still and know that I am God." Usually, we see this phrase in beautiful script painted over a tranquil landscape, or delicately embroidered on a soft pillow. However, God isn't just coming up to us next to a quiet stream and whispering relaxing thoughts. When we read verse 10, we see that the context around it is of battle, war, shattering, burning,  and chaos. In the midst of that chaos, God shouts, "Be still!" 

That sounds familiar. It sounds like the moment when the disciples were terrified of the crashing waves and raging storm knocking against their tiny fishing boat. In that moment Jesus arises and says to the storm, "Be still!" No doubt the disciples, who grew up with the Psalms as their prayerbook, knew automatically that they were seeing Psalm 46 enacted before their very eyes. 

I'm comforted in knowing that I don't have to get myself into a state of tranquility to know God. When everything feels out of control, God himself can stand up and say, "Be still!" to the winds and waves, to the war and battle. 


God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

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