The most popular verse in Psalm 46 is verse 10: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
In our world of frantic frenzy, scurrying, stress and busyness, the idea of “being still” really appeals to us.
We might not always do it very well, but we sure like it! It makes us think of sleeping in on the weekend or listening to our favorite band while relaxing at the beach.
But in the context of Psalm 46 something deeper is happening.
It was originally written in Hebrew. “Be still” is in the plural, meaning that God is talking to more than one person. He might be talking to Israel’s enemies. But I think he’s speaking to his own people. Despite their fear and uncertainty, they can stop their worrying and fretting. He is God, after all. Nothing can change that. He will guard and guide them.
With this in mind, being still is actually about inner stillness. It flows from a growing knowledge of who God is and what God does.
Linguist Robert Alter says that the verb to “be still” (Hebrew: harpu) can also be translated as “let go.” It has to do with relaxing your grip on something.
Oooh, that’s good.
How many of us need to relax our grip on something and just trust that God is God? Perhaps we need to relax our grip on needing to be in control all the time, or thinking we need to have all the answers, or on being all things to all people.
What do you need to let go of as you trust that God is doing a good job at doing his job?
Feel free to take some time to think about it. And to exhale.
Inner stillness flows from a growing knowledge of who God is and what God is doing.
–“Be still, and know that I am God.” Sermon. May 14, 2023. Click here.
–“God is our refuge, strength and fortress.” Click here for a Bible study on Psalm 46. Or you can find that episode on ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.