The Context of Stillness
Psalms 46:10 NKJV Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
This verse from Psalm 46 is a favorite "one liner" of Christians when we get stressed. It is a soothing verse of scripture on it's own but when read in context is extremely powerful.
Psalm 46 is a meditation of someone fighting fear with faith. Let's look at some of the verses which show that although there are some very unsettling things going on the psalmist focuses on the peace that comes from being in the presence of God
Psalms 46:2, 6-6, 10-11 NKJV Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
The psalmist, like us wonders what can possibly happen next in life. He comes to the realization, just like us, that God supersedes our worry.
Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."6 So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"When we realize that He is always present our response is worship. We can "be still and know".
Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
When we get to this point in our relationship with God we can experience God's amazing care for us.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
When we look at the election, sickness, financial woes, and relationships that are falling apart, and start getting jittery, wondering about outcomes and impacts, it’s easy to think that “being still” and listening to God can only happen when things are going great. But the real context of “being still and knowing” says something else. In context “being still” is knowing that God's amazing peace works most powerfully when the world's craziness reaches a crescendo.
Psalms 46:10-11 NKJV Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah