“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
The Snowing Party
King David wrote this 46th psalm to encourage Israel during the Assyrian invasion of Judah. Verse 10 reminds me of a little boy who was eagerly looking forward to the birthday party of a friend who lived a couple of blocks away. When the day arrived, a blizzard made the roads and the sidewalks impassable. The young boy, still very determined to go for the birthday, bargained with his father to allow him to go. The father naturally hesitated to let the son go. The young boy pleaded the more, and after thinking for a moment, he replied softly, “All right, you may go”.
Surprised yet overjoyed, the boy quickly put on warm clothes and plunged into the storm for the friend’s house. Due to the heavy snow, visibility was at an all-time low. Therefore it took him a while to trudge the short distance. As he happily rang the doorbell, he turned briefly to look out into the storm. That is when his eye caught the shadow of a retreating figure. It was the father. He followed his son’s every step of the way to make sure he arrived safely. This scenario happens to us many times, we trust God, but when storms fall, we become restless and lack faith.
What does being “still” mean? Does it mean don’t move? Stand still? Sit still? I think it reminds us of when Jesus spoke to the wind and waves in Mark 4:39, “Quiet, be still!”. God is asking us battle prone people to calm down, to relax and cease striving. Our anxiety many times results in worsening the storms rather than helping. I picture myself standing before God, my head bowed and shoulders hunched towards him and just whispering to God, “I got nothing”. Then happily, God benevolently responds, “it’s about time.” Now, we may easily confuse this with God telling us to give up. Of course not! He is rebuking our restlessness, our constant fretfulness and our self-centred hyperactivity. Why? Because He is God. Everything else may be hard to understand, but God does not change. He remains the same, and he still faithfully fulfils all his promises.
King Of The Earth
God bears testimony of himself when he says that the nations will exalt him. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and he shall reign over them forever (Revelations 11:15). To reinforce the truth, He repeats it a second time, “I will be exalted in the earth”. Whenever God reiterates something, it usually carries great importance. Therefore the parallelism in this verse is evidence of the extreme significance of this statement. God is the king of all the earth (Zechariah 14:9).
Just because the trials seem huge, it doesn’t mean that God can not turn things around. The young boy was probably not shocked when he saw the retreating figure of his dad. Likewise, when confronted by mounting trials, we must stop despairing, as if God is no longer on the throne. God is God over the nations of the Earth.
King James Version (KJV)
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
New International Version (NIV)
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“Stop striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Stand silent! Know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation in the world!”
This verse seems appropriate for the last day of another year. So many things happened this year. Many good, some not so good. But it is another year in the books, and we are about to embark on a brand new year.
I used to think about New Year’s resolutions at this time. Resolutions to work out more, eat better, get up earlier, etc. I do believe there is some benefit to looking back at our previous year as we look forward into our new year.
But many of us have tried it our own way (at least I have) and found out that things didn’t work out quite as we’d hoped. I have found that if I take this scripture to heart and meditate on what it truly means, it brings my purpose – as a believer – back into focus. To me, Be Still, in life application, means to slow down. Spend some quiet time just dwelling on our Father in heaven. Exalt His name. Allowing His great love to flow in and through us. Focus more on Him, and worry less about all the things we need to do for family, work and even the Kingdom. Today, every day, take some time just to BE STILL and be in the presence of our almighty creator.
It is amazing how impactful this can be, when we unplug from our day, from technology, from noise – and just be in the presence of God.
Today, this last day of the year is a great day to be still, and reflect on what God has done for us, and allow Him into our presence to start the new year spiritually refreshed.