September 26, 2017
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.”
Psalm 46 is quite a powerful statement of God’s omnipotent power. But it’s not the picture of a warlord God, bent on destruction and domination. Rather, it paints a picture of God in control, to whom the whole earth and all who rule upon the earth are in subjection. He brings chaos into order and brings peace where there is conflict.
The song is one of assurance, one that could be sung in the midst of trials, or one that could be used to proclaim the power and protection of God over His people. If the Lord is our God, we need not fear. The psalm speaks of God in the midst of His city, even while there are mountains quaking and slipping into the sea, and waters foaming. Destruction and disorder is all around, but the city of God, the place where He dwells, is unmoved. The message is simple: where God dwells, there is peace, stability, and order; where God does not dwell, there is war, chaos, and destruction.
This is why the psalm commands us, the people of God, to “stop” or “cease”–stop striving, worrying, being in anguish–and know that He is God. There is no need to fear, no need to be in turmoil. If we recognize the power and sovereignty of God, and we know that His character is to bring chaos to order, and war to peace, then we simply need to put our trust in Him. We need to take refuge in Him because He is our place of security. In Him, the Lord of hosts, the One to whom every king and army is ultimately subject, we can rest, knowing that He has all things under control.
May the Lord, by His Spirit, give us a renewed appreciation for His supreme authority over all things, that we might learn to be at peace, and rest in Him. Have a great week!