Bestill2Let go…

Relax…

Stop striving…

Surrender…

Let yourself become weak…

All are words and phrases that are almost foreign to us in our 2013 culture.

Yet, these are the very words and phrases the author meant when he penned, “Be Still.” (Habakkuk 2:20, Zechariah 2:13)

What Does it mean?

Like many, I thought this verse (Psalm 46:10) was supporting meditative prayer and encouraging stressed people to destress by stopping and being still. These things are good and necessary, but are they the lesson of Psalm 46:10?

This question popped into my head when God gave me this verse as a guideline for entering into a new year. I thought maybe I should take another look. As a Bible teacher, I know Scripture should always be read in the light of its context. But had I done that with this familiar verse, or had I just assumed I knew what it meant?

Here is what I learned:

The Psalmist is talking to a warring nation. Most likely, David penned it after his victories over neighboring countries, but at a time when he still faced the hostility of others.

soldier restingThe Hebrew word from which ‘be still’ is translated pictures a soldier who puts down his weapons, stops fighting, and lets down his defenses because the danger has passed.

It doesn’t mean he is not on his guard or becomes passive. It means that he has ceased his striving because his God is dependable. He realizes that he has done all he can in fighting the battle. He knows that his God is in full charge and has the situation well in hand. He is resting in the truth that nothing escapes God’s notice and nothing is beyond His power.

Most of us would readily admit that in stressful times or difficult circumstances, our first impulse is to strive to fix things ourselves. We struggle to come up with a solution and then work hard to bring it about. Certainly, there are times when we have to make good and righteous but quick and decisive decisions. However, there are also times when we have to decide to cease striving, to let go… to become weak and allow God to work.

“What can you do when you are about to faint physically?  You can’t DO anything!  In your weakness you just fall upon the shoulders of some strong loved one, lean hard, and rest until your strength returns.  The same is true when you are tempted to faint under adversity.  The Lord’s message to us is “Be still, and know that I am God.”  James H. McConkey.

How big is our God?

In Psalm 46, God tells His enemy to stop persecuting His people (Be still).

He is telling them that He is God and He will ultimately win. No matter how extreme their malice against Him and His people, the enemy will lose. God’s people will be raised up.

The lesson for us today?

As His children, we are not to be shaken by our trials. We are not to be looking at the waves around us. We must be still and know who our God is (Psalm 46: 1-3).

He is the God of the impossible!

He is Elohim.

He is in control (Exodus 14:14).

Your God is not just another powerful god.

He is THE Almighty God!

He is the Lord of Hosts and with His presence comes His infinite power.

 He always sides with us and fights for us even when we cannot see him (Psalm 46:11).

He is our covenant-keeping God.

We have nothing and no one to fear!

The call to “be still” is not a plea for an introspective life, but a challenge to depend entirely on God, His sovereignty, His power, His love, and His care.

 

*This is guideline number two from my list going into 2013. (See The Blank Page & Red Letter Day)

Filed Under: Monday Morning Musings

Comments

  1. Elaine Mailman says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for the encouragement; it was much needed on this day.

    Blessings in Our Saviour,
    Elaine Mailman

  2. Steph says:

    Thank you, Elaine. It thrills my heart to know God encouraged you through Musings today. He makes a way even when we see no way. Blessings!

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