Sunday Devotional 14th of May 2023
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we will continue to explore Psalm 46 – a Psalm of the sons of Korah.
Psalm 46:10 – “Cease striving (or be still) and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
This verse is one of the best known and oft repeated in the Psalms. And yes, it does deserve this place but to get the most benefit from it, it needs to be read in the context of the whole Psalm not just the verse on its own. As we said in the introduction to this Psalm, this verse is written in the midst of a very chaotic situation in the life of the Jewish people in Jerusalem – similar to the way we tend to view the world today.
It reinforces what we have already said about this Psalm – war and destruction are inevitable, but so is God’s final victory. A key response for all of us in chaotic times is to take the time each day to be still and to honour and reflect upon God.
An airline pilot once told me that the saying “sit on your hands for ten seconds” is a common cockpit saying in troubled times. It means don’t just give a knee jerk reaction but carefully consider the situation and then respond. This is good advice to us. Often in times of trouble, pressure, or confrontation, our first response may be one that will make matters worse.
It is good to pause, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Master over all events and seek His guidance before acting. Doing this should avoid any great measure of despair. The statement from God saying “I will be exalted” in this verse is powerful, unstoppable, and emphatic. It cannot be contested. God has promised that He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able. In due time He will come and rescue us as any loving Father does, when a situation threatens to overcome his child. God is in control of our destiny. He will be exalted within our being.
Of interest, the Hebrew word used here for “be still” (harpu) is a wonderful word that has several different meanings, such as stop, desist, relax, cease, slacken or make loose. We could summarise its use here as meaning that we need to relax and wait for Him to do what He has promised.
Obviously, this is counterculture and very challenging. The verse urges us to do this by comforting ourselves and one another with the great truth that the Lord of hosts is with us. We do not face overwhelming trouble alone. The God of Jacob, who has chosen us and called us by grace, into a covenant with Him, is our refuge. He will protect us when trouble strikes. If we pause to meditate on this, we will realise that God has done this many times in the past, both in our lives and those we walk with. As a result, we should pause in any difficult situation to thank God for His unfailing presence, faithfulness, and power in our lives.
In summary, when overwhelming trouble invades our lives, be still, release our anxiety and rest in Him and seek Him for His wisdom and guidance. He is always with us, and we are safe in His care. We must commit our way to Him and then wait upon Him to bring His purposes to pass in any situation in our lives.
He promises us that His mercies are new every morning, His grace is sufficient for our every need, and He will be exalted through our faithful testimony.
We need to hold to the truth that God has more than enough, both of weapons and of strength, to preserve and defend his people which he has adopted.
Remember, God is never caught by surprise in any situation that we may be confronted with. He knows the beginning and the end. We should feel so secure in this truth.
God bless you.