Be Still and Know

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Psalm 46:10 ESV
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Have you ever looked back throughout your life and thought of all the changes that had taken place? I can remember, as a child, by great grandmother speaking of things she remembered in “19 aught” years. Born in 1896, she remembered the turn of the century and the many changes in the area. Putting it into perspective, in her birth year, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody founded Cody, Wyoming. Utah was admitted as the 45th state. Charles King drove the first automobile on the streets of Detroit. The Tootsie Roll was invented. TVA would not be established until 1933, so she saw electricity, telephone service, and even automobiles come into the area.
In contrast, she passed in 1992 when Presidents George Bush and Boris Yeltsin announced an end to the Cold War, Russia was officially created, Bill Clinton was elected president, the Mall of America opened in Minnesota, AT&T announced the first video phone, IBM developed the first smart phone, Johnny Carson ended his stint on the Tonight Show, a new Plymouth Voyager cost $12,995, and China opened its first McDonald's.
Now, I don’t know about you, but going from kerosene lamps, no running water, no vehicles, WW I, the Great Depression, FDR’s New Deal, WW II, to electricity, running water, vehicles being common place, smart phones with video capability, and even putting a man on the moon. That is a lot of change. I think even to my own life where change has not been as dramatic, but technology has seemed to explode. When I was in grade school, an Apple II or Commodore was brought to us on the computer bus, to purchasing by first computer (a 486 with 8 K memory and a dial up modem) going into college, to now being able to meet via video, host church services online, and carrying a cell phone with more capacity than my first computer ever thought of having.
We talk about the “Good old days” fondly. But I look at today, and what is going on in the world. What major things will we and our children and grandchildren experience? I mean, think of this - 2022 is when George Jetson should be born…and 40 years later is when we should be living in space with Rosie the robot and automatic food machines.
But I do feel that many times we look at the past with rose colored glasses. But, have things gotten worse? I think we can biblically answer this with “yes”.
2 Timothy 3:1 ESV
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
As we see things continue to seemingly deteriorate, we must remember that God said it would happen. Not only did He tell us it would happen, but He also gives us comfort to get through the days when we look at this deteriorating world and wonder what is next.
When Job lost the majority of his earthly possessions, he told his friends: Job 3:25 “25 For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” What things do you fear? What is something you worry about, losing you home, your independence, a family member? A bad medical diagnosis? Loss of a job? Do you have other fears that sometimes cause concern?
During this time of Jerusalem’s history, many scholars believe this chapter was written during the Assyrian invasion of Judah during Hezekiah’s reign. Even though the king did right in the eyes of God, it was a tumultuous time battle (both physical, emotional, and spiritual) in Samaria, Judah, and Jerusalem.
What the king feared was happening, he was faithful to follow the Lord, the Assyrians were still invading. But even though there was a troubling time, God protected and delivered His people.
In Psalm 46, we find a song being given to the Sons of Korah. We find a song telling us that God is our refuge and strength, that we can rest in God’s presence & power, and even when we see the last days unfolding before our eyes, we can be still, placing our hope and faith in Him.

Refuge and Strength

Psalm 46:1–3 ESV
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
Here the psalmist reminds God’s people of just who He is to us. He is the source of our refuge - He is who we are to turn to for security and protection when things go to pieces. He is our strength - physical and emotional - God provides us with the way to cope with and endure whatever we are going through. Now comes the interesting part - a very present help in (times of) trouble - when it seems like the world is falling down around us, God does not take His time responding. When we find ourselves overwhelmed and not knowing what the future will hold, God does not allow us to face situations alone. It doesn’t mean we won’t face situations in life. Doesn’t even mean we won’t face things that are beyond our control, but what it DOES tell us is that we will never walk through it alone. God is very (exceedingly) present (with us at all times) help (military assistance connotation) in trouble (literally a confining, distress). Literally, when we find ourselves in the most compressing, distressing, confining conflict of life, God is already there with us ready to defend us. But, we have to turn to Him.
Deuteronomy 4:29 ESV
29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalm 145:18 ESV
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Not even a second goes by when we have to face our troubles alone, or in our own strength. This should give us comfort, and allow us to not be afraid when things fall apart. The psalmist even goes as far as to use the example of a disaster that causes the earth to shake to its core isn’t even enough to cause us to be afraid when we place our faith in the refuge the Lord provides.
When serious problems occur in our lives, our first tendency can be to panic or fear. We might immediately become anxious, fretting over what may happen or what we are going to do. Realizing there is nothing we can do, our panic and fear might even increase.
Instead of fearing and fretting, we should remember that we do not face the situation alone, but with God’s presence and help. As believers, God’s Spirit lives within us. Therefore, He is always with us. When trouble attacks, we do not have to wait for God to arrive; He is already there - from the most minor to the worst fear we will face in this life, God is already there with us. We should find peace in His presence and power.

Presence and Power

Psalm 46:4–7 ESV
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
The people of Jerusalem could feel secure because God was in their midst. They knew that His power was the protection from all threats. Therefore, they had a sense of gladness within their hearts, even when trouble raged all around them.
We have been able to see the fierce power of water, but now we hear that the presence of God is not like a raging roaring water, but like a quiet, gentle river. Regardless of how roaring life is around us, God is a calming force ready to give us peace. You see, God brings peace and calm into the face of destruction.
Zechariah 14:8–9 ESV
8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. 9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
In the end times, we will see many faces of destruction raging all around this world, but God will still be a calming force through it all. God’s presence filled the holy place in Jerusalem, and His presence streamed throughout the city like a refreshing river. Even though Jerusalem faced many difficult situations, God’s presence made them glad. Likewise, God’s constant presence in our lives through His indwelling Spirit gives us indescribable joy and peace, even in the midst of life’s fiercest trials
As the world continues to seem to get worse all around us, we can find peace (as Christians) even knowing the days are growing shorter before the return of Christ and utter chaos begins.
Jerusalem was secure because of God’s presence. We can feel secure in the presence of God in our lives. God protected His city around the clock. Right early is literally translated as the turning to or appearance of day, or (as we commonly say) the break of dawn, when the city was most vulnerable. You see, when we are most vulnerable, God is still present and watching over us around the clock.
Just as God’s power exceeds the forces of nature, He also rules over the kingdoms of this world. Israel’s history is an ongoing saga of nations rising up against her.
But Israel’s history also records God’s faithfulness to fight for her. As the heathen or Gentile nations raged against Israel, one by one their kingdoms were moved; they were brought down or carried away. God spoke, and they melted at His powerful Word.
This is exactly what will happen in the end times when the nations of the world unite against God’s people. Christ will return and destroy His and Israel’s enemies.
As we look back on Israel’s history and forward to her future, we must not overlook the times when God removed His hand of protection due to the people’s unfaithfulness to Him. Both history and prophecy testify that God’s purpose for His chosen nation will surely be accomplished. His promises to Abraham and David will be fulfilled. God will bring about Israel’s repentance: she will at last turn to Christ and be saved.
With great confidence, the psalmist reminded the people that the LORD of hosts—the Commander of heaven’s armies—is their God. Fighting for them, even when they didn’t know they needed Him fighting for them. Because of Israel’s relationship with God through His covenant, He was their refuge. God Himself was their stronghold, fortress, high tower, the place where no enemy could reach them.
Because of His unfailing love, He offers us cool, rejuvenating waters of peace and joy. But we must drink of these waters by fellowshipping with Him through prayer and meditating on His Word. In Him, we find strength and safety in times of trouble and also peace and joy for the difficult journey of life.

Image of End Time

Psalm 46:8–9 ESV
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
After assuring the people of their security in God, the psalmist invited them to behold the works of the LORD. To behold (chazah) means to perceive or to have a vision of.
The psalmist wanted the people to reflect both on God’s past faithfulness to their nation and also on His future plans for them. He prophetically directed their attention to the last days when God’s plan for the world and His purpose for Israel will ultimately be fulfilled.
Before declaring that God will bring peace to the earth, the psalmist revealed that this peace will not come through some treaty or agreement between the nations of the world. It will come as the result of God’s judgment and destruction of the nations.
When peace at last comes to this earth, it will not be because the leaders of the world sought peace but because God Himself forced it upon them.
Even when it seems our world is in total chaos and reeling out of control, we need to be reminded that God is in control and His purpose is being accomplished. He has revealed how this world will end. It will end when Christ returns to execute devastating judgment upon the nations of the world. Through conquering His enemies.
When we see things looking the least stable, it is time for us to remind ourselves of the stability we can find in the Father, and it is when we find our peace and comfort we can be still, and know He is God.

Be Still & Know

Psalm 46:10–11 (ESV)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Although it appears the nation of Israel would be destroyed, nations rising up against them, overthrown, going against God’s will…the nation seems to be a lost cause. The psalmist continues to give comfort and peace. They will be delivered. Church, as God’s children we can find the same peace that we will be delivered from all of this mess. If not here, physically, eternally. Be still - stop worrying over the things we have not control over and know God is fully in control. How do you get this type of faith? The word know (yada) means to know by experience. As we experience the faith and peace of God, we can grow in our faith, and our peace to the point we are relaxed and anticipate Him delivering us from our trials.
When overwhelming trouble invades our lives, God wants us to be still—to release our anxiety and rest in Him.Remember, God’s ultimate purpose in all things is to be glorified. As we patiently endure trouble and find His grace sufficient for every day, He will be exalted through our faithful testimony.
Leadership Ministries Worldwide. Psalms: Chapters 42–106. II. Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2015. Print. The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible.
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