“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (NIV)
At the end of Psalm 46, God himself speaks. Is He speaking to the nations or to His people? It’s hard to tell exactly, but it seems to apply to both. In fact, God might just be speaking to all of creation, reminding the whole world that He alone is God!
Verse 10 tells us what not to do and what to do. Be still is also translated as “Stop fighting” (CSB), “Stop your striving“ (NET), or “Cease striving” (NASB). One Greek dictionary says it means “to be unoccupied or to stand empty” (BDAG). God seems to be telling us to stop panicking, or to stop trying to fix everything since we can’t control it anyway. To be still is to stand empty, to stop depending on our own resourcefulness, intellect, personal charisma, and money.
Next, God tells us to “know that I am God”. Theologian Eugene Peterson says, “Step out of the traffic! Take a long look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything” (MSG). To know God is to acknowledge, recognise, and admit that He really is God over all! We’re not God. Our religious and political leaders are not God. Nature is not God. Only God is God, and we know Him personally!
Our God who is exalted and worshipped among the nations is also the “Lord Almighty” and the “God of Jacob”. There has never been a time when God was not. And there will never be a time when God is not. He is forever powerful, commanding armies of angels. Best of all, our powerful and in-charge God is with us. He is for us. He is our stronghold.
Father, forgive us for failing to trust You. Give us the grace and strength to “stand empty” before You—to rely on You, to cast our worries and fears on You, and to trust You. Take our fears and worries and replace them with faith and trust. You are with us! You are our refuge and strength, our stronghold! Amen.