Nurturing Life Part 4 – Be Still and Know Psalm 46:10

What does this verse mean and what is the context?

10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

10  “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

The Psalm is directed to the nation of Israel, assuring them that though they may be surrounded by conflict, Yahweh is their strength and deliverance. In other words what Israel cannot accomplish, their own deliverance, Yahweh will.

Verse 10 in this Psalm is often used to encourage us to just get quiet before Him and sit in His presence. I have suggested and practiced this many times myself and find it an effective application of the verse. Yet what of the deeper simplicity inherent in it? ‘Be still,’ ‘cease striving,’ in other words, ‘Quit trying to make things happen on your own. Recognize that you are not in control.’ If we are consistent and purposeful in our walk with Him, then all things will work together for our good (Rom. 8:28) and we can let go of our worries and anxieties. What this can mean in our lives is that we can walk in His peace (shalom) each and every day.

How do we get there? It requires getting our eyes off of our circumstances (the message of Psalm 46) and setting the gaze of our heart upon Jesus throughout the day. This requires practice, the disciplining of our heart and mind. We begin by focusing our heart and mind on Him to set the course for our day then asking for and drawing on His grace to reorient our heart and mind throughout the day. This requires awareness and choices. It also requires a belief in the truth of scripture. Look at verse one in this Psalm.

1  God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)

When we need help Yahweh is near at hand. His help is available in trouble and I think it is easier to turn to Him in trouble if we have formed the habit of simply turning to Him throughout the day as an outflow of the affections of our heart. Where are you turning?

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