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Be still and know that I am God

Surrender . . .

God's Irrepressible Care of the World

by John J. Parsons

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Psalm 46:10(11h) (BHS)

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)

Lilies of the field

AS THE CLIMAX of Psalm 46, this verse is not so much about meditation as it is about the mediation of God's kingdom in the heart of faith. The command to "be still" comes from the Hiphil stem of the verb (רפה) rapha (meaning to be weak, to let go, to release), which might better be translated as, "cause yourselves to let go" or "let yourselves become weak" (in poetic contexts, the noun form rephai'im was sometimes used as a synonym for "the place of the dead").

But to what end are we to "be still," "let go," "surrender," and even to "die to ourselves"? In Hebrew grammar, the emphasis of coordinate imperatives ("be still!" and "know!") is on the second imperative. In other words, we surrender in order to know that God is in control as Ribbono Shel Olam – the Master of the Universe.  We "let go" in order to objectively know the saving power of God in our lives. We give up trusting in ourselves and our own designs in order to experience the glory of God's all-sufficiency (Ex 14:14).

When we surrender to the sure truth that the LORD God of Israel is in complete control of this world, we will find peace and be delivered from our temporal fears. Indeed, even though the present world be shaken (v 2), with the nations raging and the kingdoms of men tottering (v 6), we will not fear, since we know that God is our present help in time of trouble (v 1).

The LORD Reigns

The city of God will one day be established upon the earth
(vv 4-5), and the schemes of the "princes of this world" will all become desolate (vv 8-9), but in the coming kingdom the Lord Most High (El Elyon) will be exalted among the nations, and Yeshua will forever be exalted among His original covenant people Israel. 

Meanwhile, "set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth; for you are dead, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah who is your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory" (Col 3:2-4).

Time is indeed very short, friends, and the world is tottering in fear. Soon and very soon we are going to see our King!  So let's "be still" – in order to know that "the LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (v 11).


Psalm 46:10(11h) transliteration

Harpu u'de'u ki-anokhi Elohim
arum baggoyim, arum ba'aretz

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