JUNE 22, 2024

Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

How many times have we heard this verse recited when we were in times of trouble? We  even see it used in artwork to remind us that He is God and that, as weak and helpless beings, we must trust that He will see us through those difficult times. I certainly believe that the sentiment expressed here is valuable and it is needful that we discipline ourselves to be still and let God do what only God can do. However beneficial this idea may be, though, it is not necessarily what the psalmist had in mind when they penned these words.

The Hebrew word translated as “be still” means “to desist, stop” or “stand down.” Viewed within the proper context — God destroying the might of the nations in order to bring peace — it would seem the directive to be still is directed, first and foremost, at the enemies of God. In other words, He is encouraging them to quit resisting His will, to lay down their weapons and to know that He is God. In short, they are not capable of overriding His will in the earth; to the contrary, He will be exalted in the earth by all the nations whether they like it or not.

The main point we need to acknowledge is that God always gives the wicked opportunity to correct their ways before He takes decisive action against them. As it is written, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11). These words are not just for the wicked among the nations, but is also true for His people. In fact, this statement in Ezekiel is actually directed at His people. And so, this is how He engages all of us — He gives opportunity for repentance before He administers correction. He prefers that we respond to His correction willingly and quickly without having to suffer public humiliation. But if we refuse, He will be God and we will be compelled to bow the knee. So then, it is always a good idea to stop what we are doing when in opposition to the Almighty and consider that He always wins. None  can outsmart or outmaneuver Him but we all have the opportunity and ability to serve Him.

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