Be Still and Know…
Think about a time when you faced a difficult or stressful situation. How did you react? Did you turn to God or away from God? Psalm 46 was written at a time when the people of Israel are facing an extremely difficult situation. They are surrounded by nations that wanted to wipe them out and take their land. And so the Sons of Korah write this song, reminding God’s people that their God is always there to help. He is their refuge, and He reigns over all the nations.
Reflect on the truths about God
- From verse 1, what do we learn about the way God interacts with his people?
- What pictures are used in verses 2 and 3 to describe the horrific nature of the situation the Israelites are facing?
- How do the truths of verse 1 help us to trust God no matter what circumstances we may be facing?
This Psalm has brought comfort to many in times of difficulty. How reassuring to know that when trouble comes we do not need to search for a place of refuge, for God Himself is our refuge. He is always there with us. He is the one who is constantly by our side; and He is the one who gives us the strength to face – without fear – any disaster that that threatens to overwhelm us.
Reflect on the power of God
- We are now taken to Jerusalem, God’s holy dwelling place. What contrast do you see between verses 3 and 4?
- What promises does God give his people in verses 5 and 7?
- What does verse 6 tell us about the power of God?
PAST: After the fury of the elements in verses 2 and 3, the scene changes and we are taken to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is seen as a place of calm and gladness. Why? Because under the old covenant this is where God the Most High dwells. And where God dwells, there is security and peace.
PRESENT: But we may wonder how we, who live under the new covenant, can relate to this verse. How wonderful to know that when we put our trust in Jesus, God dwells in us us by His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). And in Matthew 28:20 Jesus Himself assures us: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” So we too can know peace and gladness and security even in the midst of disaster.
FUTURE: Read Revelation 21:1-4 to see what will happen when God brings in His kingdom in all its glory.
Be still and know…
- What do verses 8 and 9 tell us that God has done? What truths do these verses teach us about God?
- In verse 10a what is God now calling upon the warring nations to do? How is this command reinforced in verse 10b?
- Verse 11 repeats the refrain of verse 7. What is the final assurance given to God’s people in these verses?
Isaiah 42:8 says: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols”. Our God is the One who is in control of everything. He commands the nations to ‘be still’ and submit to His authority. And we too need to come before God in stillness, humbly submitting to His authority. He has the right to rule the nations; He has the right to rule our lives. Let’s bow down before Him and acknowledge that the One who is our strength and our refuge is the mighty God who is Lord of all! What a privilege to know and serve Him!
Something to sing about
Take time now to be still before our sovereign Lord. You might like to listen to and sing along with some songs based on this amazing Psalm.
God is our Strength and Refuge (Richard Bewes); Be Still, Be Still My Soul (Sovereign Grace); Be Still My Soul (Katharina von Schlegel).