And in light of many happenings in the world and in individual lives right now. I think worthy of a deeper look.
"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD"
I really don't have any problems with this beautiful verse, but I do often struggle with how we translate it.
I see portrayed describing a picture of a calm lake or the sun gently breaking through in a mountain forest. AH, God showing His strength in the calmness of creation.
Some different versions use different words to express our "being still" NASB says "cease striving". Peterson in the message says "Step out of the traffic". These are some clues that perhaps we are supposed to do more with this scripture then enjoy the peaceful paces of sunrises and calm days....
I Invite you to read all of Psalm forty six including verse 10a in context. As you read it, please note the environment in which this all transpires. I am sharing from the New King James Version today, because it best translates the poetry with language in the most readable way.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
I initially was stirred to look this up in the middle of the night while praying for the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear situation affecting the nation of Japan. God led me right to verses 2-3. God does not take away all the chaos, HE IS ACTIVE AND CALM IN THE CENTER OF IT.
And look at verse 10 that we so often quote the beginning of, not only are we being commanded to BE STILL AND KNOW THAT GOD IS GOD. He states, "I WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE NATIONS, I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH."
None of us can answer why earthquakes or any natural occurrences happen. Some even misdirect anger at God for the things that we are told are part of the natural earth.
I don't understand why earthquakes happen. I don't understand why suffering happens, but I do understand that the world through our lack of obedience to God takes us further and further away from His purposes for us. I do understand that Christ, who had no sin came to take away our sin by experiencing intense suffering (see 2 Cor 5:21). And I do realize that EVERY TIME in my personal suffering, when I turn to GOD - I experience HEALING, I sense PEACE, and I know that GOD WILL BRING ME THROUGH IT.
But I do understand that in all things - we need to realize God is with us and our task, our primary task is to acknowledge His presence praise Him through the storm and to reach our and love our brothers and sisters through their intense trials
I know many people who are going through personal earthquakes, tsunamis and internal nuclear meltdowns right now and even as I pray for the nation of Japan, I pray for each individual to STOP, CEASE STRIVING, to FIND GOD'S REFUGE IN THIS TROUBLE for when they do, the will NOT BE MOVED FROM THE CENTER THAT IS GOD.
PRAYING WITH AND FOR THE WORLD....Lord God in the chaos of the all in the world and in our lives, help us to find Your refuge in these times of struggle. We proclaim that YOU ARE THE LORD OF ALL and that AS WE PRAISE YOU, YOUR ways will be accomplished over all the earth. Help neighbor love neighbor and let Your Glory and Light shine over all the earth til all your ways are accomplished. We pray specifically for the nation of Japan and all those directly affected by this, help us to know the specific prayers you want us to pray and actions you want us to take and most of all help each one FIND YOU in their storm, AMEN