April 16 2023
Today, Sunday April 16
“Be Still and Know That I Am God”
“Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. 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. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
What do you do when disaster strikes? Who do you turn to when you are overwhelmed with trouble or circumstances beyond your control? I would suggest that you keep Psalm 46 handy! We need to remember that Psalm 46 was written to celebrate the victory that the LORD of Hosts gave to Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem when He sent an angel and destroyed 185,000 invading Assyrian soldiers in one night.
In this song of celebration, we learn that we should always trust the LORD of hosts, our creator God to bring us deliverance! In verses 1-3, we find that our God is a tower of strength. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We can always depend on the “all sufficiency” of God!
In verses 4-7, we are told that God is our river of joy! He is the One who gives us security! We don’t need to fear if the “nations rage or if all the kingdoms of the world move against us”. Because all God has to do is “utter His voice and the earth itself will melt”. Yes, it was at “the break of dawn” that King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem saw the dead bodies of the enemy soldiers scattered across the fields surrounding their walls.
Now in verses 8-11, we “come and behold the works of the LORD”, because He will be glorified! We see the supremacy of our great God! The scene is on the fields surrounding Jerusalem where the Assyrian soldiers lay dead, their weapons and equipment scattered and broken. There had been no battle, but the angel of the Lord left this evidence behind to encourage the faith of the people. "Come and see the amazing things (desolations) the Lord has made! 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.” The Lord defeated and disarmed His enemies and destroyed their weapons, and they could attack no more.
Then God Himself speaks! He says, "Be still, and know that I am God”! “Be still” literally means "Take your hands off! Relax!" We like to be "hands-on" people and manage our own lives, but God is God, and we are but His servants. Because Hezekiah and his leaders allowed God to be God, He delivered them from their enemies. That was the way King Hezekiah had prayed: "Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know You are the Lord God, You alone" (2 Kings 19:19).
The Lord calls Himself "the God of Jacob," and we remember how often Jacob got into trouble because he got his hands on circumstances and tried to play God. There is a time to obey God and act, but until then, we had better take our hands off and allow Him to work in His own time and His own way. If we seize His promises by faith with both hands, we won't be able to meddle!
God allows us to get into "tight places" so our faith will grow and He will be exalted. (See Psalm 22:27; 64:9; 86:9; 102:15.) The theme of the next psalm is the exaltation of God in all the earth (Psalm 47:9), and it's likely Hezekiah wrote it. People boast of the great things they have done and never give God credit for anything, not even the strength and breath He gives them freely. But that will change. "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isa. 2:11).
Yes, we live in the day of the weapons of “mass distractions”! Our cell phones, our computers, our TV’s, and a thousand other things clamor for our attention! It is extremely difficult to be still, to be quiet before God, and listen to Him. Jesus told us when we pray to “enter the closet and shut the door” (Matthew 6:6). Shut the door to all the noise and distractions around you and take the time to “be still and know that He is God.”
My friend, when you do this, you will find, like Hezekiah, that our God is a “very present help in time of trouble.”