(Ps. 46:10)

Mike Johnson

In Psalm 46:10 God said, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

This passage was probably written during the time frame when Hezekiah was the king of Judah. During this time, the Assyrian army, led by Sennacherib, their king, surrounded the city of Jerusalem and demanded surrender (2 Kgs.18, 19).  In Psalm 41, God is giving Israel assurances.  As is said in verse 11, God, the Lord of hosts (their refuge) was “with them” and would be their “refuge.” God indeed would be their helper, especially against such foes as the Assyrians.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the Hebrew word (translated “be still”) means, “…properly to cast down; to let fall; to let hang down; then, to be relaxed, slackened, especially the hands: It is also employed in the sense of not making an effort; not putting forth exertion; and then would express the idea of leaving matters with God, or of being without anxiety about the issue.”

Another passage, which presents a similar idea, is Exodus 14:13-14, which says, “And Moses said to the people, ‘do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.’” Consider the situation.  The children of Israel had fled Egypt.  Pharaoh and his army were approaching them, and they were up against the Red Sea.  They were terrified, and Moses told them, “don’t worry, be calm, God is with you.”

Consider also Romans 8:38-39 which assures us, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Today, we have the same assurances. Often, times can be tough, and life can have many challenges.  There is the temptation to give in to fear, anxiety, and despair.  When this happens, we need to “be still” and know that God is God! We must be patient and understand that God is our helper, and He is the Lord of hosts, and He will take care of us. Consider also the assurance given in Psalm 46:1, which says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Thus, in facing the anxieties of life, we must “be still” (relax) and trust God!