Psalm 46:1-11 A Hymn About Jerusalem by The Sons Of Korah
Psalm 46:1-11 Be Still
When I was in college, I worked at the campus radio station. We had to “sign on” the station every day at sunrise. We used to play a record as soon as we hit the airwaves called, “Be Still And Know.” It was a daily devotional that was supplied to us. I don’t remember a thing that was ever said but I do remember the title. It comes from the King James version of verse 10 of this psalm.
A number of verses promise God’s presence with believers. One of my favorites is “Fear not for I am with you, be not afraid for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isa. 41:10 RSV, also Zeph. 3:17; John 14:21). But verse 1 here is a great one. Martin Luther wrote “A Mighty Fortress is our God” from this verse.
Would you fear if the mountains fell into the sea? I might. Revelation 8:8 says that one day something like that will happen. It will be called “the end of the world,” pretty much. Though a few other really horrible things will happen after that.
There is a heavy rock song with the lyrics, “When the mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.” That is the story of believers with God. He’ll be with us no matter what. Hopefully, we won’t be there when the mountains crumble into the sea but if we are, He’ll be there with us.
I know what you’re saying, “Yeah, if the mountains fall into the ocean we’re OK but what if there’s a tsunami?” Verse 3 covers that possibility which may be predicted in Luke 21:25.
Verse 4 speaks of a river that runs through Jerusalem. There may have been an actual water source built by King Hezekiah that linked the Spring of Gihon in Kidron with the Pool of Siloam within the city (cf. 2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:30). The background of this psalm may have been the attack against the city by the Assyrians (cf. 2 Kings 18–19; 2 Chron. 32; Isa. 36–37).
Do you want to be happy? The river God provides us for refreshment is the Word of God (v. 4, cf. Eph. 5:26). Do you drink water every day? Do you read the Word every day? Are you glad?
Yahweh was in the middle of Jerusalem protecting the city (vv. 5-7) and was powerful enough to secure it. He still is.
Believe it or not, the Lord will cause all wars to end (vv. 8-9). You might think you are going to elect someone who will do that but, actually, it won’t happen until the Lord brings peace (Hosea 2:18; Mic. 4:3-4).
Most translations render the beginning of verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God.” One of my all-time, favorite sermons is called, “Quietness,” by Charles Stanley. In it, he talks about the need to get alone with God and just be quiet. It struck me like lightning at the time. It seemed that I, and almost everybody else, had to fill up silence all the time.
The Holman Christian Standard renders verse 10 as, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God!” That is pretty straight forward. But how about the NET, “Stop your fighting—and know that I am God”? That seems to imply that the nations are at war. They will be at the end of the age but Jesus will come riding on a white horse and will break it all up (cf. Rev. 19:11-16). He will touch down on the Mount of Olives and that will be the end of the nations striving (cf. Zech. 14:4).
He will be exalted at that time (v. 10b, cf. Phil. 2:10). Until then, He is with us, the leader of armies, aka, hosts (v. 11a). Jacob in verse 11b represents the nation of Israel but He is also our strength and protector.
Can you be still and recognize that today?
Proverbs 10:23 Being A Good Sport
You may not be old enough to remember the picture of President Lyndon B. Johnson on the front page of most of the papers in the country, holding up his poor cocker spaniel by the ears. I do. And I’ll bet if that poor pet is still alive, he remembers it, too.
Later we’ll learn that, “A person who is passing by and meddles in a quarrel that’s not his is like one who grabs a dog by the ears” (Prov. 26:17). Some wicked people just enjoy being wicked and hurting people. Have you ever wondered, why did that person do that? That was just crazy and mean. They were Proverbs 10:23 people. They are biblical fools which as you know by know are unbelievers.
On the other hand . . . as we like to say in Proverbs . . . a believer deems accumulating wisdom to be a sport (v. 23b).