The doom and gloom brought on by the 2020 Election, China Virus, economic challenges and wayward politics caused us to take a new look at my favorite Bible Verse, Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I came upon the writings of Levi J. Secord, from Riverview Baptist Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota. This is our second guest post on CleverJourneys.
Misunderstanding the Bible is nothing new. This confusion is only magnified in today’s world of memes and one-liners on social media.
Single verses are often elevated to popularity because they fit some preconceived agenda we want to advance. So a verse grows in popularity with no thought given to the actual context of the passage.
For those who hold a high view of scripture, this trend is alarming. It shows an utter disrespect for God’s Word fueled by laziness.
We need to approach the Bible on its terms. If the Bible is God’s Word (it is), then it should be handled better by those who want to live by it.
What God actually meant by His words are far more important than how what we want them to mean.
Let’s start with the first part of Psalm 46.10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
This passage has become a Christian cliché as it appears on everything from bumper stickers to social media feeds.
The Common Misunderstanding
When you read Psalm 46.10 you probably think of being physically quiet before God, of slowing down your frantic pace, and finding time to read your Bible.
This passage commonly brings to mind serene landscapes and the idea of finding rest and peace before God. What do you Christian need to do? Be still and know. They need to rest in who God is. Basically, we need to let go and let God handle our problems.
There is a lot of truth to us needing to quiet ourselves before God and to prioritize spending time in prayer and the reading of His Word. Nonetheless, this is not what the passage means. Not even close.
What Psalm 46.10 Actually Means
Psalm 46 is actually about war. It starts with the great promise that God is the refuge of His people, where they can find protection from the raging of the world (46.1-3). It then shows us the nations raging against God and His people (46.6) before moving to God’s response of bringing destruction on the earth and the nations (46.8-9).
The context of verse 10 is war. The setting is a battlefield.
In this war, God protects His people and brings the nations into submission.
Psalm 46.10 is God entering the battlefield of the raging nations and defeating them by His voice. When God says “Be still, and know that I am God,” this is not directed at God’s people, but at the nations. It is directed at the enemies of God. It is a royal command of the King of Kings and by that command, He brings desolations upon His opponents.
Be still and know is the battle-cry of the LORD directed at His enemies, not an encouragement for believers to find rest in God. It is God entering the war and claiming victory by the power of His voice. The HCSB translation helps us to see this, “Stop your fighting—and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
So Psalm 46.10 is about God defeating the nations and about Him being exalted by all of creation.
Why It Matters
We have a tendency to sand off the sharp edges of God to make him more palatable. Psalm 46.10 reminds us God rules and he conquers. There is coming a day when he will enter the battlefield and he will conquer simply by speaking.
The nations will be stilled, and left speechless. They will know that the LORD is God. In fact, this is fulfilled in Revelation 19.15-21 where Jesus descends and slays the nations of the world by a sword that comes out of His mouth.
He defeats the nations by speaking, just as we are told will happen in Psalm 46.10.
Christians need to remember the Lord rules and He is a conquering King. He is so great that the strongest nations will be defeated by His mere speech. On that day every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is what Psalm 46.10 is about.
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Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.