God is the Refuge and Protection of His People

Faith and Prayer Matter

the bible is God’s word

The doom and gloom brought about by wayward politics, corporate news, Big Pharma, Big Tech, propaganda, economic challenges and rising crime has caused us to take a look at my favorite Bible Verse, Psalm 46:10: Be Still, and Know That I am God.”

Many citizens our age remember how common it was to say a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance (“One Nation Under God…”) in school. We also recall when prayer was taken out of schools and off America’s playing fields, out of high school books and graduations.  Eventually even Ronald Reagan’s “moment of silence” was stripped from schools.  Now, public schools are running scared again – afraid to accommodate faith.  They should not be.  History and law are with them.  Knowing the law is important, but understanding the Bible is critical.

Vocal leftists, animated by resentment, atheism, socialism and undisguised hostility to faith – are on the march.  They seek greater control over our lives, and our faith.  But these bold assertions are historically and legally misplaced.  America is not hostile to faith and should not become so now out of fear.  

Our Founders knew America was protected by the Hand of Providence.  Odds were too long, miracles too many to ignore.  From daring Declaration to Washington’s improbable escape from New York under sudden fog, from Valley Forge to victory at Yorktown, faith grew – and was put in the Bill of Rights. 

Later, we Americans found our bearings by faith – after the Civil War, defending Europe in WWI, laying down their lives for others in WWII at places like Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Midway – later Pork Chop Hill, Inchon, Pusan, then Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Do not doubt, Americans rose from faith, defended the right of faith, and returned to give thanks for their faith.  Our faith in God matters. 

Misunderstanding the Bible is nothing new and I am certainly not an expert. Dodie and I both read the Bible daily and she is consistent in studying various literature about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. For many of us, it seems there is growing confusion that is only magnified in today’s world of false news, profits, 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. It certainly has happened for me.

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. The Bible is God’s Word and it should be handled better by those who want to live by it.

What God actually meant by His words is far more important than 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 as a 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.

As Christians, we 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.

Americans believe in God, not supremacy of mankind over God, irrelevance of God, or sanctity in irreverence.  We differ on particulars – and that is part of America’s genius, but we are pluralistic, not faithless.  Most are aware that our past is exceptional; most believe our future, quoting Ronald Reagan, may be better yet that we have a “rendezvous with destiny.”  Faith is central to that rendezvous.

Promoting repression of religious faith in American schools – favoring no official references to God over reference to God – is suppression of free exercise, a guarantee in our First Amendment.  And while it is hard to step up, it is also necessary – to defend the right.

We are not a nation of atheists, but of citizens who believe in God.  Roughly 83 percent of Americans are Christians, a smaller percentage Jewish, healthy slivers of devotees to Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Deism, Baha’i, and Rastafarianism.  In short, we are a nation of believers.  Believers Matter. The Bible Matters.

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2 comments

  1. Excellent insight on Psalm 46.

    Hand on the Helmhttps://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/hand-on-the-helm/

    God’s Protection in Battlehttps://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/gods-protection-in-battle/

    The Bullet Proof Presidenthttps://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-bullet-proof-president-george-washington/

    Liked by 2 people

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