Topsy Turvy vs Be Still Part 1

Posted: October 25, 2012 in Inkspots, Musings, Scribe Scribbles
Tags: , , , ,

Today didn’t go at all as planned;  I got a phone call that brought me into work  earlier than my shift usually starts, I didn’t get anything I had planned done online, and on top of that,  I keep thinking that it’s Friday.  I don’t know why I think  it’s Friday, it’s clearly Thursday.

Days like this make my head ache and my soul throb. I am all out of joint with my schedule, and feel very much out-of-place.  To  combat this I decided to look into the “Be Still” command I have seen everywhere recently. It’s found in Psalm  46, verse 10.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present  help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.

 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with 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 fortress.

It’s interesting to me, to note that this “Be Still” comes right in the middle of all the imagery about  wars. It almost seems out-of-place as the psalmist is rattling off  how the Lord is the one that breaks the bow and shatters the spear and burns the chariots with fire.  Before that, we are reminded that He is a very present help in time of trouble.

This isn’t  a  peaceful time, that’s for certain. This psalm  is  tumultuous, but even in the turmoil, the writers are fixing their gaze not on the chaos but the One who is greater than the violence of war, the brutal reality of cities falling, and the desperate need for a Champion. But their words are like a whirlwind, something churning and burning in the language isn’t at all what it should be. So in the middle of all of this  spoken truth, suddenly the LORD interrupts the  Psalmist and says:

“Be Still, and Know that I am God. ”

The Hebrew for “Still” is the word (transliterated)  raphah   which means  to “sink down, drop, relax,  abate, rest,  withdraw” It is the  imperative  tense  putting it into the realm of  a command.

It might be paraphrased “Shhh. Be quiet, sit there without moving.”  Which is what I often feel Him telling me when I’m getting overwhelmed, I need to stop thrashing around and look at him.   I need to  stop talking ABOUT Him, and look AT Him.

  1. Kathy Black says:

    What a beautiful message and very timely indeed. Thanks. I needed that as the hurricane news surrounds us. Yet. Our God is greater and we can all pray it move out to sea and do no harm. Peace be still storm…may our God be in the midst of all the talk of chaos and hug us all. Amen

Be brilliant, be peculiar, be peculiarly brilliant.

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