Bible References: Exodus 14: 13-14; Psalms 46: 10; Phil 3:10.
‘And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever’. Ex. 14: 13
‘Be still’, in the Hebrew verse above is an encouraging word, (which literarily means, do not be afraid) given by Prophet Moses to the Israel nation at the brink of the red sea. The pilgrim-Israelites were told to be silent, trust, and see the salvation of God.
To ‘be still’ requires submission and also takes a lot of energy to retain the instruction, command or advice in a world that is full of violence, poverty, chaos, uncertainties, power tussle, slavery, terrorism and kidnapping. A world where we trust in science, riches, rational thought, self, idols, and heroes more than the power of the Living God.
In Psalm 46 verse 10, the psalmist uses a a strong tone, ‘be still’, the Hebrew phrase probably means, Enough (Stop)! The nations around the Israel nation and God’s holy city of Jerusalem must know that Yahweh is God and he dwells with his people; I will be exalted over all who wage war against my children; I will show my glory over the wicked as I did to Pharaoh and all the kings lording over my inheritance.
The unsettled nation, on a journey had lived for over 400 years in Egypt. They had been battered by the Egyptians. They had cried for a Saviour, and longing for the fulfillment of the promises made to their forefathers (Gen. 48:21; 15:13-14; Acts 7:6-7).
We might have experienced (or may be experiencing) such a state of confusion in our life, when we were gagged or caged in the midst of trouble. For Israelites, seeing Pharaoh at the back, red sea in the front, and there wasn’t any route of escape implied a tragedy. To obey any words in a time of confusion may sound as a distortion in our spirit!
The question is? Do we see God as a Living Being who can be respected, acknowledged (know), worshipped, obeyed and followed? This is a big challenge that we face nowadays, just like the Israelites at the red sea. We should however, be humble to accept the word: be still and know!
Looking through Psalm 46 verse 10, in parts: (1).’Be still (2), and know (3) that I am God.’
Re-writing the above verse in a reverse order:
(3). I am God, (2) Know this (3) and be still.
We shall consider the reverse order. May his light shine upon our hearts in Jesus’ Name.
- I am God. It is an affirmation of his sovereignty and ownership of his world, and all that is therein (ref. Ps 24:1). ‘I am’, is the Name with which God introduced himself to Moses: I am that I am’, (Ex. 3:14) the Ever Present God, Yahweh Elohim. The Lord Jesus repeated the two words: ‘I am’, to the Jewish audience; “Very truly, I tell you,’ Jesus answered, before Abraham was, I am!” John 8:58.
To know the Father is to see him through the person of Jesus. ‘Luther said, ‘ I do not bother my head with speculations about the nature of God. I simply attach myself to the human Christ, and I find joy and peace, and the wisdom of God in Him.’ (Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, New Edition, Luther M; as translated by Graebner, T., pg. 16, 1935)
Jesus is the complete revelation of the Father God to us, the express image of His person. To know him is to live. Amen. 1 Cor. 2:2; Phil. 1:21.
- Know: To know a person(s) in Hebrew thought, can mean an intimate and personal relationship with them.
The Hebrew meanings of ‘know’:
(i) used in the book of Genesis 4:1, ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife….’. It involves a personal (sexual) intimacy.
(ii) the second ‘know’ means- to have an element of understanding, (of a matter) that is profoundly linked with our deep thoughts-an insight bringing out truth to reality. Paul, who once said, ‘ but we know in part’ (1 Cor. 13:9), also wanted it bigger: ‘ that I may know him (Jesus), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering…’. Phil. 3:10.
Seeking a deep knowledge of the Father and his Christ, his Person, character and attributes, his words of life, glory, his angels, creation, love, blessings, power, his heavens and kingdom and the new Jerusalem-our resting place after the sojourn in this world; is a duty for all Christians.
To know the worth of a person and what he does underpins a solid confidence.
In Psalm 46:10, ‘and know’, means, to acknowledge the supremacy of God over the nations and his saving acts to Israel.
Useful advice for us on the essence of ‘knowing’:
- Prophet Daniel: Those who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. Dan. 11:32.
- King Solomon: With all thy getting get understanding. Prov. 4:7.
- Our Lord Jesus: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ John 17:3. Having the knowledge of God is a pathway to eternal life. Knowing the True God, his Son and the kingdom and plan for us is life. Walking in the understanding and knowledge of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus make us live in the reality of his purpose for our lives.
- Apostle Paul: For those who did not like to retain God in their knowledge, he has given them to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient. Rom. 1:28. Really dangerous for the unsaved not to heed the knowledge of God.
Graham Kendrick’s song speak to us today:
Knowing You (All I once held dear)
- All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this;
Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord
- Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness
- Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die.
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music.
- Be still- (A command, instruction or an advice. Ps. 46:10)
Therefore, knowing that ‘I am’, is able to do all things, we should rest in the Lord, on his words of peace and be quiet. It would be rewarding to let go of our power pride to solve problems, with the little rich-ego and wisdom; allowing the Almighty Power to take over!
Therefore, we are admonished to,
(a) listen to the command of ‘be still’, God doesn’t request for our input to win the war, he only needs our trust in worship. He will fight and we will see his greatness. If he needs help he wouldn’t call you or me, for he is the Most High who does whatever he pleases. He brings glory to his holy Name.
(b) live a life of submission and surrendering to God, which will in turn help us to be at peace when in a dilemma or any challenges. A life that is devoid of godliness would seek for negative solution during crisis, and may not hear ‘be still’ even when the voice of the Lord is constantly calling.
(c) learn about the stillness of Mary, who, as well, receiving the words from the Angel agreed with the intention of God to give us the Word of God-Jesus. The Power of the Holy Spirit took over Mary, and she got the Son of the Highest. A ‘yes Lord’ answer from the young lady revealed a life of submission and intimacy with God; a life she had been living till the moment of divine visitation. Luke 1: 26-38).
(d) Count it all for joy. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.’ James 1:2-3.
Ten questions to ask ourselves and reflect:
- If you were present at the red sea; how would you respond to the crowd’s blowing over Moses: ‘…you could have left us in Egypt…’ Ex. 14: 12.
- How would the Pastor’s message of ‘be still’ meet with the family who is grieving over a beloved one?
- How would you encourage the sick and make him/her cross over to healing?
- What are the assuring words to give to a Law or medical student who had spent 10 years of failed education?
- At what junction would you come in to help and lift the burden of the hungry widow and the orphans?
- Would the anointed church be able to speak peace to the confused church members?
- God is in our midst, can we see him in action, someone asked? How can we give an assurance of peace?
- The children and youths of the Israel nation were troubled about the impending danger and their future was about to terminate at the red sea. What should be done to bring assurance to the youthful generation today?
- To act as God’s prophet to a dying world, would you stand out?
- How much time can we sacrifice to know the depth of the One who loves and gave himself for us?
Conclusion: Progressive knowing of God is absolutely necessary, as we maintain our faith and trust in the All-knowing God.
*Be still; look up at the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire by day and night, indicating God’s presence. Ex. 14: 21-22.
*Be still, for the Angel of his presence is with us; we are in the season of Good news. Luke 1:19.
*Be silent before me, o ye island, let the people renew their strength…, I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. Isaiah 41:1-4.
*Be still, for victory is certain for us. Praise the Lord. Psalm 107: 13-14; Psalm 46:9. Amen.