Out of CONTEXT Verse: Psalm 46:10

The world is in direct and open war against God and His Kingdom. There is a struggle going on. But a day is coming when God will stop His enemies in their tracks.  And then, they will know that He is God.

A favorite verse to quote when someone is struggling, anxious, or going through internal conflict is Psalm 46:10.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Whenever I hear this verse, I think of resting in the arms of a Heavenly Father who loves and cares for me. I think of the truth that He is in control. That is, until recently.

I decided to read the entire chapter of Psalm 46. And when I did, I found that this verse isn’t about me. In fact, I would be putting myself in a very dangerous position if I even wanted this verse to be about me. Claiming this verse as my own, means I have chosen to become an enemy of God Almighty.

Psalm 46 begins with wonderful language of God’s strength in times of trouble; about he Paradise of God. This is likely why we associate verse 10 with our trusting in God in times of trouble.  But just a few verses earlier, the tone and audience of this Psalm changed. This passage became about God’s war against His enemies.

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. Selah
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!”
– Psalm 46:6-10 ESV

There is a war raging. God’s people, Israel, and God’s city, Jerusalem, are at the heart of this war.  And verse 9 gives us the clear context necessary to properly interpret the phrase, “Be still and know that I am God.”  It says that God will make the nations warring against Him, and all attacks against His people, to come to a sudden halt.  He will command the nations to “Be still, and know that He is God.” In spite of all of the opposition and struggle against Him, He will be exalted among these nations.  They will acknowledge that He is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe and all within it.

This brings to my mind Paul’s statement to the Church at Philippi, when he says that a day will come when every knee in Heaven, and earth, and under the earth, will bow to Jesus the Messiah, declaring that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Every knee will bow. You can bow today – willingly –  or in the future by force. But your knee will bow.

Have you surrendered to Him?

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