Psalm 46, 47 and 48 share the same theme, and as psalms of the sons of Korah, a people of the Judah nation, perhaps during a time of immense need – During the reign of King Hezekiah, the Assyrian troops surrounded Jerusalem [2 Kings 19]. Hezekiah admits that he is powerless against the might of Assyria, but God says, do not be afraid. When the Assyrian king taunted the god of Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed, now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God [2 Kings 19:19]. Hezekiah didn’t do anything else – but God delivered them indeed – That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp [2 Kings 19:35]. Psalms 46-48 share the theme of exalting God even in suffering, and Psalm 46:10 is a perfect summary.
In times of suffering, where do we turn to? Often, we don’t know where to turn to, and we hurry about in a panic. Turn to God first. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t move. Turn to God first. Run to Him. And when we run to God, when we look to God, we need to rest. We need to be quiet, be patient, wait, and believe. Job turned to God, and while he still trusted in God, he was complaining and trying to seek an answer, and he couldn’t enjoy the peace that we should have in God. When we run to God, His peace will calm us, and when we are calm, we will be better positioned to deal with our crisis. We gain strength from God. We also gain hope and assurance from the Lord. Sometimes, if you can’t do anything, or don’t know what to do next, it’s okay not to do anything. Leave matters in God‘s hands. Be still – relax, and don’t put in any exertion. God is in control. Know that He is in control, because He is God.
Know that He is God
If your God is small in your heart, your problems will seem big. But if your God is big in your heart, your problems will seem small. When we know God, and how amazing He is, we will be able to gain peace and patience through our difficulties. When we know the true might of the Lord, all problems become small to us.
After 37 chapters of agony, and 35 chapters of complaining, not understanding, and trying to get an answer, God tells Job – Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. [Job 38:2-4] Basically, God tells Job, you don’t know anything, do you? Who am I? You don’t understand anything, yet why do you question me? Instead of complaining, just stand there and bask in my greatness. Remember my power, and be comforted. Be still. Don’t worry, don’t grumble, but just have peace in the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture [Psalm 100:3]. When we know how great God truly is as our Creator, we can fear him as we gain greater understanding [Proverbs 9:10].
All kingdoms will know that our Lord is God. All earth will exalt Him. Imagine how the world reacted when Sennacherib’s army was annihilated over night? Even nations who worship idols and do not believe in the Lord will know of His great name, they will fear the God of Israel and they will exalt him. Later on, through the blood of Christ we know that the gospel was opened to the Gentiles. God’s salvation will be proclaimed in every nation and every tribe, to the ends of the all the earth.
God will deliver, even in times of difficulties
There was the example of Hezekiah‘s Judah, perhaps the contextual story behind Psalms 46, and how God delivered them when Hezekiah kept still and turned to the Lord. There was the example of Job, who God delivered after 37 chapters of misery, as the knowledge of the greatness of God dawned upon him, and he was finally able to be still and have peace in the Lord. There are many other examples. During the Exodus when the Israelites were afraid of the pursuing Egyptians, Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.Stand firm and you will seethe deliverance the Lordwill bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” [Exodus 14:13-14] What did the Israelites have to do? They only need to stand firm, stay calm, be still. What did God do for them? He divided the waters, made sea into land so that the Israelites could cross the Red Sea, and devoured the Egyptians with the water when they tried to cross it. What did the Egyptians say? “Let’s get away rfom the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” [Exodus 14:25] Indeed, God has said several times that he will make sure the Egyptians will know that He is Lord [Exodus 14:4; 14:18].
What are we doing in times of difficulties? Are we struggling to cope, because of our limited abilities? Are our hearts heavy, because we are overwhelmed? Or have we turned the wrong place in our search for deliverance? Be still, God said, and know that he is God – Lord God Almighty, creator of heavens and earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire [Psalm 46:9]. He laid the earth’s foundation, marked off its dimensions, set its footings, laid its cornerstone [Job 38:4-6] He gave the seas its boundary [Proverbs 8:29], made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding [Jer 10:12]. He forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth [Amos 4:13].
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? [Isa 40:14] – God never needed to consult us. God never needed to consult anybody. He is always reliable. In him we can trust, and we never have to worry. In him we can find peace, and we can truly be still.
Quoting Mama Maggie [Youtube Video]:
Silent your body to listen to your words.
Silent your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
Silent your thoughts to listen to your heart beating.
Silent your heart to listen to your spirit.
Silent your spirit to listen to His spirit.
When we are in silence, we leave many and be with the One.