“Be Still and Know that I am God.” Psalm 46.10

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
“Be Still and Know that I am God.” Psalm 46.10

“God is our refuge and strength.” Can any refuge be so secure, so safe, so perfectly reliable? God who is everywhere present, must surely be a very present help in all our troubles. Pursued by sin, by Satan, by doubts and fears, we find no efficient refuge short of God. He is our Rock, and his wings are spread for our defense, and however weak and trembling in ourselves, God is our Strength. He is the Strength of our life, the Strength of Israel, and we are assured that “the Strength of Israel will not lie.” He will not betray our confidence in him, for, “they that trust in him shall be as mount Zion which cannot be removed, but abideth forever,” (Ps. 125:1). “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” (Ps. 91:1). And the psalmist says, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations; even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,” (Ps. 90:1). This assurance of safety and protection is enough to banish our fear. Of what can we be afraid, if he who holds a perfect control of all powers, and influences, is our Refuge? A refugee cannot be unsafe if his refuge be invulnerable; for a refuge must first be stormed and captured before the refugee can be imperiled. And this hope have we, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.

Sin, death and hell, the world, flesh and devil, doubts, fears and temptations, losses, crosses and bereavements, all may assail the child of God; and yet he can be still, rest confidently, for he knows that his Rock and Refuge is God. “Therefore” says the psalmist, “will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” What odds, where the earth shall rest, or whether it is dissolved and cease to be? God, not earth, is our refuge and strength, and God cannot be moved nor overcome; and as he is not moved, so neither can his holy city, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High be moved by any or all of the commotions, or convulsions of the earth: for, “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.” The wicked are like the troubled sea that cannot rest, or be still; because the earth does not know that he is God. Yet, though the waters of the sea roar and be troubled, and the mountains of the earth be shaken with the swellings thereof, the river which proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb, whose waters of life are clear as crystal, are tranquil, in their channel; for, “There the glorious Lord shall be unto us the place of broad rivers and streams;” subject to no such turbulence, its peaceful, placid streams make glad the city of God. The Lord their Shepherd leads them beside the still waters. “the heathen,, (those who do not know that the Lord is God, and therefore cannot rest) raged; the kingdoms were moved.” But, “why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves; and the rulers, (of the earth) take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” Yet, notwithstanding all their rage, their counsel, their resolutions, their kingly power, and lordly authority, and their united assault upon the bands and cords, by which the church of the living God is bound together and secured in his impregnable fortress, the government of Christ shall tower above their rage and violence; for, “yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.”

The kings of the earth set themselves; but the government of God, in Christ his Anointed, God himself has set. And Christ shall rule them with a rod of iron, and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel; so that they can never be reconstructed or put together again. The heathen raged, the kingdoms, (or governments) of earth which set themselves against the Lord, and against his anointed, were moved. He who uproots the mountains and casts them into the midst of the sea, removes the established nations and governments of the kings and judges of the earth; “the kingdoms were moved.” How were they moved? We are told. “He uttered his voice, the earth melted.” By the utterance of his voice, the world with all its kingdoms, nations, generations and powers were brought into being, and at the utterance of his voice they melt and pass away. “Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge.” With whom? With those who know that he is God, and who dwell in him: for he will never leave nor forsake them. God is in the midst of her; and she is safe. Do we ask for evidence that God who is our refuge is with us, and in our midst, and that he will help us right early? If so, “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he has made in the earth.” Look at a deluged world in the days of Noah. Where now is Sodom and Gomorrah? What became of the Egyptian army that pursued Israel? Where are the Canaanites? Where is Moab, Babylon,-or any of the nations that opposed the armies of the living God? Can we review the desolations which our God has made in the earth, and doubt that he will, in due time, make wars to cease unto the ends of the earth? His word has gone forth in righteousness, and shall not be recalled; unto him every knee shall bow, and to him every tongue shall swear. All this will be accomplished without our aid; for what can we do to strengthen his hand, or subdue his foes? Yet, “The enemies of the Lord shall be broken to pieces, out of heaven will he thunder upon them.” What had Israel to do when confronted by the Red Sea, hemmed in by insurmountable mountains on the right and left, and closely pursued by a mighty army in the rear? Stand still was the command, and see the salvation of God. And even so, comes the command of God to his people. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Gilbert Beebe, From Signs of the Times—May 15, 1867.
 
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