Be still, and know, I am God

Psalm 46:10 is the key to so many of our issues, our inner conflicts and our misconceptions. I have just come back from spending a weekend where I taught Hebrews 10:35-39, where I saw the Lord exhort us not to cast away our confidence.

In my Bible I bought in October, interleaved, it is a Revised Version from the original King James version 1611. It has such a take on Hebrews 11.1 so revolutionary

Now faith is the substance that is given to our hope and the testing of what is not seen.

In the course of teaching I came across Psalm 46:10, and it speaks to our modern living, it speaks to our disquieted soul, it speaks to our focus.

Be Still

Stillness is the first stage to knowing, and stillness I believe is the discipline which brings us face to face with the noise of our minds, the noise and disquiet of our soul, the interruptions of life, family, many many distractions. These distractions usually come when we set out, nobly, to be quiet and still. Being still can be seen as a attitude of self denial, denying our inclinations, desires time to rule. Being still can be a statement that we deny the world our attention and our spirit becomes focussed. Jesus Himself sought this stillness and communion with the Father before choosing the 12 Apostles. He also sought it after feeding the 5000, in many ways than just food. When we consider the first example, to choose the 12, He needed the wisdom of the Father, and the proof is how we see how the Faith has been handed down over 2000 years. So if Jesus sought that stillness as the Son of God, how much more us. There is so much to sap our energy, so much to turn us from divine wisdom, so much to take us away from feeding from Scripture and sacred writings. The command is “Be”. Not “do” stillness. So many of us are doing, without being. The doing is seen as a attention grabber of God, when Jesus is looking for those who simply sit at His feet.

The story Luke tells concerning Mary and Martha, is classic. Martha, in this instance, is seen as active, a doer, driven. I am sure from Jesus speaking to her, she became more still. Mary on the other hand let all practicalities go into second priority than listening to Her Lord. Jesus is seen giving much value to those who take time to be in His Presence than being active on what we think are Christian or Church activities. On Judgment Day it won’t be our achievements that will hang in the balance, rather our intimacy and obedience to Him will speak more.

And Know

In the Old Testament the Hebrew speaks a lot about “know” being the word “yadah”, which denotes “union” and the most intimate unions between man and woman in the context of marriage. The Word also tells us that this union is a shadow of the Union we should seek with God. It is not “knowing about” but “knowing Him”. It is seen that being still brings us into a dimension where we discover Him. Exodus 19 tells us the story that the Israelites had been invited to join with Him in a national, royal priesthood. Yet when the mountain was on fire, lightnings, the trumpets, the people grew distant in fear. Their drawing back, brought them into sin, and we see in Exodus 32 how far they had fallen away. They had made a Golden Calf, even Aaron carried away, calling it YHWH, the height of idolatry, bringing down the invisible to be visible. This is the definition Paul gives in Romans 1.

So as God tried through covenant to be near to His People, yet they drew back, every time. And it is not confined to the Children of Israel but the history of the Church shows the same tendencies. And as we draw back, throwing away our confidence, our faith, the more ignorant we become of His ways. If we are ignorant of His ways, how much we miss, how much we miss the open doors and solutions that God can give us if we know Him more and more daily.

I am

The words “I am” are very sacred in the Jewish tradition because they refer to God. He is the I am. He is the ever present, ever operating God who is transitioning, restoring all things to bring all things to perfection, especially those things, and those people who submit to that preparation. When Jesus affirms “I am” He is challenging the Pharisees and chief priests and shaking their tradition. He who bodly proclaims “I am” and the miracles that followed Him showed that the “I am” was He. The Psalms says “he is a ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46.1. The very first verse of this Psalm. He is a very present God in all situations and in all time. This means the focus cannot be ourselves but Him, and our destiny needs to be tied up with His eternal programme. His preparation, for our eternal life is not centered only where we will be, but who we will be with. His abode with us.

God

Our word for God is very limiting , the Israelites had many covenant names, which many of us know, for example Yahweh Rafa, the God who heals. Yahweh Yireh, God who provides. The name of God was always associated with a covenant, a ministration they received from Him in key moments. So we must know what and who He is to us. This can only be arrived at when our stillness brings us into knowing Him, and our focus being centered on Him. That way His Name is a reflection of His Glory.

In Exodus 33 we see God pass Moses, having put him in the cleft of a rock, hiding Moses from His face, seeing Him from behind. He passes, and as He passes He declares His name.

And the Lord passed by before him and proclaimed…the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression…

The Glory was in the Name. That is why the Name of Jesus is powerful because He who is the Name gave Jesus a Name, Philippians 2:5-10. At this Name, Jesus has dominion and power. Also see Daniel 7 what God the Father, the Ancient of Days, did for His Son. He was given a Throne, a Dominion, and at His Name so the enemies shall be subdued and defeated for ever.

This message of one verse has such depth, only in reflection do we grasp its wonderful and profound significance, and the implication is when we apply it, do we begin to see God’s will for us.

Shalom.

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