This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 46:10

‘Be still and know that I am God.’ 


    “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” (Originally written in the German language with the title “in feste Berg ist unser Gotte”) is one of the best known hymns by the protestant reformer Martin Luther, a prolific hymn writer. Luther wrote the words and composed the hymn tune between 1527 and 1529. One has well-written the following in regard to the subject matter of this forty-sixth psalm, when writing regarding the psalmist’s thoughts. "Happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure, this is the doctrine of the Psalm, and it might, to help our memories, be known as, The Song of Holy Confidence, were it not that from the great reformer’s love to this soul-stirring hymn it will probably be best known as Luther’s Hymn.” We might be able, happily, to acquiesce with this assessment, to a degree at any rate. However, we feel that the primary thrust of the psalm is to be found in the tenth verse, as we have indicated by our use of that verse for our focus this week. We must cordially, then, demur from joining hands with the author cited above, as he begins firstly with the assessment that , “Happy what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure, this is the doctrine of the Psalm.” Perhaps, if he had not insisted on that being the doctrine of this psalm, we might be quicker to align with him. But stating that ‘happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure,’ sounds to us too much like a lot of our modern drivel, contained in epithets such as ‘whatever happens, happens, or, ‘don’t’ sweat it, and, get over it.’ We are convinced, as suggested above, that the thrust of the teaching of this psalm is to be found in the glorious words of direction, Be still and know that I am God.  

    And, it must be conspicuously affirmed that this verse is completely absent from Luther’s paraphrase. This is the entire heart and substance of the matter; this is the major problem with paraphrases; that they take much liberty with the Word. In this case, leaving a huge gap. The blessed support for this direction comes to the reader of the psalm from that matter found in the other verses. They are, each of them, clearly stated in verses one, two, five, seven, and eight. We will seek below to express our views of these arguments, one at a time, and attach to verse 10: as reasons why the people of God should learn to “Be still and know that our God is God indeed, our Refuge and our Strength.” 

    The arguments given by the psalmist through God the Holy Spirit, are found, firstly, in verse one where it is strongly affirmed that God is our Refuge and Strength, and furthermore, being our Refuge and our Strength, He is, being the Omniscient One, our “present help in trouble.” These things being absolutely True, why should we not Be Still, and know them?

    The second argument proffered by the psalmist, under inspiration, we remind our reader, is that There is a River, the Streams Whereof make glad the city of our God. The New Testament saint hardly need look very far for the likely intention of the meaning. Simply moving ahead a little to the seventy-eighth psalm, and verse sixteen, recalling that this particular psalm is a registry of the activities of the God of Israel for His people, which our fathers have told us [vs. 3]. So when we read Psalm 46:4, There is a River, our thoughts will extend, almost immediately to 1 Corinthians 10:4, where it is written, by Paul, of Jehovah’s people, traversing the wilderness, and being supplied water when Moses smote the Rock, the apostle writes, for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Christ is, indeed, Himself, the River, the Streams whereof make glad. And, so once again, we are called upon to Be Still and know that he is God.

    And He, by His Holy Spirit, given to His people, is in the midst of His people; God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; BE STILL.

And, since, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, comprise Triune God, we may truly argue that Jehovah of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge. Therefore, Be Still and know that I am God. This is the same ‘Stand Still,’ that is found elsewhere spoken by Jehovah to His people. We will remind our reader of that initial delivery, that exodus from Pharaoh and Egypt; how as God’s people were fleeing they came upon the Red Sea that absolutely put a stop, a barricade to their flight. Naturally, they cried unto Jehovah; He heard them; granting Moses to say unto them Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you today.

    Remember, believer, all that God has done for you, and fear not. Stand still. From the day that we first began walking, the most difficult instruction for us from our parents was, Stop, Stand Still. And even today, as redeemed sinners; redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb, we continue imagining that we know best. The most difficult thing for us to do is to wait, but Paul has enjoined us, in Galatians 5:5, For we through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. And also, in Philippians 3:20, For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Savior. BE STILL !!


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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