St. John’s University, Collegivelle, MN, 56231 2006
Saturday, June 13
PSALM 46 Derlene Williams
1God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. 6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire. 10He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” 11The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This psalm is a little different from most of the other Psalms which start with a crisis but Chapter 46 begins with God’s provision. So, right from the start of the chapter, He is assuring us of his ever-present help in trouble.
Many of the Psalms have a heading stating “for the director of music”. I chose Psalm 46 because it is one of those Psalms written to be sung. Two of my favorite anthems have lyrics authored in this chapter – He is My Refuge and Be Still and Know That I Am God. Singing is a wonderful way to remember the Psalms (and for me, much easier than memorization of scripture). Many of the anthems Randy chooses for our choir are directly from the Psalms. Especially during this time of coronavirus isolation, other than following directions about wearing masks, washing our hands, social distancing, and staying in, there isn’t much we can do about this situation…except to take refuge in Him.
My favorite scripture is the 10th verse of Psalm 46. For someone who tends to easily become anxious, this short command from Him is so very meaningful to me — “be still” and know (not just think) but know… that He is God…and that He is in control. We’ve all had times in our lives when we just need someone else to take charge and who better?! This is the one priority in life that makes everything else fall into place…making time to be present with Him.
For the last 12-14 years, I’ve met with a group of three ladies every other week for bible study. We communicate daily by way of email about what is going on in our lives. We share a scripture with one another that helps address that concern or question. The ladies are such a Godsend to me, and it is through this group that I have learned how to develop a true relationship with Him.
In this fast-paced world in which we live, with all kinds of technology to enable us to do even more than before, our expectations are high. The late Christian author and teacher, Russell Kelfer, put it very succinctly…”we need to slow our lives down to a pace where we can clearly hear what God is trying to say to us without forcing Him to hit a moving target! Stand still and see what God will do next. He wants to fight for you, but you will miss the battle and certainly miss the victory, if you don’t deal with the frenzy of anxiety…and be still.”
There are two ways to be still. You can choose to be still, setting aside time and waiting on God…OR you can be stilled by the circumstances of life until you have no choice, such as the death of a child, divorce, loss of a job, etc.
Kelfer describes the 46th Psalm as the Christian’s stance in the midst of life. Verses 1-3 describe our circumstances – and you must admit, the author points out some pretty dire circumstances with no hope but God tells us we have refuge in the midst of these circumstances. Verses 4-9 state the challenge; and verses 10-11 give the command and the cure. I love verse 10 as interpreted in The Message – “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Wow!
Something to ponder: Why are we in such a hurry to make decisions on our own and then maybe invite Him to follow us – instead of letting Him take the lead? Be still…
Poem by Russell Kelfer
Be still, my soul, the hurried pace
No longer can endure
That frenzied pressure is not good
Nor healthy, to be sure
You live as though the Kingdom’s call
Was left but up to you
In all your pride, you’ve overlooked
What your great God can do!
Be still, my soul, to quiet flee
The world will yet go on
And in the quiet night you’ll find
What life is built upon
Oh child, your God desires not
To hide from you His Will
His very nature He’ll reveal
If you will…just…be still
Be still, my soul, and leave at once
That hurried path you’ve trod
Sit down…be still…and listen
And get to know your God!