Be still (20-11-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 135:1,3
Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise him, you servants of the Lord.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
Bible Reading: Psalm 46:1-11
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the 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. He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46 is a psalm we often use on Remembrance Day, either as the psalm itself or as the hymn ‘God is our strength and refuge’, sung to the Dambuster’s March. Or maybe as the song, ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy one is here’.
This is a psalm that reflects on the many turmoils that occur in life, including earthquakes, floods and wars. And yet, in spite of the turmoils around, the psalm is punctuated with the refrain, ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’, and in its centre are the words, ‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
As well as the external turmoils in the world around us, we also face the inner turmoils; the earthquakes that shake our lives, the floods that threaten to overwhelm us and the personal battles that we face. In all of these times God is both our refuge that we can run to and a river of life that makes our hearts glad. And to each of us he says, ‘Be still… and know that I am God.
Is there a particular phrase in the psalm that catches your attention, maybe a phrase that God is speaking to you today, a phrase you can carry with you throughout the day?
We worship a God is with us, who calms the raging seas and who gives us peace. Let us bring to him the turmoils that rage around and within, that wars may cease and that God would be exalted.
In the wars and disasters that rage in the world, Lord Jesus, bring your peace.
In the turmoils that rage in my life, Lord Jesus, bring your peace.
Be still and know that I am God.