Be Still and Know, Part 1
We’re all busy. We’re always rushing, always in a hurry. Hurry to get breakfast made. Hurry to get the kids in the car. Hurry to work. Hurry between appointments. Hurry to type out an email between meetings. Hurry to catch the train. Hurry to get our assignment turned in.
We need rest. But what is rest? A nap? The absence of work? Watching Netflix? Exercise? These all involve relaxing—but is relaxing the same as rest?
Psalm 46 shows us that God created all of us with the need to be still and know that He is God and we are not.
The Psalm shows us this by answering two questions: Who is God? And what is our response? Part 1 of this post will focus on the first question.
Who is God?
God is our refuge.
Look at Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge.”
God was a refuge for his people on the ark through the flood. He was their refuge when the blood was painted over the doorposts on Passover and his people were spared. He was their refuge when they were attacked by enemies as they entered the land. And he is our refuge in Jesus—crucified for us so that we would not have to bear wrath against sin.
Jesus is your refuge if you turn to him—if you believe that he is able to take your sin upon himself and give to you forgiveness. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 1:28-30). To find refuge in Christ is to find rest for our weary souls.
God is present with his people.
Look at the end of the first verse: “A very present help.”
Throughout this Psalm we see that God’s presence is described in two different ways. First, we see that God’s presence refreshes his people, and then that God’s presence brings stability to his people. He can be your very present help wherever you are, in whatever situation you find yourself.
But we also see his presence in the repeated refrain, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vs. 7, 11). This is language that describes God as his people’s protector. “The Lord of hosts” refers to all of the angels. He is Lord over all. “The God of Jacob” reveals that the God who has revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God who provides protection for his people now. He is our fortress.
If you are in battle and are out in the open, you will not find rest. You need a fortress—then you don’t need to worry about a surprise attack. You are safe. You can rest.
There is great hope in the fact that the foundation of rest doesn’t have to be peaceful times! These two truths about God transcend peaceful times. The foundation of rest is God himself.