Psalm 46:10! What Does “Be Still and Know That I Am God” Really Mean?

Psalm 46:10-11 Authorized (King James) Version

10 Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Psalm 46:10 is a popular verse for comforting ourselves and others—many people tend to believe this verse means to rest or relax in who God is. This verse does encourage believers to reflect on who God is, but there is far more to this psalm than one verse—and verse 10 is actually more of a wake-up call to be in awe than a gentle call to rest. Taking quality time out of our day to meditate on Scripture and be silent with listening ears toward God is mentioned in other sections of Scripture (Psalm 119:15, Joshua 1:8, Luke 5:16, and others). But this command— “Be still…”—is written in the context of a time of trouble and war; therefore, we should each likewise consider the verse with that context in mind.

Common Misunderstandings of Psalm 46:10

Instead of interpreting “be still” as a gentle suggestion, the meaning in this Psalm lends itself more to: “cease striving” or “stop” and more specifically in this context “stop fighting,” which is also directed toward the enemies of the people of God. The people of God should here interpret the command for themselves to read more like: ‘snap out of it,’ ‘wake up,’ ‘stop fearing’—acknowledge who your God is, and understand you are not—and be in awe!

However, it is good to note that there’s nothing wrong with the words in the translation “be still;” those words are not incorrect, it is simply helpful in our studies of this Psalm and this verse in particular to note the context of the phrase. Verse 10 has something empowering to say to both the enemies of God and the people of God, but it is unto the people of God the psalm is written to.

Verse 1 starts, “God is our refuge and strength” (my emphasis added). The Psalms are for God’s people.

The Message of Psalm 46 (AKJV):

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

What Is the Real Meaning of “Be Still and Know”?

“Be still” is the same thing Jesus says to the wind and the waves in Mark 4:39.

Mark 4:38-39 New American Standard Bible

38 And yet Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and [a]it became perfectly calm.

The very lives of disciples were gravely threatened by the onset of a severe and sudden storm. The disciples, many of them lifelong fisherman familiar and well trained by their fathers and completely familiar with all the waters they fished, were unable to contend with the sudden ravages of the severe storm. Instead of them relying on their own training and expert skills, they went to Jesus, and they shouted their pleas over the roar of the storm, into Jesus’ ear, to wake Him up from a rather deep and sound slumber. They woke him up. He stood up and against the great storm and quite quietly said: “BE STILL!” The wind and the sea then completely died down into silence, in awe and worship of the Creator.

How was Jesus able to stay asleep against the great cacophony of the thunder and sound of the crashing waves and the severe tossing of the boat? Was it an absolute assurance of his faith in His Father, God that: “ALL WILL BE WELL?”

Jesus implicitly trusted His Father, God. He implicitly trusted His Father would get him through the absolute worst of conditions – so he could just stay asleep?

There was a starkly contrasting lack of trust in God on the part of the disciples that God would bring them through the storm – if they would just cease their all too human reliance upon their own skills, alleged expertise and to “BE STILL!” “KNOW [WITH ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE] THAT GOD IS GOD” they would live?

That is God’s message shared with the world—the more people will come to KNOW HIM and understand his ultimate security and enjoy his presence. God’s goal in being with his people is so they can accomplish his purposes, to spread knowledge of him so more and more people can come to securely KNOW HIM!

The people of God must stop what they are doing and acknowledge that God alone is the sovereign ruler of the universe and commit their whole selves to following him. He will one day stop all wars and he will be exalted among the nations (the Gentiles and Jewish believers as one family, the Church) and all the earth. There absolutely will be no question of who God is and what he is doing.

At God’s voice the earth melts, the enemies cease fighting, and the people of God remember who their God is. God commands stillness and silence, but why is this important for the people of God? The people of God were prone to fear; they needed to remember who their God is. We don’t need to fear the end of our life—even in the midst of battle—because we’re going to that city; we’re going to Zion one day. We will dwell with God and there will be no more wars, no pain, and no end (See Rev. 21). We don’t need to fear what the world can do; we need to remember who our God is, and we need to share that knowledge with others.

So, there’s nothing wrong with the translation “Be still” in Psalm 46:10 vs. “Stop fighting” or “Cease striving,” and there’s certainly nothing wrong with believers taking time to be still and quiet before the Lord in prayer.

That’s something Christians should do every day, and we have Jesus as our sure and true example for that in Psalms 107:23-32 and Mark 4:35-41. But is the quiet, meditative interpretation of “be still” the best interpretation for Psalm 46:10 based on the context of the psalm as a whole? Maybe not, as it may take away from the intensity of the psalm—the way that God can command the earth and everything in it to be still before him and it is. But here’s what we need to remember about the application of this verse and the different views.

Regardless of whether we interpret “be still,” “cease striving,” or “stop” phrase of Psalm 46:10 to be God’s words toward the enemies of the people of God, his people, or both groups, there is great comfort in this psalm which extends far past one verse. David’s heart penning this psalm is “1000% awe!”

We too should find immense comfort in the fact that our God is an impenetrable refuge, HE ALONE will bring glory to his name among the nations and all the earth, and that HE will protect his people and bring them to everlasting peace.

KNOW God does call us to stop fearing, to be still and commit to him. In order to feel secure, we have to KNOW we have an utterly impenetrable home with God. 

God alone will make sure his glory is known. His Word reminds us of who he is and calls us to worship in awe.

BE STILL and remember who God is,

BE STILL and stop fearing,

BE STILL, see what God is doing,

BE STILL and acknowledge his greatness,

BE STILL and know God is with you…

Now, from within that mind-set of THOROUGHLY HUMBLED STILLNESS,

GET YOUR HANDS AND FEET MOVING and EXALTING THE LORD ALONE!

Spread the knowledge and the GOOD NEWS of who he is!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

God of truth and wisdom, sometimes I not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just my own feeble thoughts or even another spirit. Sharpen my spiritual hearing, Lord, so I can recognize your words when you are speaking to me. Help me know it’s really you, with no doubt or second-guessing. When I’m asking for your guidance in important decisions, pray, give me your peace that surpasses understanding with your answer. Help me remember that your words to me will never go against your written word in the Bible. Give me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

 https://translate.google.com/

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

One thought on “Psalm 46:10! What Does “Be Still and Know That I Am God” Really Mean?”

  1. The 8th פרק of Parshat אמור learns from כג: לג – מד.

    Chag Sukkot, again the Torah commands: כל מלאכת עבדה לא תעשו. The negative commandment of M’lachah, this commentary argues an additional definition: do not oppress or do acts of injustice. Clearly this late commentary does not dispute how the Gemarah of Shabbat learns M’lachah.

    Still no generation holds a monopoly on logic. This commentary argues that the greatest most authoritative commandment of the Torah, hands down, the opening commandment of the Sinai revelation. This לשמה commandment, not only trashes the Xtian bible and Muslim koran as avodah zarah counterfeits, but most significantly this commandment links the לשמה commandment with the oppression of Egyptian slavery.

    Let’s Learn.

    A distant precedent: משנה תורה ד: א – כד. This negative commandment לשמה, not to oppress our people, best defines the abstract משל, ‘fear of heaven’. This negative commandment לשמה also best defines the commandment not to add or subtract from the Torah.

    This negative commandment לשמה also functions as the most important precedent by which to learn the k’vanna of the 2nd Sinai commandment. Righteous common law lateral courts also essentially serve as the clearest definition of Torah wisdom for all generations of Israel.

    אלהים קרבים אליו The justices of the Courts go by the name אלהים. This משנה תורה most specifically commands to remember the Sinai revelation, which links the לשמה commandment with Egyptian oppression and slavery, together with ‘fear of heaven’. The Torah thesis statement: the mitzva לשמה, it defines the k’vanna of all the other תרי”ג commandments!

    All translations of the Sinai revelation of the Name therefore directly exemplify the negative commandment:
    ועשיתם לכם פסל תמונת כל סמל תבנית זכר או נקבה תבנית כל בהמה אשר בארץ תבנית כל צפור כנף אשר תעוף בשמים תבנית כל רמש באדמה תבנית כל דגה אשר במים מתחת לארץ ופן תשא עיניך השמימה וראית את השמש ואת הירח ואת הכוכבים כל צבא השמים

    Avodah zarah oppression of the weak most essentially defines. The משל metaphors of idols, or stars, or planets etc most essentially requires making the logical דיוק as defined by the aggadic story of the enslavement of Israel by Par’o and the Egyptians. This משנה תורה precedent to Sukkot likewise defines the נעשה ונשמע oath brit sworn @ Sinai @ Horev.

    A distant precedent: כא: א – כג: ז. Justice makes atonement for tumah bloodshed which defiles the sanctity of the oath sworn lands. Justice measures all social interactions and relationships, judged on the scales of tohor or tumah middot.

    Sending away the mother bird before taking her eggs, together with the negative commandment which forbids plowing a field with an ox yoked together with an ass, serves to define the k’vanna of the name justice, as the reputation of the oath sworn lands. Just as do all the negative commandments of sexual ערוה, or remembrance of the despicable manner which Moav hired Bil’am to curse Israel.

    A slightly distant precedent: כו: טז – כז: כו. The obligation to dedicate our lives to walk the walk of justice as the most holy sanctification of the oath brit faith, which most essentially separates and distinguishes t’rumah from chol, the chosen Cohen nation from the Goyim comparable to the הבדלה shabbat differentiates itself from the other days of the week.

    Righteous common law courtroom established justice shares no common ground with theological belief systems about the God(s) which the religions of avodah zarah prioritize and prize. Goyim injustice and tumah corruption of their vertical courts forever separates the העם סגולה/the virtuous people\ from Goyim barbarians.

    The Torah makes באר היטב, through Chag Sukkot its total and complete repudiation that avodat HaShem hinges upon the construction of some vain Temple cathedral pyramid egotistical vanity. Better to sanctify within the confines of the borders of our own small land, lateral common law courtroom justice — than conquer vast empires and oppress people through military oppression and cruel inhumanity.

    Righteous lateral common law courtroom justice defines the name of the oath sworn lands, dedicated לשמה to HaShem. Torah definitively rejects the theological, political, and/or religions, creeds & beliefs, which have defined the corrupt and defiled blood soaked lands of Europe and Russia. Xtianity, together with democracy or socialist political models, the Torah rejects, as utterly irrelevant.

    A slightly distant precedent: כח: א – יד. All Torah blessings hinge upon ruling the brit lands with justice. Through the mitzvah of Chag Sukkot, the simplicity of what HaShem demands has absolute clarity. The chosen Cohen nation does not require fancy adorned with gold Cathedral Temple pyramids, to do our avodat HaShem walk לשמה.

    The Torah rejects the avodah zarah worship of king Shlomo, his Temple construction, just as much as it likewise rejects both Xtianity and Islam. The notion that the Moshiach builds the Beit Hamikdash, complete and total narishkeit. This Moshiach superstition has plagued the Cohen nation long enough.

    Moshiach as a mitzvah stands upon the יסוד of the dedication of the House of Aaron. To what do the korbanot which Aaron dedicates לשמה sanctify?

    A building constructed of wood and stone and covered with gold, like the Dome of the Rock? Or lateral common law courtrooms which establish righteous justice as the reputation of our country, dedicated לשמה to HaShem?

    The mitzvah of Moshiach contains both curse and blessing, death or life which the generations of our people must themselves choose what they want to prioritize as most essential and important. Like the Chag Sukkot, just that simple. Chag Sukkot instructs an incredibly strong mussar which rebukes and repudiates the mystical Moshiach superstition avodah zarah narishkeit, which has plagued g’lut Jewry for 2000+ years. The tumah of this ‘Moshiach mitzvah’ has inspired and aroused the Yatzir Ha’rah within our hearts, and brought death, destruction, and misery upon our people worse than ever did Par’o.

    The kabbalah of the prophet יחזקאל teaches an exact precise precedent of mussar: א: א – ה: ד. The mystic vision of the Divine Chariot. Rabbi Akiva taught a simple פרדס explanation which shaped the construction of the entire Talmud, its warp/weft relationship between halakhah and aggadah.

    This kabbalah “mystery”, much like the Moshiach silly narishkeit, later commentators spun notions of superstition that perverted and deformed the simple idea by which Rabbi Akiva instructed, a simple Oral Torah logic sh’itta. The vision of the prophet refers to Israel as a rebellious house over and again. The mussar of the prophet forever rebukes the worthless Moshiach narishkeit which has plagued g’lut Jewry who have lost the wisdom to do and keep the Torah לשמה – just that simple.

    The curse of טפש פשט forever disgraces the history of our people. Jews remain in g’lut, just like the Wilderness generation. Because we foolishly approach avodat HaShem with bird brain mentalities.

    We have foolishly prioritized silly superstition, and Roman statute law over Torah common law and פרדס Oral Torah logic. What a complete and total disgrace, generations of Israel have tarnished the good name of Torah faith! What, HaShem decreed g’lut for 2000+ years because our people had turned away from our path of rebellion?!

    The mussar of יחזקאל forever rebukes g’lut Jewry, and our horrible stubborn stiff necked stupidity. The hardened heart of Par’o hardly compares to the way our people have clung to the despicable steadfast refusal to obey the oath brit which our forefathers swore upon their soul – us.

    Twice HaShem brought the battering ram against Jerusalem and razed the city which prioritized a cathedral pyramid Temple over lateral common law justice. Since king Shlomo worshiped avodah zarah with his “wisdom”; a wisdom that the barbarians of Europe strove to duplicate, the curse of ירידות הדורות has cursed our people with death, disgrace and destruction.

    The mussar instructed and commanded by the prophet יחזקאל rebukes and also defines the iniquity of the House of Israel from his generation till today. As the Book of מלכים, makes a satire that mocks the wisdom of Shlomo, so too the satire of the prophet יחזקאל repudiates the vision of the Temple.

    His mussar condemns the Capital City of Jerusalem and its humiliating rebellion which confuses making a barbeque to heaven, which HaShem never commanded – with righteous lateral common law Sanhedrin courtrooms, the essence of the whole of the Torah. Herein defines the mussar which Chag Sukkot rebukes our generations, to worship HaShem with love and joy through the simplicity of building a sukkah and waving four different species of plants.

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