Be still.

Photograph by my wonderful wife.

The art of silence is lost.  We live in such a busy, busy world that we really don’t know how to shut up.

Constantly barraged by music, television, news, co-workers, wives (sorry, my love), husbands, kids, pets, teachers, bosses… the list just goes on and on… we don’t have any time of solitude anymore.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 46:10 to “Be still and know that I am God.”  It tells us over and over in the Psalms to take a “Selah” moment, which means “pause and calmly reflect.”

The odd thing is how we miss God’s point in this verse.  Until we study out the Hebrew, we can easily take this as simply, be still or quiet.  Really, what God is saying is the word raphah. This particular word has many meanings.  It is usually used negatively.  It may refer to that which is slack, or to let drop, or in some instances, to be disheartened. However, when speaking about a person, as He is in this passage, it literally means to be weak.  God requires that we be weak so that He can be made strong.

2 Cor. 12:9 – “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’

It’s funny how sometimes our english translation can give us perspective on a verse that was not originally intended (by the writer, not by God… God knows the begining from the end and He knew very well what our english translation would look like.  He gave us a little extra ;)  )  We read in the english, “be still” and that inspires us to turn off the TV and the radio and seek quiet time with God… a very good thing.  But then we study it out and find a new meaning.  Become weak.  God wants us to surrender to Him.  Be weak, stop trying to do things on your own.

“…lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.”  (Proverbs 3:5,6)

The Bible is full of God telling us to stop trying to make it on our own.  He is so powerful and completely able.  We, however, are so powerless and incapable.  Why do we insist on trying to do things on our own.  We make God our last resort when He should be our first choice.  Often we try everything in our power to complete the task and when we fail we go to God.  God wants us to come to Him before we fail.  Sure, we learn from failures… but we don’t have to keep “learning” over and over again.

Next time you think you’ll face the big daunting task in front of you on your own, recall God’s words.  Be weak.  Be still and know what?  That I am God.  He could have said it this way… Know that I am God, and you are not.


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