288. Be still and know.
Updated: 2 days ago
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." - (Exodus 14:14) Getting panicky in the face of adversity or danger is natural human behaviour but to be still, is unnatural behaviour seen only in those who absolutely trust in God and they will know the greatness of God, when he delivers them miraculously! "Be still and know that I am God." - (Psalm 46:10) Those who do not trust in God, will open their mouths to blurt out (say something suddenly and without careful consideration) words of distrust. For instance, when the Israelites saw the Egyptians marching after them, they were terrified and cried to the Lord. They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out Egypt ? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" - (Exodus 14:10-12) What they said was very provocative but the Lord put up with them but not so everytime! Numbers chapter 14 records that tragic watershed (an event or period marking a turning point in a situation) in the history of the nation of Israel when they plotted mutiny against Moses and Aaron. They said to them: "If only we died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? ... Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." - ( Vs 1-4) In the face of such open rebellion, God decided to wait for a new generation of Israelites to conquer the promised land. The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, inspite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? ... No one who has treated me with contempt will see the land ... In this desert your bodies will fall ... you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you." - (Vs11-34) Their rash words costed them their lives and their destiny!
To be still doesn't mean to be motionless but to quieten our souls, as David said: "I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother ... is my soul within me.' - ( Psalm 131:2) To be still also doesn't mean to be silent altogether, but to restrain our tongues from spouting (expressing in a vehement way) words of disbelief but we are free to express our belief. To be still, certainly means that we be carefree (free from anxiety though not from responsibility) because the Lord cares. 'Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.' - ( 1 Peter 5:7) The Prophet Isaiah meant the same when he said: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" - (Isaiah 30:15) We ought to repent of our dead works (Hebrews 6:1 - any works without faith is dead) to save ourselves and instead rest secure in the knowledge of God's work of salvation through Christ. Then 'when trouble or persecution comes because of the Word' (Mark 4:17), we will be able to quieten our souls and wait patiently for God to deliver us, as we trust in him. As David said: "I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." - (Psalm 27:13-14) Amen.