Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
Be still – I’ve heard this verse quoted many times as if God was instructing us to just remain calm. Just quiet yourself and understand God. As if a call to stop the hustle and bustle of your life, and to just be still for a moment. Unfortunately, this understanding comes from selecting a verse out of context and glazing over the English translation to make it fit for us.
Be still in Hebrew, is the word rāp̄â ( רָפָה ) which actually means “be disheartened, be feeble, be weakened.” It is not something God would instruct a faithful believer. In fact, in context to Psalm 46, it is a rebuking to the heathen.
In verse 6 David talks about how the heathens rage forth, and the kingdoms begin to move [against God’s people]. But do not fear because God is with us – verse 7. And what does God do? In verses 8 and 9, He causes the heathen’s warring to cease and destroying their bows and chariots. Finally in verse 10, he commands them to be disheartened, to utterly desist from their attack on Israel… and to know that He is God. YHVH states that He will dominate the heathen and the entire earth.
So if you believe that God is telling you to “Be still and know that I am God” then you are probably in a really bad relationship with Him. That rebuke is meant for the heathen who is attacking His people. It is not for the obedient believer. They are probably the last words you hear before He destroys you completely.
God expects action. Being still does not ensure that His will is being carried out. He wants your action, your commitment to His will. We should be totally exhausted because our life is filled with the fulfillment of His works.
And so He gives us all a day of rest – the Sabbath. The 7th day is our time to rest and be still. All the other 6 days we should be furthering His kingdom; tending the land, visiting the sick and forgotten, giving to those who need our help, and sharing the Good News!
I challenge you not to be still. Go and do the work of YHVH!