Be Still

Getting out in the brush is one of my favorite pass-times and it is especially wondrous during certain parts of the afternoon as the nightlife begins to stir. There is no part of nature that does not speak volumes about its Creator (Psalm 19:1-6); it is one of the two ways in which God reveals Himself (the other being His Word, cf. Psalm 19:7-14). However, setting on the side of a ridge as the sun sets, watching the nocturnal creatures emerge from their sunlight slumber and listening to the music of the creation is, well, a religious experience. What is the message upon which that emotion is founded, though? What do these wonders reveal about God?

The sweet psalmist of Israel took this magnificent, Divine display a step further when he drew a correct inference from what all this implies. “Come, behold the works of the Lord,” he said, and “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:8, 10). Whether in tumult or in solitude, the known universe shouts so loudly of the God of the heavens and the earth that only “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).

All things natural inescapably reveal a Creator, but it goes beyond just the Source: it also manifests the power of this Source. Our God, Who created all that we see by His merely uttering the words is not only marvelous to our sight, but reflects an unparalleled awesomeness. Nature is a witness to the massive dominion Deity has at His disposal. He speaks and His will is done (Job 9:7; Amos 5:8), He intimately knows the details of His creation (Psalm 147:4) and He knows us (Psalm 94:11).

The logical conclusion from the evidence begs the question: why do we fear? “Be still, and know that I am God” is a natural, reasonable and obvious response to the fact that God is in control, He is in charge, and He will be “with us” and is “our refuge” (Psalm 46:11). The knee-jerk reaction to much of life’s injuries is to question God, cry out in frustration or flounder in the moment. The formula for the fix begins by calming ourselves (“be still”); it is kind of a “whoa Nelly” response to the shock of things going awry. But, in the midst of confusion, inconvenience or even catastrophe, we can learn to appreciate that God is with us, He will never forsake us and it will be okay.

Jeff Sweeten