“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
Many of us know this text but few of us interpret it correctly. We assume it refers to quieting the soul and letting God reveal Himself to us in the quietude. But the Psalmist had something entirely different in mind.
Verse 9, immediately preceding this text, reminds Israel that the Lord makes wars to cease; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. So, “cease striving [with war and violence] and seek God [rather than vengeance].”
The second half of verse 10, immediately following this text, then declares “Thus I will be exalted among the nations and exalted in the earth.” Our choice to trust Him rather than embrace aggression, will exalt Him most.
This Lent, we’ve all forsaken something (“given it up”) to pursue the Lord more earnestly. We want to be still and know Him more deeply. Perhaps the stillness we engage should transcend a simple quiet moment, and include the full renunciation of violence.
The Lord is not found so much in the peaceful life as the life committed to peace. And Lent—the bursting forth of new Spring-life—provides the perfect context for such a commitment.
What partnership does violence share with faith?
Father, turn my heart from the violence of the culture in which I live—violence in thought, word, and deed; violence in media and violence in entertainment. Teach me to “be still” and trust You—today and always. Amen.