Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Quiet Place?

"Be still, and know that I am God...”
(Psalm 46:10 – ESV)

We don’t need to go to some quiet place, empty our minds, and wait for God to speak. We need to find our quiet place, when we open our Bible, and hear Him talk. This Psalm, like many others, is not about the sound of silence but of the voice of the Lord, the mighty power from the mouth of God (Psalm 29)! He is not asking us to do something; He is telling us that He is going to do something.

Who is God talking to in this verse? What does stillness mean, and what does it mean that we will know God? Does it mean we will know God through it, in other words that we will know God by practicing stillness? How will we know God through it? Does this verse imply that we will know God through voices in our head, or spirit? Or does this verse mean we will know God is still in control through our tempests if we will stop striving to save ourselves in our own ways against the storms and instead look to the Lord, and then we will realize His ways?

This Psalm teaches us, not that we must be still to hear Him, but that God’s creation and God’s enemies will be still when THEY hear Him! God will protect His children from ultimate calamity and catastrophe. When the environment is unstable and the atmosphere is unsettling our God is our refuge. In this Psalm God is giving comfort to His people but in this particular verse He is declaring something about those things that cause trouble in our lives. God is telling us that He will silence all the storms with His own voice.

When the turbulence mounts, when the turmoil boils over, whatever your troubles in life are, you can look to the Lord. Whatever is causing you unrest, God is the place to find rest. Whatever is causing you to turn away, the key is to be still and remember, reflect upon the fact that God is in control. Look at the verses prior to this one within this Psalm, and realize God is Almighty. No matter how hard the once steady ground beneath you now shakes, or how many strong mountains are crumbling down around you, no matter how high the waves are, and how hot the battles become, no earthquake, volcano, hurricane, or war can stop God from being in charge.

It isn’t simply that we become still and hear God some other way, but that if we are still we can reflect on who He has revealed Himself to be already. It is not that when you make time you make God speak, but when you will be still and listen to what He says in the scripture, then you will hear Him more clearly through life’s turmoil and trials. In this life there will always be turbulence and tempests; will you always have trust?

This is a call to worship Him for who He is and marvel at what He has done, and will do, not a call to listen for new sounds. It is a call to hear His majesty even when everything else is shouting as loud as it can. This is not about us being silent; this is about God making the loud noises of negativity be silenced before Him and His people.

He is not telling us what to do, He is telling us what He will do. This is like the Lord Jesus calming the raging waters (Mark 4:39). When God wants to make them quiet He will, and nothing can stop Him, for He is invincible.

The world screams and shouts, but all the sounds of violence He can silence. This is not about some secret power you can have, but about reflecting on the power He has. This isn’t about some secret encounter you can enter into, but about the open demonstration when something encounters Him. You want to see God work? Stop and take a look around, be still for a moment, and reflect on Him.

Meditation is about reflecting on things God is, and things He has already said and done, not expecting Him to speak to us afresh with new revelation just because we are being still and quietly waiting. He has already spoken and we don’t seem to want to be still and hear that, so why would He “reward” us for doing what we are supposed to be doing already? Just who is God in this relationship? You want to hear something from God? Listen to what He is saying here in this Psalm.

Now in the first place, this is God speaking to the storms, but it also applies to us. This is God calming the chaos and we are stilled with wonder and worship. Now He often does it in our own situations, but no matter what we have to go through, it is only temporary. We can rest assured because God will raise His voice one day and we will rejoice in that day.

Just one word from God can silence any commotion; even in the midst of the Great Tribulation His Word will silence the raging war of Satan (Isaiah 11:4, 30:33 / 2 Thessalonians 2:8 / Revelation 19:15, 21). He is the One who will eventually, in His timing, say “enough!”

When our earthly father shouts, “quiet!” the whole house calms down. When our Heavenly Father shouts, the whole earth stands still!

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

Yes, this is a bit longer than some of the other posts here at Voice, but please read it, because it says something you might not have ever heard or anticipated about this verse.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen. It's about God's greatness and goodness, and that we can rest assured in that.

But in context the verse has to do with putting the noisy nations and world in its place. And silencing them before Him.

Good points to make in a world so easily given over to a syncretistic view of what meditation means. We need to mediate on God's revealed truth in his Word, for sure.

Even So... said...

But in context the verse has to do with putting the noisy nations and world in its place. And silencing them before Him.

Exactly Ted, as we said in the post...

This is not about us being silent; this is about God making the loud noises of negativity be silenced before Him and His people.

Not about going to our quiet place, but about God putting them in the quiet place!

MrsEvenSo... said...

I have found in my own life that it can be dangerous to be still and expose myself to my own thoughts and imaginations. Having a biblically informed conscience is a much better way to relate to and hear from God.

Even So... said...