Saturday, February 7, 2015

Psalm 46:10

Whether it is during my favorite show Major Crimes (sorry Downton Abbey fans), or written in a Facebook post, lately "Be still and know that I am God," keeps showing up in the unlikeliest of places. 

Ever the anxious person, I have come to realize that this scripture is more than a nice sentiment to calm jumpy nerves. Rather this is a command and now I see that until I learn to submit to it, there will be no forward movement in my life. 

Why? Because everything else is striving. It's human effort. The Hebrew translation of "be still" is rapha which means to cause yourselves to let go or "let yourselves become weak." Poetically it even means "the place of the dead." 

What if this means to cause yourselves to become weak to the point that you appear dead? 

Why would we ever do that? Because the Hebrew name of God in this passage is, Ribbano Shei Olam, which means Master of the Universe. Basically, we let go to learn of God's salvation (which is amazingly spectacular) rather than to continue to trust in our own attempts to save ourselves which do not even pale in comparison. 

Also, the present meaning of the verb to know is different than how the ancient Hebrews understood it. 

In our Western culture to know something basically means we have memorized a fact. We know that apples grow on trees for instance. To the Hebrews, however, to know something means to experience it. We know God parted the Red Sea because we remember this has been written in Scripture. The Israelites knew it because they were standing on the bottom of the dry Red Sea floor while giant walls of water towered over them to their left and to their right. 

God is not asking us to cognitively remember the fact that He is good. He is asking us to be still in order to experience His goodness that we may know in our hearts how lovely He is. For our sake. Not for His. He knows He is good. But this...this is for our healing. 

The hardest about being still for me is that it stirs up the ire of friends. They do not verbalize it, but it is so apparent they constantly strain to keep the question, "Why are you not doing anything?" from tumbling out of their lips. My stillness frustrates them!

I understand, yet even so, I cannot help but think of a growing baby in a womb. Does a mother really need to do anything but to eat and rest for her child to develop in her body? No. And so it is with our healing and faith. Things come together in a secret, dark place usually without our awareness and when it is time, what has developed and matured will be brought forth into the light. God will make it happen and when He does, it His Name that is to be praised. Not ours. 

So be still today, and know He is God. Our Father loves you. And He has great things in store for you. Your lives matter.

Thank you, Hebrew for Christians, for your notes on Psalm 46:10!

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