Be Still and Know, Part 2

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.”

In my writings, you see attention given to the purpose and background of the Bible book holistically (the larger context) and the surrounding verses of a particular passage being studied (the immediate context). Once we understand what the passage says in context and what it means, we can be sure of how we should respond, apply and live accordingly.

This is the true joy of systematic, devotional Bible Study. 

What is the context of this familiar verse in Psalms 46:10?

Be still and know that I am God.

Last time, we considered the horror of natural disasters and the havoc they wreak on the lives of people. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change. Be still and know that I am God. Click here to read Part 1.


The Uncertainties of Nations

The next section of Psalms 46 describes further uncertainties we live in. The instability of nations, governments and world leaders.

The nations made an uproar and the kingdoms tottered” verse 6. 

We feel and sometimes fear the vulnerability of world events around us. 24-hour news channels remind us continually of the explosive powder kegs of political and economic instability of nations led by evil leaders around the world. We often hear the phrase, “these are uncertain times.”

Nevertheless, nations are subject to God’s power and His will. The Psalmist in chapter 46 uses the following phrases to remind us who is in control;

Come, Behold the works of the Lord…He raised His voice, the earth melted…He makes wars to cease…He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two…He burns the chariots with fire, verses 8, 9. 

It is in this context of the uncertainties of physical disasters and the instability of nations that the Psalmists writes, Be still and know that I am God, verse 10

Then he writes the following about God; I will be exalted above the nations, I will be exalted among the earth, verse 10b. 


Did you catch that???

Exalted over the nations, (political instabilities) and the earth, (natural disasters).  Be still (in the midst of the chaos) and know that I am God (your refuge and strength).

What happens to me today is uncertain. However, His presence and attention toward me is guaranteed and sure.

Psalms 46:1 says, God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble… cease striving and know that I am God. Twice in Psalms 46 is the following reminder: The Lord of hosts is with us. 

Now, take 2 minutes to read Psalms 46 with the full awareness of its context. You will have a whole new appreciation of the value of understanding familiar verses within their full context. Your understanding of God’s Word will soar.


Psalm 46 was the inspiration for Martin Luther when he wrote the hymn “A mighty fortress is our God.” Prayerfully reflect upon these words: 


That word above all earthly powers, 

No thanks to them, abideth; 


The Spirit and the gifts are ours 

Through Him who with us sideth: 


Let goods and kindred go, 

This mortal life also; 


The body they may kill: 

God’s truth abideth still, 


His Kingdom is forever.