There’s More… So Much More
Recently, I came across a t-shirt that had these words in lovely lettering on the front: “Be Still and Know”.
That’s it. No explanation of what you might “know”. Immediately, I verbally quoted the full sentence which is, “Be still, and know that I am God”. It is one complete thought. There was enough room on the shirt to include the rest of the verse: Psalm 46 verse 10. So why was it omitted?
I believe it is because the designers, in their attempt to produce thought-provoking slogans deliberately left the most important phrase, unsaid. It’s not popular or politically correct to give credit to the Word of God by referencing the Bible.
This type of thing happens all the time, and most people don’t notice. At first glance you might think, “Oh, isn’t that nice. That’s what I need to do… just be still and know”. Call me overly analytical, or nit-picky but I am a realist. I always choose TRUTH over what’s popular in today’s culture. If we are honest, we should not be okay with leaving important facts out!
In fact, it annoys me that someone would split up the statement from the very heart of God, and turn it into something new-agey by leaving it’s meaning open to individual interpretation. In other words, you fill in the blank with whatever you should be still and know. But how is it consoling or helpful to claim the statement without having a clue about what it is you should “know”? There is no assurance in that!
God doesn’t leave us hanging on a thread of nothingness. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Psalm 46 has SO much more to tell us, and in order to keep verse 10 in context, we need to understand the rest of the chapter. What is God trying to show us? The chapter begins by immediately giving us assurance of God’s absolute and trustworthy help. The following verses are from the Amplified Version:
God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas,
3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains tremble at its roaring.
This psalm was written as a song and therefore poetically describes the power and sovereignty of God. What the psalm says to me is that in the midst of turmoil, fear, war (nations raging and kingdoms moving, vs 6) we can and should remember that God is still in control. During our darkest hours, we can choose NOT to fear. Verse 7 reminds us that God is our refuge. In fact, He is the only refuge! What a relief to know that it’s not all up to you to devise something that can calm you and give you peace during stressful times.
I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Psalm 46 to absorb its full meaning. When you do, you will never again want to cut off verse 10 with the words, “Be still and know…” The ONLY way we can know, is to know God’s character. He alone is God. And He alone has all things under his watchful eye, allowing and preventing change as He sees fit, and according to His plan. Take time to “Be Still, and know that I am God.” Now you know!