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Be Still and Know: Trusting God’s Power

Understanding “Be Still and Know I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

1. The Context of the Verse

Psalm 46:10 reads: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

  • Historical Background: The Psalm is often attributed to the sons of Korah and is a song celebrating God’s protection and power. The historical context is possibly the miraculous defeat of the Assyrian army during King Hezekiah’s reign (2 Kings 19), where God saved Jerusalem without the Israelites lifting a sword.
  • Structure and Message: Psalm 46 describes God’s power over natural disasters and human conflicts. The first verses speak of God as a refuge and strength, especially in times of chaos. The final verses depict God’s ability to bring peace, even making “wars cease to the end of the earth” (v. 9).

2. Meaning of “Be Still and Know I am God”

  • “Be Still”: This phrase means to cease striving or fighting, and to surrender control. It’s an invitation to stop panicking and trust in God’s sovereignty.
  • “Know that I am God”: This emphasizes the need to acknowledge God’s supreme authority and recognize His ability to protect and provide. It’s a call to faith in His power.
  • God’s Exaltation: The following part, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” is a prophetic declaration of God’s ultimate victory and glory over all the earth.

3. Examples and Commentary

  • Moses at the Red Sea: In Exodus 14:13-14, when the Israelites were terrified of the approaching Egyptian army, Moses said, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today… The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” This aligns with the idea of “Be still.”
  • Jesus Calming the Storm: In Mark 4:39, Jesus commanded the wind and waves, “Peace! Be still!” and the storm ceased. The disciples were then reminded of who Jesus was, just like “Be still and know I am God.”
  • Martin Luther’s Inspiration: Martin Luther wrote the hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” drawing from Psalm 46. Luther, facing challenges from the Catholic Church, found solace in God’s protection.

“A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.”

4. Relevant Commentaries and Theologians

  • Augustine’s Reflection: Augustine sees the verse as God’s way of inviting people to rest in His promises and not to rely on their own strength. He viewed “Be still” as a command for the inner person to rest and rely on God alone.
  • Thomas Aquinas: He would see this verse as a reminder of the first principle of theology: the acknowledgment of God’s supremacy. Aquinas stressed that man’s ultimate happiness is in knowing God.

5. Three Main Takeaways

  1. Surrender to God’s Sovereignty: “Be still” means to stop struggling and recognize God’s ultimate authority over our circumstances.
  2. Trust in God’s Protection and Provision: “Know I am God” calls us to remember that He is capable of delivering us from all troubles.
  3. Hope in God’s Final Victory: The declaration that God will be “exalted among the nations” assures us of His final victory and the triumph of His purposes.


In Psalm 46:10, God invites us to surrender our anxieties and struggles and recognize His supreme power and authority. By “being still,” we acknowledge that God is in control, trusting in His protection and provision. The verse ultimately points to God’s final victory and the triumph of His purposes over all nations.


  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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