This past weekend was our annual ladies retreat. Our theme was “Be Still”, taken from Psalm 46:10. I got to share the opening message on Friday night and I enjoyed studying Psalm 46 in its entirety as I prepared. As I studied, I was struck by the many ways that the Israelites knew their God.
If you have a Bible (or Bible app) handy, why not turn to Psalm 46 and give it a quick read. As you do, note any ways that Israelites knew God. What did they know Him to be?
Here’s the list I made after reading Psalm 46 out of the NET Bible:
Vs 1 – Strong Refuge
Vs 1 – Helper in times of trouble
Vs 4 – Their Joy
Vs 4 – Their Dwelling Place
Vs 5 – Firm Foundation, not allowing them to be moved
Vs 5 – Rescuer
Vs 6 – The One who overthrows kingdoms
Vs 7 – The Commander of armies
Vs 7 – On their side
Vs 7 – Their Protector
Vs 8 – One who does exploits on their behalf
Vs 9 – One who brings an end to wars
Vs 9 – One who breaks the weapons that are against them
Vs 10 – He speaks to them
Vs 10 – He is God
Vs 10 – Exalted above all and over all
Wow! That’s a lot of ways that they knew God.
But did you ever stop to wonder how did they get to the place of knowing God in all those ways?
Vs 1 – How would they know He was their strong Refuge, if they never needed shelter or security?
Vs 1 – How would they know He was their Helper, if they never had times of trouble?
Vs 4 – How would they know He was their Joy unless life had caused them sorrow and pain?
Vs 4 – How would they know He was their Dwelling Place unless they had never been without a home or place to live?
Vs 5 – How would they know that He was their Firm Foundation, if their world had never been rocked?
Vs 5 – How would they know Him as their Rescuer, if everyone left them alone and never came against them?
Vs 6 – How would they know Him as the One who overthrows kingdoms unless they had never had anyone attack them?
Vs 7 – How would they know Him as the Commander of Armies unless they were weak and needed someone to fight on their behalf?
Vs 7 – How would they know He was on their side, if no one ever tried to oppose them?
Vs 7 – How would they know He was their Protector, unless they had been in a situation that threatened their very existence?
Vs 8 – How would they know Him as the One who does exploits on their behalf, if life was always smooth sailing?
Vs 9 – How would they know him as the One who brings an end to wars, had they never been in battle?
Vs 9 – How would they know him as the One who breaks the weapons that are against them if their life was always peaceful?
Vs 10 – How would they know Him as the One who speaks to them, if they had never been desperate to hear His voice?
Vs 10 – How would know that He is the One True God, unless they had served lesser gods?
Vs 10 – How would they know that He is exalted above all and over all, unless they had seen Him be exalted above all and over all that life or their enemy had thrown their way?
You see, we want to be like the Israelites, or someone whose faith we admire, so that we can say we know God in all these ways. But . . . do we really want to go through what the Israelites went through in order to know Him like they did?
Do we want to have times of trouble, or to be in a place so desperate that we need to hear His voice, or have people be against us, or have our world shaken up a bit?
How often do we admire people who know God well, yet fail to recognize all the stuff they had to walk through to get there?
We want their faith but we don’t want their trials that got them their faith.
Yet, the only way to know God better and develop a deep relationship with Him is by turning to Him, rather than away from Him, when hard times come. You surrender everything to Him and invite Him into every part of your life. There is no part of your life that is off limits to Him. As you invite Him in, you release what He asks you to release and you hold tight to Him and Him alone. You let Him call the shots. You let Him comfort you when life hurts. You follow His leading and
direction. You don’t run from growth opportunities, you embrace them, no matter how difficult. You stop striving and start trusting.
Hear Him say to you today, “Be still and know that I am God. Just like I will be exalted over all the earth, I will be exalted in your world. I’ve got this. Trust Me!”
Your Friend in Ministry,