Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The first photograph of a living person was taken by Louis Daguerre in 1838. The photo depicts a figure on an otherwise empty avenue in Paris in the middle of an afternoon. But there’s an apparent mystery about it; the street and sidewalks should have been bustling with the traffic of carriages and pedestrians at that time of day, yet none can be seen.
The man wasn’t alone. People and horses were there on the busy Boulevard du Temple, the popular area where the photo was taken. They just didn’t show up in the picture. The exposure time to process the photograph (known as a Daguerreotype) took seven minutes to capture an image, which had to be motionless during that time. It appears that the man on the sidewalk was the sole person photographed because he was the only one standing still—he was having his boots shined.
Sometimes stillness accomplishes what motion and effort can’t. God tells His people in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Even when nations are “in uproar” (v. 6) and “the earth” shakes (v. 2), those who quietly trust in Him will discover in Him “an ever-present help in trouble” (v. 1).
The Hebrew verb rendered “be still” can also be translated “cease striving.” When we rest in God instead of relying on our limited efforts, we discover Him to be our unassailable “refuge and strength” (v. 1).
How will you “show up” for God by being still before Him today? Where do you need to trust Him more?
Heavenly Father, please help me to trust in You and to rest in the quiet awareness of Your unfailing love.
According to John Gill’s commentary, the words of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” are not a call to cease activity and be silent and unconcerned. Instead, they’re words of great comfort. “Be still” is a call to God’s people to “not be fearful, nor fretful and impatient, or restless or tumultuous; but be quiet and easy, resigned to the will of God.” And “know” means to “own and acknowledge that he is God, a sovereign Being,” who is unchangeable, omnipotent (all-powerful and able to help and deliver), and omniscient (knows them and their troubles). He knows how and where “to hide them until the storm is over.” We can rest in the assurance that God “works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Charles Spurgeon called this psalm, “The Song of Holy Confidence.” God’s people are secure in Him.