In Context…

Oh the treasures we sometimes miss!

I’ve written before on the gems that are often tucked around popular verses, and how examining the verses in light of the surrounding text can really adjust your perception of the meaning.

Case in point: today I was reading Psalm 46. There is an often quoted verse (for good reason) tucked toward the end of that passage. 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God!”

How many times have you heard that verse? You may also be familiar with the rest of the verse, too. “I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

That’s an amazing verse and a great reminder to all of us to focus on who God is. Yet look what happens when you examine it in light of the rest of the chapter.

Verses 1 and 7 talk about God’s strong, firm presence with His people. It reminds us that He is always with us and is our refuge, strength, helper, and fortress.

The rest of the verses in the chapter however, talk about the chaos ensuing in the world around us. It speaks of earthquakes, mountains crumbling, wild oceans, chaos amongst the nations, broken kingdoms, and war.

Wow. Does any of that sound familiar?

Then, after all that, like the climax in a novel, comes verse 10, which urges us to be still, know that He is God and that He will be honored by all (other versions say exalted.)

What a great reminder to us all! When the world seems out of control, when life is like a washing machine stuck on spin, when our families, jobs, finances, or health crumble, when violence is around us and unrest is more common that order and peace, we can stand firm in the knowledge that God is above it all. One day, all things will bow to Him.

We just have the privilege of choosing to do so now. And with that privilege, comes the peace that only He can bring.


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