This week in the sermon series Loose Ends, our friend Dr. Sandra Unger explores the often quoted Psalm, “be still and know that I am God.” Sandra shares what the command to be still means in the Biblical context and how paying attention to God changes our whole approach to life.
Psalms 46:10 proclaims, “be still and know that I am God.” It is on often quoted verse and that many people assume they understand, or dismiss out of familiarity. Psalms 46 was a corporate psalm for the nation of Israel. The call to “be still,” was a less about being quiet and more about God calling Israel to pay attention.
Throughout the Old Testament God had called Israel to be good representatives of Him to other nations by caring for others, especially the poor and foreigners. God called Israel to be a certain kind of people and to trust in Him. This psalm is about God reminding Israel of their calling.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the values of the world that we forget what we as a Church are called to. There is a message for the church today in Psalms 46:10. The whole of Psalm 46 is about God getting Israel’s attention to remind them that they can trust in God.
Some of us are caught up in our everyday-ness and need to hear God tell us that He loves us and forgives us. We need to hear God interrupt our everyday-ness. Others of us are busy and forever hurrying. Hurrying can be an enemy of joy, attention, and trust. Those of us that are consumed with rush and busyness need to hear God interrupt us and slow us down. For in the process of paying attention to God we learn to slow down and pay attention to others.
Sandra reminds those who are rushing through life that God has given us enough time to do what we are called to. Jesus reminds us of our call; to love God with all we are and love other as ourselves. Oftentimes, we expect that God will try to get our attention to give us a to-do list. God is calling us to be something that is forged in our connection to Him. God’s call is not something you can rush or hurry.
Sandra offers six points to keep in mind if we are to be still:
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- The point is not to get God’s attention (we already have it!), but for God to get ours.
- God is doing important work in all of us.
- If you are not still by nature, create a discipline of being still.
- God wants to get your attention not to give you a list, but to call you to himself.
- Your job is just to love and forgive (and repeat).
- Community! We can only accomplish what God calls us to in the context of community.