January 2021

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Be Still And Know That I Am God 

“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20 

“Be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools:  for they consider not that they do evil.” Ecclesiastes 5:1

“Be Still and Know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 

There is a seriousness in our Lord’s admonitions. “Silence!” is the demand here. But why? We know our Lord is not being impolite. We also know His emotional intelligence is infinite! So why the command, “Be still”? Why would God shush us?

Because love requires it! We can’t listen when we’re talking. We can’t hear – really hear – if we are not paying attention. We need the wisdom, need the peace God gives. But to receive it, we must be still. We must listen.

It’s painful to admit this, but at times – too many times – we have given “the sacrifice of fools.” We have failed to be still, failed to listen to what the Lord was saying. We have often been too busy, too distracted, too focused on our own goals and desires. We are genuinely still – sincerely ready to listen – far too infrequently.

Our lives are filled with distractions. Our culture holds up so many shiny baubles and offers us so many tricky temptations. Our calendars are crammed full of obligations. For all these reasons, even though God is speaking, we do not hear. We lose our peace. We lack a godly perspective. Our hearts are too seldom hearing hearts.

Solomon was the wisest ruler God ever gave to the nation Israel. Shortly after the death of his father, King David, Solomon had a dream. In the dream, God invited Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted, promising that his request would be granted. Solomon famously asked for wisdom. The Lord graciously honored that request – and added to it renown riches, and the possibility of a long life. (See 1 Kings 3:3-14).

Still today, our Lord offers us the gift of a wise heart, a hearing heart.

When we slow down enough to recognize our foolishness, our distractedness, our failures to hear, our Savior does not scold. He does not accuse. He does not reject us. Instead, He speaks words of forgiveness and life. He reminds us of His cross and of the empty tomb by which He has atoned for our sinful willfulness and self-focus. In the cross, our guilt is gone. All of it!

We are free to fall back into the Father’s arms of love. We are free to recognize His presence in our lives. This is so, not just when we find ourselves in worship or Bible study, but moment by moment, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. We can always and continually be still and know that Jesus is Lord. We can be still and let God be God, trusting His good and gracious will for our lives.

Even in our busyness, even as we acknowledge life’s distractions, we are free to take a breath, to relax, to be still, to know that God is God. We are free to turn our worries over to Him and to leave them with Him. We are free to remember and to trust that our Lord is our Provider, our Friend. Listen! “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. What wonderful invitations!

SING: Lutheran Service Book 

#621, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”

#771, “Be Still, My Soul, before the Lord” 

#770, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

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