Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Background

* Who is the author? The Psalm of the sons of Korah (temple assistants).

* Where is the audience? Judah

* Context? God’s power is complete and His ultimate victory is certain (Psalm 46:1-11).

* Title: God Conqueror of the nations.

Key words

* Still (Raphah); cease, faint, let alone, leave, be weak, feeble, idle, forsake, (be) wax.

* Know (Yada) used to mean different things but in this context; have understanding, discern, consider, acknowledge, discover et cetera.

* Exalted (rum); to be high actively to rise or raise, to bring up, extol, go up, set up on high.

Cross references

Isaiah 2:17, And the pride of humanity will be humbled And the arrogance of people will be brought low; And the LORD alone will be exalted on that day,

Isaiah 37:20, But now LORD, our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, LORD, are God.

Exodus 18:11, Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they acted insolently against the people.

Compare

NASB1995, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Holman, “Stop your fighting–and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”

YLT, “Desist, and know that I am God, I am exalted among nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

Lamsa Bible, “Repent, and know that I am God; I am exalted among the heathen and I am exalted in the earth.”

CEV, Our God says, “Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me.”

NET Bible, He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!”

AMP, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”

Truth

Psalm forty-six verse ten is better understood and more precisely interpreted through the lens of the whole chapter. It is not complicated to fabricate an interpretation when a verse is isolated from its context.

In this verse God told the raging nations (v6) to stop and stop fighting and to know that He is God. “I am exalted among the Gentiles and exalted on earth,” He said.

We know from history that the disastrous event occured during the reign of King Hezekiah (2 kings 18:13-19:37). Again, the Assyrian Sennacherib entered Judah and boasted about it. However God’s people were not moved, but enthusiastically praised “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble,” Psalm 46:1. Then they made a bold declaration: “Therefore we shall not fear” (v2).

The extent of God’s help which proved to be reliable so that every future catastrophe is no cause for fear, is emphasized in verses 2 and 3 as an example of poetic exaggeration of exaggerated natural calamities.

Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

In addition to His trustworthiness, we learn that God dwells in the midst of His people. We discover that there is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn (Psalm 46:4-5). That is, Sennacherib had no prayer!

Application

In the face of utter destruction, express a confidence in God’s ability to save you. The Lord of hosts is our eternal refuge, He is with us and lives in us. God is able to strengthen us in any circumstances. Come, behold the works of the Lord (Psalm 46:8).

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