This is part two of a two part study from Psalm 46. Click here for Part One: Very Present (posted April 17, 2021).
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On January 13, 2018, a dear friend who lives in Hawaii posted something similar to this on her FaceBook page: Not sure what’s going to happen in the next 10 minutes, but please, family and friends, know that I love you…
My thought was, ‘Oh, my word! What’s going on in Hawaii?! Soon, various NEWS agencies began to share the above warning with the world.
Can you imagine the fear and anxiety that overcame the residents and tourists as that alert buzzed on their phones and sirens roared at 8:07 that morning?
As we now know, that warning was posted in error, and life went quickly ‘back to normal’….if one’s heart can ever erase those fearful emotions!
Soon after that event, while doing my initial research on Psalm 46, my mind immediately went to this event. Does it not remind you of the 'list' in verses 2-3 from last week's post when we looked at Psalm 46:1-9? (see hyperlink above.)
Only this time, it wasn’t a hyperbolic event—it was real! My friend later shared that she was surprisingly at peace through the minutes that followed. She knew that there was absolutely NOTHING she could do! Her only option was to place it all in God’s hands…and that brought peace.
Along this same theme, in early 2020, I heard the testimony of another acquaintance about being a visitor (a tourist!) in Hawaii on that very same day! She had just stepped out of the door of her hotel when her phone buzzed with the warning that her world might be coming to an end. Once again, imagine the fear that overwhelmed her and everyone on the islands at that time! Her testimony went on to express the same peace as my other friend experienced.
How in the world??!!!!
Remember last week when I reassured you there were two more verses in this particular Psalm that we hadn’t ‘looked at’ yet?
Psalm 46:10 is a favorite of my many. It is probably one of the most ‘decorated’ passages. I searched ‘Psalm 46:10 images’. There were hundreds of calming, peaceful scenes used a background for this endeared verse.
But one day, as I was involved in a Bible Reading plan, I came across this verse in the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The verse started, “Stop your fighting…”
"Stop your fighting — and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
Psalms 46:10 HCSB
That threw me for a minute, as it definitely didn’t fit all those calming, peaceful images! BUT….
When I went back and did my ‘digging in’, I quickly noticed that this translation of the Hebrew phrase fits perfectly. I asked my husband, Gregory T. Christopher, PhD (Linguistics) what he thought. He agreed that, according to the context, it is an acceptable, and possibly clearer, translation of the original Hebrew phrase.
When you find yourself feeling that the world, as you know it, seems to be falling apart, remember what David proclaimed throughout Psalm 46 and…
Stop fighting it…
Stop flailing around…
Stop wringing your hands…
And, as our Pastor, Phillip Housley, stated when using this verse in his sermon on finding ‘Silence and Solitude’ (March 28, 2021-Park Crest Baptist Church) …
‘Stop trying to control the circumstances!’
…and just be still….
Be at peace and know that God has the situation under control as we saw last week in verses 4-9.
So, how did my dear friend manage to feel at peace on January 13, 2018? She took a deep breath and rested in the promise of Psalm 46. She didn’t fight against the circumstances. Seriously, what could she have done?! My friend was still…and knew….
The LORD of Hosts is fully engaged and fully in control.
This reassuring Psalm ends by repeating verse 7 as one final exhalation that God is, indeed, VERY PRESENT…and has it all under control!