Christians often find peace and comfort in the words of Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” However, this verse doesn’t mean what many people assume. Today, R.C. Sproul explains this passage and its teaching about the power of God.
There’s a passage in the Old Testament that is one of the most misunderstood passages that we read. The passage is this. You’ve all heard it: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). In the liturgy of the church, that passage from the Psalms has frequently been applied to our practice of maintaining a calm, serene attitude and posture of patience. That in the midst of trouble, in the midst of anxiety, where we’re restless and frightened, we are to be still—that is, calm and quiet— and to reflect and meditate upon the sweetness of God.
Now, all that sort of thing is a wonderful thing. And the Bible enjoins us to do that sort of thing from time to time. It’s not the point of that text. The force of the words would be better translated in this language: “Shut up,” or, “Be quiet. Hold your mouths and know that I am the Lord.” It is a call to silence, not calmness. Silence in the presence of the power of God.