Be still my soul

The Book of Psalms provides great comfort and assurance from God, our gracious heavenly Father, who speaks so clearly during the stressful, perilous times in which we live, those times said to be difficult to handle. The Verse of the Day for June 11, 2018 offers this solid reminder:

Psalm 46:10 (New Living Translation):

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Psalm 46 is among those Psalms using the Hebrew expression Selah serving as a refrain or interlude or reminder to “pause, and calmly think of that!” We note its usage in verses 3, 7, and 11. Here is the entire psalm taken from the Amplified Bible:

1GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,

3Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

4There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].

6The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

8Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.

9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire.

10Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Verse 10 also introduces this original psalm with the first three words of the Psalm 46:10 as its title:

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalms 46:10

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.
Though your cherished dreams seem to have faded and gone
The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,
As I weave the tapestry of eternity.
Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,
Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,
And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:
Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm and friends may abandon
When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.
These scenes reveal people whom we thought we could be,
As words of the Psalmist also help us to see,
When this life is over and all is said and done:
Be still and know that I am God.

As we pause and calmly think about that—as we “selah” this Psalm, we also give heed to these words—

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still my soul and be at peace.
Rise above your circumstance and rest in me.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind lyrics to the widely recognized hymn “Be Still My Soul.” Dr. C. Michael Hawn, Distinguished Professor of Church Music, describes Katharina von Schlegel (1697-?), the author, as the leading female hymn writer of 17th Century German pietism, “a movement characterized by faithfulness to Scripture, personal experience and deep emotional expression.”

Jane L. Borthwick (1813-1897), a member of the Free Church of Scotland, translated the lyrics while the melody comes from a symphonic tone poem by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Finlandia, whose serene melody symbolizes hope and resolution of the Finnish people. The paired lyrics with this particular tune found its way to America in the 1930s with the hymnals used in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and the United Methodist Church.

We conclude with “Be Still My Soul” offered as a beautiful medley with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by contemporary Christian group “Selah”:

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