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Be Still

"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46, 10).

These precious words, like many other words of God, may be applied to a variety of circumstances. In Psalm 46 they are applied to the time of the final triumph of Jehovah over His enemies, and His exaltation among the nations. The Psalm visualizes the time of the restoration of Israel, of the city, and of His holy habitation, and of the establishment of peace. All this will be brought about in spite of the mighty upheavals in earth and sea, the raging of the nations and the kingdoms of the earth. "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it : it is even the time of Jacob's trouble ; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30.7). The faithful remnant, in their extremity, will lay hold upon their God, saying, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble," "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

"Then shall the LORD go forth; and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle" (Zechariah 14.8). God's voice to them in that day will be, "BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

Many of God's beloved children have drawn sustenance and strength from these precious words in the trying circumstances of life, and rightly so, for it is through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope. Those who lay hold upon the Scriptures by faith, as the very word of the Living God, will ever find an unfailing supply of blessing in their need. In a multitudinous variety of circumstances these words have proved a source of comfort and confidence to God's saints. "Be still, and know that I am God." Circumstances arise in which we come to an end of our own resources and find that vain is the help of man. When hopelessness takes possession of our souls and darkness enshrouds our path, when we see no way out, and are driven to the verge of despair, then, perchance, when neither help nor deliverance seems possible, and we seem compelled to bow to the inevitable, then we may hear the still small voice of Omnipotence speaking to our hearts, "BE STILL." (Let be, see R.V.M.), for there are infinite plenitudes of wisdom, love, power and grace in the Divine Speaker, ready to be dispensed and manifestly revealed on behalf of those who obey the divine injunction " BE STILL." Strange as it may seem, this is very often the last thing we are prepared to do. It is easy to talk and sing when all is well, but it is an altogether different matter when we are passing through the deep waters, the bitterness of which is known only to the individual and God Himself.

It is not natural for us to be still, for even if our physical frames, perchance, are incapable of movement in the throes of sickness, we may find that our hearts and minds are restless and active and insubmissive. We must take cognizance of the fact that the flesh and the devil will follow us all the way to the very gates of death itself; they will never leave us. The conflict is unequal, for in ourselves we have no might. Precious, precious are the words to such " God is our refuge and our strength," therefore, "Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still" (Psalm 4.4). It is a happy thing when we can disengage ourselves and our thoughts from all that is transient and let all go, without a thing to cling to, and rest in sweet repose upon the Eternal God and His abiding promises.

"My soul, wail (be thou silent unto God - R.V.M.) thou only upon God;

For my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62.5).

We read that " Caleb stilled the people," and "So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy" (Numbers 13.80; Nehemiah 8. 11). As Caleb and the Levites stilled the agitated hearts and minds of the people, so must we still our own restless, wayward wills in the presence of Him who is "the God of Power and Peace." Has not He who one day spoke to the raging elements saying, " Peace, be still," also spoken to our sin-tossed souls, "Peace, be still" ? "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways" (2 Thessalonians 3.16). May we know by blessed experience what it is to be led beside the still waters (the waters of rest) by the tender hand of Him who says, "Come ye yourselves apart ... and rest a while."

God's dealings with us are past tracing out, we know that He is the Father of our spirits who is ever longing that, through ways which are to us mysterious and inscrutable, we may by our exercise of heart-subjection become partakers of His holiness. How necessary in such circumstances that we learn the secret of being still ! Being still is a pre-requisite to the experimental knowledge of God who is true to His own nature and character, and who has ability to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

"Great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend."

"Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone" (Psalm 86.10). "To whom then will ye liken Me, that I should be equal to him? saith the Holy One."

"Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee "(Isaiah 43.1, 2).

"Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any" (Isaiah 44.8), a God "which worketh for him that waiteth for Him " (Isaiah 64.4).

There is nothing too hard for the Lord. "The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth" (Psalm 145.18). God is the God of His people, but He is also the God of the individual, and while the word may be to His together people, it is also to us as individuals " BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

This God is our God for ever and ever:

He wilt be our guide even unto death" (Psalm 48.14).

(The above is the last article written by dear Fred McCormick from his bed of suffering. His was the pen of a ready writer, and goodly matter was the overflow of his heart, as he spake and wrote of the things he had made touching his Redeemer and King. Truly of him, as of Abel of old, it can be said, "he, being dead, yet speaketh." - Editors).