(image courtesy of bible study tools)
With New York State pretty much such down in hopes of preventing the further spread of Covid-19, many people are faced with something they have longed for, time. In my walks around the neighborhood with Violet, I have seen a good number of garages and sheds being cleaned out. No doubt similar cleanings, sorting and discarding’s are happening in their homes as well.
This is time well spent. Betsy and I did some of it ourselves as we cleaned out a large closet, taking the opportunity to rid ourselves of things no longer used or long forgotten. There is a feeling of satisfaction that comes at the completion of these tasks.
But I wonder, what will the majority of folks do once the tidying up is done, especially if this mandated quarantine stretches on. There is just so much busy-work to do to fill the void left in our schedules. May I suggest, Faithful Reader, that you put some of this time to the best use of all, getting to know God better.
Allow me to share with you how I endeavored to do this today. As I was reading through the Book of Psalms, I came to a passage that is familiar to many:
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
I have read and taught from Psalm 46 any number of times, but that in no way makes me an expert or learned theologian. Realizing my limitations, I took to some of my reference materials out (and there are some very good ones on-line as well), in an attempt to learn more of what God is telling us when He says to be still and know that He is God.
As usual when I make the effort to get more understanding from the Almighty, He doesn’t disappoint. The word still, as it was used in the original Hebrew, carries a different meaning than what I was anticipating. To me, being still is just that, to stop moving or doing. The original language takes this to a new level however. To be still, as it is written here, means to hang limp, or sink down. It has the sense of being feeble.
Working with this definition, it becomes clear to me that God wants more than just me stopping activity. Rather, this scripture is reminding me to recognize my frailty, my lack of significance in the big picture and my over all weakness in the face of a global pandemic.
As I get my mind into this place, I can then better appreciate the rest of what God is saying here. Once still in the sense of the original word, we are then to know that He is God. I did the same research on the word know. This particular word carries a similar meaning to the way we use it today. It basically means to recognize or understand what is being presented.
But then it goes a little farther. There is an intimacy attached to the Hebrew word to know as it is used in this passage. This makes the knowing much more than simply a textbook-type learning. It becomes a matter of the heart by seeing our great need of God in all things.
When we are still in this context, it becomes possible to begin to fathom how much we need God. My wife Betsy often says, “The more I get to know God, the more I realize how much I need Him.” That sums up Psalm 46:10 very well my dear!
So Friends, what do you think? Is slowing down to know God better in the midst of a shutdown of life a good idea? Please let me know how you might be doing this.
Thanks for reading,