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  • Writer's pictureJoni Topper

Be Still



Today is day 41 that I have been social distancing. Asking me to be still is like asking a zebra to lose his stripes. I woke this morning with the verse running through my head “Be still and know that I am God.” I picked up my Bible app (again not being still) and began searching for where these words appear in the Bible because I wondered what the circumstances were surrounding this sentence. What I found was eye opening. There are a lot of places in scripture where people are advised or commanded to just be still.

Moses told the children of Israel who were greatly distressed because the Egyptian army was on their heels. “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

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Deuteronomy 10:8-9 reads, “At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still to today.”

This impresses me because it explains that the entire purpose of a tribe of people would be just to carry the ark of the covenant. Their job was to stand before the Lord. This required being still.

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In yet another situation, God showed his power through his prophet Samuel, who led the people to trust God even when they were reaching the wrong direction. 1 Samuel 12:16 explains “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”

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The people had gathered for Ezra to read them the scriptures. As he read, the people lifted their hand responding “Amen” and they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. They were so moved by the words of the Law they had been weeping.

Nehemiah instructed, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

(Nehemiah 8:10-11) In their day of repentance, they were urged to be still.

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Psalm 37:7 explains, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

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The words in my mind that welcomed this day came from a Psalm that opens with the phrase, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

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In Mark 4:39 Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet. Be still!” This reminds me that even nature obeys his command.

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There is a beautiful song with lyrics that sum up these thoughts

Be Still for the Presence

David J Evans

Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy one is here.

Come bow before Him now, with reverence and fear.

In Him no sin is found, we stand on holy ground.

Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here.

Be still for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.

He burns with holy fire, with splendor He is crowned.

How awesome is the sight, our radiant King of light.

Be still for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.

Be still for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister His grace.

No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from Him.

Be still for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

The most challenging things in our lives require us to do what seems unnatural.

We rock our babies in the middle of the night when we crave sleep.

We wake early in the morning to train in a discipline that drives us.

We study though our minds are exhausted seeking important answers.

We hold our tongues when we want desperately to set the record straight.

We give our money for causes that we understand have greater meaning than our petty desires.

Today while staying at home feels unnatural. These reminders from scripture are helping me feel much better about being still.

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