Daily D – Psalm 46:10
“Stop fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
PSALM 46:10 (CSB)
The words translated here as “Stop fighting” can reliably be translated alternately as “Let go” and “Relax.” The New International Version and New Living Translation both interpret them this way: “Be still.”
The Message pulls verses 8-10 into a paragraph and paraphrases it with beauty and strength.
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.”
Yes. A thousand times yes. And so much more!
Don’t miss the tagline in verse 11:
GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
He who wrestles with us as long as we will wrestle with him, and he who wounds us so that we cannot rely on our own strength is our rock, our refuge, our hiding place. His severe mercy is kinder than our kindness. His well-placed wounds are stronger than our unbroken bones.
Reading the books of Kings and Chronicles the last few weeks interspersed with the appropriate prophets and psalms has been an emotional challenge. I suddenly find myself with more time to read the news and to pay attention to political shenanigans at home and abroad. The news is almost universally bad. Echoes of sinful seasons from the past reverberate through the trickling internet.
Truth be told, the piece in this space from yesterday began two days ago. I had to lay it aside because the message was so dour.
May I recommend a book? Art + Faith by Makoto Fujimura is the antidote for today’s news we all need. This is theology so rich and pure you can only consume so much at one time. This is art so altogether lovely that you will want to gaze upon it endlessly as our brokenness is repaired and renewed and reflects such beauty as it could not have contained before.
I will focus less on the lying lips of politicians and pundits.
I will listen less to the distressing patter of endless talk shaped only by agenda in place of substance.
I will lay aside concern about everyone else’s world-shaking agendas.
I will step out of the traffic and take a long look at our Father in heaven, high above politics and problems.
Our Father, fill my vision with nothing but your glory. Remove every distraction. It is you I need to see, need to know, need to experience. I am still. I have stopped fighting. I have let go. I have relaxed. Whatever you want is what I want, too. Thank you for wounds that make me lie down and provide reflection and restoration. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.