Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
I. A WORD OF WARNING ADDRESSED TO NATIONS WHEN INFLAMED WITH THE PASSION FOR CONQUEST AND AGGRANDIZEMENT. War is a time when the worst passions of men are roused, the purest motives of the most patriotic are misunderstood, political life is embittered with the acrimony of party strife and ambition, the unscrupulous are tempted to make capital out of the public troubles, and the mind is too disturbed and demoralized to rise to the calm sublimities of Divine things. Not in the wild commotion and brazen clangour of the battlefield, not in the whizzing hurricane of national strife and uproar, not in the rush and fret of excessive worldly care, is the knowledge of God best acquired; but in the solitude of retirement, in the hush and stillness of some meditative retreat, where the tocsin of war is never heard, and the roar of cannon and clash of arms never penetrate — "Be still, and know that I am God."
II. A WORD ADDRESSED TO THE SINCERE INQUIRER AFTER THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, BY PURELY INTELLECTUAL MEANS. Not in the strain and tussle of intellectual strife, not in the fret and ferment of the proud and restive mind, can God be known; but when the baffled inquirer acknowledges his weakness and defeat, when he looks with humble wistfulness into the darkness that has deepened around him, when he surrenders and stakes his all on the mercy of the Unseen — then, in that solemn moment of pause and conscious self-helplessness, God draws near, and there glows before the soul a sublime vision of the greatness and goodness of the only living and true God — "Be still, and know that i am God!"
III. A WORD ADDRESSED TO THE MAN WHO IS TEMPTED TO MURMUR AT THE HARDSHIPS OF A SUFFERING LOT. Life has its sombre side to all, more or less; and bravely as we may strive to look at the bright side, and to make the best of things, there are moments when our way is dark. Can it be wondered that from the pierced heart of suffering humanity a cry of anguish should rise that now and then overpowers the meekest submission and the most heroic patience, and find a plaintive voice in the trembling remonstrance — "O Lord, how long? Why these repeated strokes? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not, and in the night season, and am not silent!" It is then that God draws near and speaks — "Be still, and know that I am God. Cease thy sad complaining. Be hushed, my child. Know that I am here. I have not forgotten thee. I am ruling still. It is thus I am leading thee to teach thee. Know that i am God, even thy God!" There! thou art blessed.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.