Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
I love this psalm, so very much. It has brought me so much comfort over the years.
But I confess, I was surprised to come across this passage again recently, fresh and forgotten, and see the words “Be still,” in this context after having just addressed its misuse just last week.
Where the sentiment is usually erroneously applied via Psalm 46:10, here is the sentiment we seek from that verse, clear as day, in Psalm 37: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” This is not a roar to enemies, but an invitation to children.
God turns from the raging nations to the raging child and gently says, “Be still. I will bring justice. I will give you the land.”
This psalm begins with what we ought to do with our lives, even in the face of danger, using words of steadiness, peace, and endurance of circumstances: dwell. Befriend. Faithfulness. And most importantly, trust. These words are quite the opposite of frantic flailing and raining of bullets (or tweets, in a more 21st-century context).
Anger is often an outward manifestation of fear. Given fight or flight, many choose fight, because fight can eliminate the threat and put you in a position of power and control. And this tendency is clearly acknowledged here: following the beckon to “be still” is “fret not”, and following that, “refrain from anger.”
Oh yes, God knows that in the face of threats we can fear. And He knows that our fear can lead us to panic and sinful anger.
So in Psalm 46:10, we see God declare destruction over the people that dare to foolishly oppose Him by roaring, “Be still.”
And here, we see that kind King turn to His children to whom He has promised a royal inheritance and extend this invitation, “Be still.”
Your enemies are defeated, your inheritance is secure. Dwell in the land. Do good. Befriend faithfulness. Delight in the Lord who has won the battle. He will win the war.