"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah" Psalm 46:7, 11
When Carol and I lived in McAllen, we decided to ride out Hurricane Gilbert on the advice of a friend. Fortunately, the brunt of the storm missed us. We did experience the calm in the middle of the storm, but the momentary lull was not sufficient for us to ever do that again.
Psalm 46 speaks of peace in the middle of the storms of life that surpasses the calm in the eye of a hurricane. David begins this Psalm with his conclusion: God is our place of security and help, always there to help in our time of need. Because that is true, those who trust in Him have no reason to fear. Verses 2-3 describe nature in chaos. The ground gives way so that mountains slide into the depths of the sea causing a tidal wave which crashes back against those mountains still standing. A dramatic description in which creation seems to come apart.
Then David describes the place of security in the eye of the storm as the unmovable city of God. There is a river in this city which brings gladness to the inhabitants. Ezekiel 47:1-12 provides an excellent description of the river. It flows from the threshold of the temple of the LORD beginning as a small ankle-deep stream but expanding into a river necessary to swim. The river flows into the Dead Sea making it fresh and pure and producing life where ever it flows. Fruit trees grow along the banks that will be food, and the leaves will provide healing.
Verse 6 declares that not only is nature in chaos but so, too, is mankind. Verses 7 and 11 are bookends for the rest of Psalm 46. "The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah" Some translations say the LORD of Heaven's Armies rather than the LORD of hosts. The LORD, with His armies, will bring the strife of mankind to a halt. He is the One who will cause the wars of man to end by destroying man's weapons. The result of this action is His exaltation by all the people on earth. The LORD commands us to be still and know that He alone is God before He is exalted.
The Hebrew word Selah is a musical term which means to pause or be silent with the intention of exaltation. It seems the Holy Spirit is intent on us seeing the need to exalt the LORD in silence since He says the same thing in verses 7, 10, and 11.
When chaos seems to be the norm in my life what does it mean to "Be still, and know I am God"? David's conclusion in verse 1 is the answer. God is my refuge and strength, in my trouble, He is present. Therefore, I will exalt His Name as I wait quietly, knowing full well He is my never-failing, ever-present help.
LORD of Heaven's Armies, as David says in Psalm 47, You are the great King over all the earth. I sing praise to You. I exalt You. Thank You for being my place of security. Comforter, when all the world around me is trembling, stir me to rejoice in my Security.