“Do not be afraid, stand still, and see the deliverance the Lord will accomplish for you today.”
With that invitation, God affirms his chosen people and invites them to look upon His saving power for them in the chaos and insecurity of history’s moment—the destruction of Pharaoh’s army.
On the path we walk in the Advent Season, we are called, like the ancient Hebrew people and the Hebrew people of the The Captivity, by prophetic utterance to open our eyes and see God’s saving power for us in the chaos and insecurity of our everyday lives.
“Be Still, and Know that I am God.”
With this invitation, God affirms his chosen people & invites them to look upon His saving power for them in the chaos and insecurity of our life’s moment—however terrible, horrible, or frightening the circumstances of our everyday lives may be!
As we begin our reflection today, may I ask a question?
Do you know this text and the Psalm in which it is embedded is the Biblical text that inspired Dr. Martin Luther’s hymn of faith, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” “Be Still, and Know that I am God!”
Both the text and the hymn celebrate the quiet confidence God’s people may have in his help because of His choice to be present with them at all times. Imagine God’s wants His abiding presence with us known and available to us at all times.
I am reminded of an old Cherokee legend in the mountains of Western North Carolina where I was raised. As a Cherokee boy approaches manhood, his father takes him deep into the unknown parts of the forest, blindfolds him, and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump for the entire night without removing the blindfold—not until the first rays of the morning sun shine through it can the boy take it off. He is also admonished he cannot cry out for help. Then, as tradition goes, having survived the night, he is a man. Naturally, he is terrified as he sits exposed to the elements and every sort of forest creature. He hears all kinds of sounds and noises in the forest. He suspects that wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even, some wandering human enemy might do him harm. Yet, even though the wind blows over the grass and the earth shakes the tree stump on which he sits, he remains stoic, never removing the blindfold. Finally, after an intensely terrifying night full of doubts, fears and anxiety, the sun appears, and he removes the blindfold. It’s then the newly minted man discovers his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been with him the entire night, watching over him, and protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone. We don’t have to see our heavenly Father to know he’s there. His watchful eye and protecting arm are there to nurture us through every circumstance we face in life. Whenever we feel anxious, scared, isolated, or doubt His Presence, the reality is God knows just exactly what we need. This is God’s invitation for us to trust our lives to his saving help in the presence of dangers. It’s God’s invite to us to have utmost confidence in him in the face of threats to our security and threats to our corporal life. It’s God’s invitation to put our trust where it belongs—in God’s presence, who wills to dwell with his people.
Just as the Lord delivered the Hebrew people from Pharaoh’s Army at the Red Sea, The Divine Presence of the Lord we seek and assent to will save us from our emotional reactions to the external events which dominate the circumstances of our lives. If we but, “Be Still, and Know that I am God.”
In the Shalom, the Peace that passes all understanding which only God can give, we rest securely, knowing nothing can separate us from the Love of God. We are His children, the Lambs of God’s own redeeming through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen