Psalm 46 was part of my devotional reading this morning. The devotional spoke of how we take scriptures, memorize them, quote them, and snuggle up to them when we need comfort and reassurance. While the writer conceded that this was great, he argued that sometimes we skip the more gritty passages. We glaze over them because we are uncomfortable with them. He cited the passage where Elisha curses a group of children who called him bald. The author also pointed out that we turn the story of Noah into nursery theme, when it is a story of God’s tremendous power and judgement.
I loved how the devotional explained why the children were so offensive. On the surface, we think they are kids being kids, teasing an old man. However, studying the passage from the historical and cultural context, and understanding the meaning of the words we see the passage differently.
To “be still and know God” means more than just understanding God and scriptures from our point of view. Adam Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible states that being still means to cease provoking, sinning against, and murmuring about God. It means to stop what you are doing and “deeply reflect on the severity and goodness of God – severity to those who are brought down and destroyed; goodness to you who are raised up and exalted.” The commentary goes on to say, knowing God means understanding that He is, “the Fountain of power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and truth.”
The more I study God’s Word, I realize how much in me that needs to be changed and transformed. WE need to be transformed into the image of God. But how often do we transform God into something we can imagine. We take our understanding of mercy and compassion and try to fit God into that box. Sometimes this means we put limits on His mercy – “I can never be forgiven for this.”
When it suits our needs, we take out our God of justice, ignoring the other facets of His character. Sometimes this means we only reflect one aspect of His character to others. We cry for justice and judgement, missing out on an opportunity to minister to someone.
Our box is way too small to ever contain His glory, His greatness.
Today, take some time to be still. To stop your own understanding, and lean into Him. His whole truth.