To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
Stillness is Beneficial to Us
There are many definitions and uses of the word still in the Bible. I would like to look at some of the occurrences of the word in scripture and see how they can help us today. First let’s consider Psalm 46:10 since it seems to be a direct command.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
In this verse the word still means to relax, withdraw, to let go, to be quiet, cease striving, quit fighting, stand silent and let go of your concerns. In other words, “Let go and let God.” When we know that He is God, who God is, and truly know Him we can quiet ourselves and quit trying to do everything for ourselves. We can stop worrying and let God handle the situation. It seems we can’t really know He is God until we are still. According to this scripture, when the world sees that we know that He is God and we trust in God to handle things; He will be exalted. It is a witness to them of who God is.
“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” Psalm 84:4
In this verse still means we should be praising Him again, more, a good while, longer, yet, continually, forever, constantly, and always. And did you notice this verse ends with Selah? Selah is thought to mean a pause to reflect on, to lift up and exalt God.
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” Psalm 4:4
Here still means to be silent, be still, wait. Could it be the reason so many of us have difficulty sleeping is because we fail to follow the instructions? We do not commune with our own heart at bedtime and be silent and still, waiting on God to speak to us. Are we missing this vital communication? And again, we see Selah. Pause and reflect. Do we stand in awe of God?
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2
In this passage still means comfortable, at ease, quiet, rest, or resting place. Our Good Shepherd will bring us to resting places where we can be comfortable and at ease. He cares for us. John 10:11 tells us “the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” He is our protector and savior.
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2
This is powerful. Here still means to cause to cease, put an end to, to exterminate, destroy, to remove, to cause to fail. God can cause our enemies to cease! God has ordained we have the power and authority to put an end to our enemies.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39
When Jesus rebuked the wind and told the sea to be still; He was commanding the sea to hold its peace, to be kept in check, to be reduced to silence, to become speechless. When people or circumstances come against us we can command them in the spirit to be still.
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” 1 Timothy 1:3
The words abide still used in this passage are often translated continue in the New Testament. It means to remain with, to continue with, tarry, stay, or remain in place. It is not always easy to be still. In this hurry up and get it done world we forget to be still. Don’t give up on others or ourselves too easily. Be patient. Teaching takes time.
Being still does not mean inactive. We must actively listen to the voice of God.
This study is a good reminder that the same word can have many different meanings in different places. As you are reading the Bible I encourage you to look up the meanings in a concordance or another translation to get the most out of your reading. All definitions and meanings I have used came from the Blue Letter Bible, Strong’s Concordance or a variety of Bible translations on Bible Gateway.
~ Kathy Johnson