10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The psalmist was speaking about the heathen nations that rage against God’s people (Israel) in vain. Their rage was utterly crushed by “the LORD of hosts”. The LORD had overthrown the foes of His people, and had prevented them from utterly destroying His people.
The LORD, who is the Mighty Conqueror, wants His people to “be still, and know that I am God”. It is very important that we hush our tumultuous hearts, suppress all the passions of our hearts and restrain our minds from wandering thoughts. We must cease from fear, anxiety, bitterness, boastfulness and all other kinds of frenzied activity that distract us from fully focusing on God and His mighty acts. Even amidst the commotion of war, God’s people should quietly wait on God to work for them.
David’s words in the battle against the Philistine giant, Goliath, are illustrative of the stillness we must have in our hearts – “And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). When we are embattled, we must quietly and firmly acknowledge in our hearts that “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).
Moreover, before the presence of the LORD, everyone ought to quieten his heart and contemplate the mighty work which the LORD has done for the defence and deliverance of His people. The stillness intimated here is not that of indifference, indolence or dejection, but of humility, faith, meditation and thanksgiving. Before the presence of our great God, we must maintain a holy silence of submission and worship. “Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation” (Zechariah 2:13). We must make every effort to acknowledge and praise God for the work He has accomplished to protect and deliver us.
The LORD also declares in the hearts of His people that “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”, to His great glory. His mighty acts will draw praise even from the heathen. They will know that their idols are nothing and will exalt the LORD’s name above all else. Then one day, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).