In Psalm 46:10, God says, “Be still.” The Hebrew word probably means something more like “Enough!” Like taking an out-of-control child by the shoulders and saying, “That’s enough!” STOP. And God says, then “know that I am God.”
Today’s Old Testament readings return to the historical narrative and how Assyria finally removes the king of Israel, takes the Israelites into exile, and sends Assyrians to resettle Samaria. The writers tell us it is because God has had enough. James, the brother of Jesus, writes about the danger of speech that is out of control (what would he say about the political discourse of a 21st century political campaign). Enough!
When have we recognized the signs that whatever we have said or done has crossed the line and become inappropriate? The problem is that we often don’t recognize. It takes someone else or some crisis. A heart attack signals a lifetime of fatty food – enough! A pattern of unexceptable practices that do not change results in a firing – enough! A child’s constant taunting and teasing of a sibling results in being sent to his or her room – enough! A lifetime that has become so fast paced that what really matters has gotten lost – enough! But must it take a crisis or an intervention to hear the message “be still”?
Because until we are, we are unable to hear and see and know the presence of God. I’ve got to admit a recent pattern in which my calendar has crowded out the time it takes to write this blog. My fault, no one else’s. Not that what I write is all that significant – except that it is, for me. To slow down, to stop, to listen to the voice of God that is shouting Enough already! What I may have been missing from my day are the words of Psalm 46 that follow.
“I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 17; 2 Chronicles 28; Psalm 46; James 3