Summary: One of the most comforting verses in Scripture is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know I am God." But why is it so comforting and what difference can it make in our lives?
OPEN: Several years ago, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks did a comedy skit called the “2013 Year Old Man”. In the skit, Reiner was interviewing Brooks (who was the old gentleman). And at one point, Reiner asks the old man, “Did you always believe in the Lord?” Brooks replied: “No. We had a guy in our village named Phil, and for a time we worshiped him.” Reiner: You worshiped a guy named Phil? Why? Brooks: “Because he was big, and mean, and he could break you in two with his bare hands!” Reiner: “Did you have prayers?” Brooks: “Yes, would you like to hear one? O Phil, please don’t be mean, and hurt us, or break us in two with your bare hands.” Reiner: “So when did you start worshiping the Lord?” Brooks: “Well, one day a big thunderstorm came up, and a lightning bolt hit Phil. We gathered around and saw that he was dead. Then we said to one another, ‘There’s somthin’ bigger than Phil!’”
There’s something bigger than Phil.
Now, I realize this was just a comedy skit, but why did the people worship Phil? Well, because he was bigger than they were... and he could hurt them. They only stopped worshipping him because there was something bigger than Phil who could hurt them.
A few weeks ago, we (and a couple of churches we work on sermons together with) asked our churches for some of their favorite Bible verses. And as we looked these verses over we found that there seemed to be a pattern. All the verses seemed to have one thing in common: They were all about God. God having a plan for us; God saving us; God caring for us; and strengthening, interceding, and providing for us. AND the first thing that caught our attention (as preachers) was THIS verse: “Be still and know that I am God.”
A lot of people like this verse. There’s something deeply comforting about the idea that God is God. He’s bigger than you. He’s bigger than me. He’s bigger than Phil. But unlike "Phil"... we don't worship God because He can hurt us. We worship Him because He cares for us... and He's big enough to take care of our needs.
Psalm 100:3 says “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 declares: “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”
God is bigger than we are and He cares for us. Why should that kind of God be a God who comforts us?
1st – because we tend to worry… a lot. There’s so much that we can’t control in this life that we can end up being afraid because we don’t have control.
We will not fear!!! That’s good Theology. In fact, it’s great theology! But there’s times when this “No Fear” thing is hard to do.
Back in the days of Psalm 46, there were a lot of things to fear. Injury, disease, death, storms and earthquakes, droughts and famines, and – of course – the occasionally army that would invade nation (destroying homes and cities in their wake).
But, in many ways, we have it wayyyy better than they did. We have doctors and nurses and hospitals – Insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, Retirement benefits, Food stamps, Housing for the poor, Policemen, Firemen, a strong military. And we could go on and on about the advantages we have that they didn’t.
And yet fear is still a powerful thing, even for us.
ILLUS: There are studies that point out that, even today, Americans are amongst the most stressed and fear-ridden people in the world. Why? Why would people in one of the most powerful and well-endowed nations on earth FEAR?
Well, because fear is a natural response to the unknown. There are things we can’t control… and it makes us afraid. And then, when life get hard – when there’s danger, and when there’s a threat to our livelihood, or when we face disease or injury, or even death – even the most spiritual amongst us can be afraid.
Fear is a reality of life --- and all of us have experienced it. And when fear grabs hold of us, we can become anxious and desperate and powerless. When fear controls us - our lives can get really miserable.
But God tells us: DON’T let that happen!! “Do Not Be Afraid.” In fact, God tells us that over and over and over in the Bible. It’s one of the most repeated commands in Scripture. Don’t be afraid.