Musings on stillness and rest

My Bible study is currently doing a series called Knowing God by Name. The study involves daily lessons on a new name of God and one of the names for this week was Yahweh Nissi – The Lord my banner. The lesson here is that God is our victory – the banner we raise high in battle.

One of the biblical references used in explaining Yahweh Nissi was Exodus 14:13-14. In this text, we find that the Israelites have left Egypt and are trapped. They have the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. In this major stress-inducing situation, Moses tells them:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

For some reason this really spoke to me. It reminded me of a clip I had watched of a preacher called Joseph Prince where he made the argument that when we decide to take matters into our own hands, God rests but when we rest/are still/leave it to Him, God gets to work. Moses tells the Isrealites to be still when faced with the Red Sea before them and the Egyptians behind them. God tells King Jehoshaphat the same thing in 2 Chronicles 20:17 when they were faced with an overwhelming number of enemies. God tells them to take their positions and be still because the battle is His. If you are like me, your default setting is to fix/do something even when there is nothing that can be done. It is like God is saying: “Instead of dousing yourself in anxiety and fear and running around on a hamster wheel that takes you nowhere, why don’t you rest and let Me take care of it?

Rest – in situations where rest is the last thing you may feel like doing. I have the Red Sea before me and an army behind me ready to end my life and the solution is being still? How do you do that? Maybe it involves realizing that it is not by might or power but by God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). Maybe, like King Jehoshaphat did, it is about seeking the action God wants you to take, doing your part and leaving the results to God.  And notice that both the Isrealites and King Jehoshaphat are told that their job is to stand firm and be still. Stand firm – do not be moved by what you see or hear. Hold firmly to who you know Me to be and what I have told you. Do that and rest assured that I will do My part.

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