The words of this Psalm may have been especially meaningful to Hezekiah. A few years earlier his kinfolks in the northern kingdom of Israel had been absolutely annihilated by the cruelest nation on earth–the Assyrians. And now the conquerors are back, this time with Judah and Jerusalem and Hezekiah in their sights. No army on earth was built to stop Assyria, and everybody knew that. Even Hezekiah knew that.
“. . . though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling . . .”
From a purely military standpoint, it must’ve seemed like Hezekiah’s world was indeed falling apart. Where do you turn when you hit bottom?
None of us have had the fortunes of a nation resting on our shoulders, but we’ve all had the uneasy feeling that everything is slipping out from under us. The career, perhaps, or the finances. Maybe our marriage or our kids or our health. Times when it seems we’re in freefall.
“though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea . . .” Maybe that’s pretty much what it felt like.
What then? What now?
The confidence of the Psalmist is remarkable: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear . . .”
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”
“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
When the world seems to be falling down around us, we’ve got a kind of unshakable confidence that many people don’t. God is there, he’s present, he cares, he’s in control, and his fortress will never be moved.
That’s why we can Be still, and know that [he] is God.