Friday, November 30, 2007

"Be still and know that I am God"

Really great stuff yesterday in chapel on Psalm 46 where (watery) chaos in creation and rebellious chaos among the nations are linked together. Psalm 46 shows that the God who can subdue creation with his word, will also subdue the nations, save his city, end war. And he'll do that by his word also - his command to be still and know that he is God. The echoes of Psalm 2 (the raging of the nations) lead us to expect that God to do it all through his anointed Son/King.

Of particular help on thursday, therefore, was the connection made between vs10 and Mark 4:36-41. Jesus calms the storm as the Son/King with God's authority to rule. The calming of the storm thus indicates not only (!) Jesus' power over the physical elements of creation as the one who can speak chaos into order, but, in the light of Psalm 46:10, we should link that same 'chaos into order' re-creational authority with his destiny to be exalted among the nations. The Lord Jesus is the master of all the chaos in his creation, whether that's human rebellion or natural disaster.

So it's not surprising that in Mark the calming of the storm comes straight after a section which emphasises the need to trust the word of the king to build the kingdom, despite apparent failure and the rejected/ hidden identity of the King himself. The Psalm 46-echoing events out at sea were a visible manifestation of the kingdom-establishing, creation-restoring, God's people-protecting authority and potency of Jesus' words. The waves were told to be still, and the disciples should've known that here in the boat was their God.

Psalm 46:10 continues to be the Lord Jesus' command to all that is chaotic in his creation.

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”

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