What Does 'Be Still and Know That I am God' Mean?


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Many Christians today are familiar with the words from Psalm 46:10, “be still and know that I am God”. They have been whispered by countless believers to themselves in times of trouble and used to encourage many despairing hearts. And rightly so. Even at first glance, the words seem crafted to bring comfort to whoever reads them. 

However, besides finding comfort during difficult times, this piece of Scripture also applies to how you approach your daily life. It reflects a certain mindset, one the believer must have.

What does it truly mean to be calm and acknowledge that the Lord is God? How can you show that in your current situation?

The Message of Psalm 46

To truly understand what it means to be still, you must first consider Psalm 46 as a whole. This whole chapter paints a very vivid picture of the sovereignty of God to its reader.

In the first verse, the Psalmists say that God is like a safe place for people. He is strong and always ready to help when they need Him. The word ‘refuge’ means a place or person you can go to for help or rest. These verses explain why God is described as a refuge and how you can react to this great knowledge.

Verse 2 says, “We will not fear even if earthquakes come and mountains crumble into the sea.”  

The Psalmists use this figurative speech to describe a situation of unrest. They say they won’t be afraid even in tough times, because they have God to rely on. God is like a safe place for them, where they can go to feel stronger.

The Psalm also establishes the mighty works of God by saying,

Come, see the glorious works of the LORD: See how he brings destruction upon the world 

And causes wars to end throughout the earth. 

He breaks the bow and snaps the spear in two; he burns the shields with fire.”

These works make the Psalmists feel respectful and believe strongly. They write, “God is with us; He is our safe place.” These words convey trust in God’s ability to fight on their behalf.

Psalm 46 shows us how powerful God is and reminds us to trust that He will protect and strengthen us.

Be Still and Know That I Am God Meaning

Psalm 40:6 says,

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

Let’s break this into bits to explore the verse’s complete meaning.

“Be still” involves pausing. This is similar to what Jesus said to the storm in Mark 4:39. Even on that stormy night, His words commanded the tempest to pause, recognize His dominion over them, and obey His voice.

It is the same form that this verse takes on. It commands peace and quiet. But why demand such?

“Know that I am God’.

The reason for the pause is reflection. ‘Knowing’ involves coming to an understanding. This is usually a process. He has power and control, and He cares for you deeply. He wants to be your strong shelter, a place to battle from, and your sanctuary, a place to find peace.

The phrase “be still and know that I am God” means to stop worrying and realize that God is in charge.

How Can You Do This? 

Right in your day-to-day life, you can take time out to meditate on God’s power displayed throughout Scripture. You can take His outstretched hand and pursue a relationship with Him.

By doing this, you can slowly become certain of His immense power and control over everything around you.

So whenever there’s unrest in your life, remember to respond with faith, knowing that you are victorious already. It’s easier said than done, but it is certainly how God wants His people to live.

Who Is God Telling to Be Still?

The verse ‘be still and know that I am God’ was written by the Sons of Korah. They were singers and worshippers in God’s temple.

Verse 1 starts by saying that the Lord is our safe place. Some scholars believe that it was directed towards the Israelites, who were God’s people back then. But today, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, all believers have been adopted into God’s family and are His children. So the Psalm is addressed to everyone who believes in the Lord.

He asks them to stay calm, stay quiet, relax, and look at Him. He will receive praises from all around, forever.

Common Misunderstandings of Psalm 46:10

Many people often confuse the meaning of “be still” as a gentle request to remain silent. However, the words in context are more forceful. A close comparison would be “snap out of it” or as other translations put it, “cease striving”.

So the Bible verse ‘be still and know that I am God’, takes the tone of a wake-up call. It calls the reader to open their eyes, to be aware, acknowledge, and understand the majesty and might of their God.

The message is for God’s people to not be afraid when they face challenges, but to stay confident in the fact that their God is in control and can overcome anything that comes their way.

Bible Verses Be Still And Know That I Am God

Here are some additional verses that carry the message of Psalm 46:10:

“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.”

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.” The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and resting you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling”.

“Know that the LORD is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture”. 


‘Be still and know that I am God’, is a call to a disposition of complete faith in God like the Psalmists. It involves coming to a deep conviction of the fact that whatever goes on in your life, God is, and always will be in control. He reigns above all the nations, and is still on his throne.

Reflecting on these words can bring solace, guidance, and a deeper understanding of the person of God. So today and everyday, anytime you feel the noise of anxiety or worry about anything trying to cloud your mind, pause and trust God

Return to His teachings, observe His powerful actions, and have faith that He has the capability and willingness to not only protect and support you, but also fight for you.