A single line from a scripture verse works very well as an acclamation or a congregational response, but it’s more challenging to use in other parts of our services. A hymn needs to be long enough to be worth the wrappings — the announcement, musical introduction, standing up or sitting down, meditative pause, or other rituals we include around the singing of a hymn.
But if we repeat the line a few times, then do the same with a couple more fragments of scripture, then reprise the first line again, and frame it in additional music, we can easily end up with a hymn long enough to meet our needs. And that’s what someone did with the evocative phrase from Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”. We don’t know who selected the phrases, or created the melody, but it’s a hymn that’s an easy fit into our liturgy.
As our lives seem to become increasingly filled with busy-ness, it is more important than ever for us to remember to pause in the presence of God, and this beautiful short hymn that many of us learned in the 70s becomes even more relevant. With its musical framing, this settings runs just over 2 and a half minutes, and the words stick in our minds for days afterwards. Excellent value for time invested;)
Finally, a note on the texts. At the time of writing, 17th century English was still considered more spiritual than more modern translations of scripture. You will notice that I frequently tweak texts to make them more language appropriate for our time, but in this particular case, I have retained the traditional form of the text. I like that, in verse 2, God speaks to us using the intimate form, “thee”. And then in the third verse, we respond likewise, using “thee” again to denote the close family relationship we have with God.
If your congregation can’t handle that, or if you’d like to select different texts to build your version from, worry not. I will be releasing an instrumental version in the Meditations series in the next couple of weeks.
Listen to the Audio file here, or preview the SD version on YouTube.
Be Still, and Know that I am God is available as audio only (with included text file), or as a Lyric Video in two sizes, in a setting which is a comfortable sing for all congregations.
Vouchers for free access to Lyric Videos are available to our supporters through our Patreon page.
Select a format-
SD Video: Standard Definition, suitable for older Data Projectors and screens
HD Video: High Definition, suitable for TVs, mobile devices, and HDMI data projectors
Interested in other keys or with different words? These options are available to our patrons. Contact us to discuss!