~* BE STILL, MY SOUL *~
Katharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
English Translation - Jane L. Borthwick, 1813-1897

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted to the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalm 46:10 & 11

Spiritual revivals throughout history have always been accompanied by an outburst of new song. This was especially true of the 16th Century when, following centuries of dormancy during the Middle Ages, congregational singing was reintroduced into corporate worship. God lit the fires of revival in the latter half of the 17th Century with a movement known as the Pietistic Revival in Germany, which was similar to the Puritan and Wesleyan movements in England. The Pietistic movement also gave birth to many rich German hymns, one of which incorporates the contributions of three persons.

Katharina von Schlegel was the outstanding woman of this revival movement. Little is known of her history. However, we do know that she contributed a number of lyrics to a collection of spiritual songs published in 1752.

Approximately 100 years after it was written, this hymn text was translated into English by Jane Borthwick, a scholar noted for her fine work in translating German texts. This hymn tune is an arrangement of one movement from Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia". Sibelius was Finland's best-known composer, and his music is generally characterized by a strong nationalistic fervor.

God has used the talents of these three individuals from different lands to provide His people with a hymn that teaches so well the biblical truth that we all need to relearn daily: "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength...." (Isaiah 40:31).

[JMS: this is another favorite of mine, the hymn text included in the third book of The Bennett Vignettes entitled A Time of War.]



Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.



*For Today*: Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 30:15, 40:31; Hebrew 10:35 & 36

Determine to live by the truth that "the LORD is on thy side!" Be still, and meditate on the truth of His Word.

Music

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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