Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. SelahPsalms 46:10-11 ASV
This, in context, was an invitation to the citizens of Jerusalem to behold the devastation of the army of Sennacherib, which the angel of God slaughtered in one night to the extent of 185,000 men.
Cleaning up a mess like that required bonfires that lasted a long time, the war chariots, spears, arrows, shields and other military equipment providing fuel for the disposition of the dead.
Lord Byron’s great poem catches the terrible magnificence of this Divine interposition upon behalf of God’s people.
In this case, Jerusalem was surely doomed to destruction without Divine aid; therefore God came to the rescue.
“The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And their cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.
The sheen on their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue waves roll nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset was seen,
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay scattered and strewn.
For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the might of the Gentile unsmote by the sword
Was melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.”
– Lord Byron, The Destruction of Sennacherib
This incredibly impressive destruction of Sennacherib’s army was a judgment of God so powerful, so effective, and so dramatic, that everyone on earth knew about it. Here was tangible, physical evidence of the most astounding kind that witnessed God’s oversight of Israel.
This mighty miracle was not done in some secluded corner of the world, but at the crossroads of all nations and of all history. This was one of the most amazing things that ever happened on this earth.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). Dahood interpreted this to mean that Israel, “Should not enter into alliances with other nations.”
Thus it was before the Red Sea, when Moses commanded Israel, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:23).