October 9, 2018

Psalms 131

By: Larry Shaffer

This pic has Beri is on the left and Brooke on the right with cousin Emily in the middle. 1996 in Yosemite National Park. Leigh and I clearly recall that day that a group of Japanese tourists were fascinated with Emily’s pure blonde hair. They all wanted a picture with her.

Psalms 131, A Psalm of David 

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely, I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forever. 

Understanding this Psalm took a little extra research before clarity soaked in. It was written by David, which is helpful, but even more helpful to know that it was written while he was serving on King Saul’s court. Why is that helpful? 

David’s life is summed up in this way:

  • A shepherd boy minding his own business 
  • Slew Goliath 
  • Promoted to Saul’s court 
  • Goes into hiding because King Saul wanted to kill him 
  • Saul dies in battle 
  • David becomes king 

This Psalm was written during David’s time on Saul’s court. David had much success during this time. He married Saul’s daughter, Michal, who loved him very much. He bonded with his best friend for life, Jonathon. He had tremendous military success. The people sang of his greatness. 

However, his success caused Saul much jealousy so Saul turned on David. Saul conspired along with his men to kill David. David found himself living in a world where many people who were close to him were working against him, setting up schemes and traps to take him down. 

In this context he writes this Psalm: 

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely, I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forever. 

When living within unfair circumstances that are beyond our control, we are to think and live differently than those who do not personally know the Sovereign God of the universe. Review the phrases of this Psalm:  

  • We are humble and acknowledge that all things are in God’s hands. 
  • We don’t fret over circumstances beyond our control. 
  • We rest in the arms of God knowing He has His ways of doing things and they are beyond us. 
  • Our hope is in God now and forever 

We are tempted, like those without God, to counter-attack, counter-scheme, worry and fret. We can sometimes become consumed with changing our current state.

However, when we become consumed with wishing our state was different and fretting continuously within our dissatisfaction, we can’t focus on living our best for God’s honor within our current situation. 

Lord, we have all done it. We’ve all questioned you about the state we find ourselves in. It’s normal but help us to live beyond our constant doubts of You and instead, rest in You! Rather than spending so much time asking you to change things, let us ask you how we can instead live now within the circumstances you have given us. May we hope in You, both now and forever. Amen!