David and the Psalms
My appreciation for the book of Psalms is far greater than I had as a younger Christian. It may be because of a better grasp of the Bible, or perhaps, I have a greater understanding of the purpose of life. Most of the psalms were written by David, the man whose heart was like God’s heart. It is in the historical books we read about the thrilling events which happened in his life. However, it is in the psalms where David opens the depths of his soul so we can learn about his heart. Look at Psalm 131 to see this.
David, himself, and the world. “Lord, my heart is not haughty (marginal reading is “proud”), nor my eyes lofty (marginal reading is “arrogant”). Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me” (v. 1). Our world is so amazingly complex, and all that happens in it can so easily distract us as we try to figure it all out. Wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, earthquakes, revolution among the nations, political unrest in our own land and the struggles created by ungodly men can so easily overwhelm us. There are those things which are, to use the words of David, “great matters” and “too profound for me.” David’s solution was not to become haughty or to focus his eyes on such matters. David understood there were greater matters and more lofty matters on which to focus. What are these greater matters? Look at the next verse.
David, himself, and God. How did David react with the complexity of life around him? “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul. Like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (v. 2). A newborn baby is helpless, for he understands nothing about his new world. One thing he does know is that his midnight cries bring his mother to hold him, to embrace him and to nurture him. There is no place more comforting on this earth for that infant. The same is true of a child who is weaned. He no longer needs his mother to feed him, but, oh how much comfort his mother’s kisses, hugs and loving words bring to him—even as an adult. David had found the way and the perfect place to have that same peace in his life.
David, himself, and the future. Where was that place? “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever” (v. 3). David, how do you handle the “great matters” and the “things to profound for me”? How do you handle the profound complexities of life? His answer—hope. One word sums it up. God is in charge, and He promises He will handle our future (Heb. 13:5-6; Rom. 8:28). How did David instruct the Jews to deal with “great matters and profound things?” One word—hope! How does David’s psalm show us how to deal with things we cannot understand or control? One word—hope! If a young child finds comfort when held by his mother, how much more should we find comfort in His arms? Remember David’s one word—hope!