This is a story about one of the hardest things God asks his people to do in times of crisis.
Psalm 62:title–12 (NIV)
For the director of music. For Jeduthun.
A psalm of David.
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be
3 How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance,
they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12 and with you, Lord,
is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”
THE LESSON REMEMBERED. In verse 5 David counsels himself with the lesson of verse 1. The battle to shape our hearts with the truths our minds know is never over. And here indeed is the great truth of the Bible, the Gospel—salvation comes from God alone, not from ourselves or any effort we can produce (Jonah 2:9). “To the one who does not work but trusts [rests in] God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5). David talks not just to himself but to “you people” (verse 8). We can best help others with their fears and distress when we have been through our own and found God faithful, our rock and our refuge.
Prayer: Lord, the deepest impulse of my heart is to do things to secure your blessing rather than rest in what Christ has done for me. This only makes me anxious and in turn insecure and self-righteous. Teach me to “cast my deadly ‘doing’ down—down at Jesus feet” and to “stand in him, in him alone, gloriously complete.” Amen. – Tim Keller
Psalm 62 is a testimony addressed to God’s people in vv. 1-10 with an address to God in vv. 11-12. It also shares themes of God as rock and refuge with Psalms 59 and 61, connecting it to this larger section of trust that began at Psalm 54.1 It declares trust alone in God in three sections and uncovers the way humans act in two additional sections, giving it a chiastic structure with trust as the beginning, middle, and end.
Trust in God (vv. 1-2)
Actions of the enemies (vv. 3-4)
Trust in God (vv. 5-8)
Attributes of humans (vv. 9-10)
Trust in God (vv. 11-12) – Nancy Declaisse-Walford
In Exodus 14, the Israelites, having fled Egypt following the death of the firstborn, find themselves in a difficult spot. The pursuing army of Pharaoh has caught them up against the sea, with no way to escape. The Israelites, aware of the approaching Egyptians, mob Moses in a panic, expressing their fear in terms of wishing they had never left Egypt in the first place. Moses responds in words most often used to encourage troops just before an attack: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (14:13). I can imagine the Israelites fingering what few weapons they may have possessed in fearful anticipation of a clash with the professional Egyptian charioteers. But Moses goes on: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Ex. 14:14). That is a decidedly un militaristic exhortation, especially since the word employed (?rš) means “keep still, be silent; let someone do something without objection.” The Israelites were encouraged not to fight but to allow God to fight for them. Their inactivity was to be a sign of their trust and reliance on God, that he would do what they could not hope to do alone. Stillness and quietness, then, reflect a strong theme in Israel’s understanding of her relationship to Yahweh. When Yahweh comes, silence shows proper respect and attention in order to learn his will and purpose. Cessation of activity mirrors the Sabbath rest, which witnesses to Israel’s dependence on God rather than on human strength and endeavor. Frantic activity, whether in conflict with the enemy or in pursuit of wealth and personal security, does not acknowledge the strength and power of God as the place of refuge and ultimate security in the midst of trouble. Quiet repose in the face of attack is the ultimate evidence of trust in God and reliance on his strength – Gerald Wilson