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.
-Psalm 131, NASB
In the providence of God this Psalm has been on my heart and mind quite a bit lately. This Psalm was assigned for me to preach- but the text was in error and now I have Romans 12.1-2. In the past week I have spent much time meditating on this Psalm as well as hearing it expounded by Seminarian Bill Boekestein of the United Reformed Churches and Rev. Ray Lanning of my church.
The Psalm begins with the great king of Israel in humble submission to the Lord. He speaks of being humbled in areas of thought, word, and deed. David stands before God in humility. This is our calling as Christians as well- we are to be humbled before the Lord.
The second verse of the Psalm speaks of great trust. The weaned child is one who has learned to trust that his mother will provide nourishment in due time. The Christian rests in the arms of Christ knowing that all needs will be supplied; even in great hunger and calling out to God- the Christian can rest assured that the Lord will provide and give care.
The third verse is one that goes from the individual attention of David to the entire people of God. Not only does David rest and trust in the Lord, but he calls on all of Israel to have this great hope. As followers of Jesus Christ, we too, need to call-out for the Church to trust in the Lord. All those that love Christ will love His bride and have her care in mind. Not only should we rest peaceably on the chest of Christ, but we should call the Church to have this peace as well.
The vain desires with which men are carried away, originate in their seeking to be wise and careful above what is necessary. David adds accordingly, my soul over me is quieted, not as expressing the language of self-confidence, but speaking as if his soul lay sweetly and peacefully on his bosom, undisturbed by inordinate desires. He contrasts the wayward and tumultuous agitation which prevails in those of a discontented spirit, with the peace which reigns in the man who abides in the calling of the Lord. From the verse with which the Psalm closes, we see the reason why David asserted his having undertaken nothing in the spirit of a carnal ambition. He calls upon Israel to hope in the Lord, words which must have been abrupt had it not deeply concerned the common safety of the Church, to know that he sat upon the throne of the kingdom by Divine appointment, in which case the faithful would be certain of the bestowment of the promised blessing. Our hope is of the right kind when we cherish humble and sober views of ourselves, and neither wish nor attempt anything without the leading and approbation of God. -John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms, volume 5