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Psalm 62

Psalm 62

Today and for the next three Sundays, we are going to be thinking about some Psalms. Today, Psalm 62.

Why study this or any other Psalm? The reason is the Psalms tell of the joy of belonging to God. Such belonging does not feature non-stop good times. In fact, in the first part of the Psalm for today, a troubled time is alluded to. However, those who belong to God - which described David, the author of the Psalm, and hopefully describes us, which it does for those who believe in Jesus - are helped by God so we can survive whatever troubled times come. 

Here are some explanations I read in preparing for this message. The Psalms show an awareness of God’s presence in everyday life. God was and is more than a doctrinal issue. He is someone who is interested in everything we do. Also, our duty to serve and obey God is emphasized throughout the Psalms. The call over and over again is to do more than just praise and talk about God, as important as those things are. We must obey God’s law. Throughout the 150 Psalms, there is encouragement, instruction, inspiration, truth, and solutions to both great and small issues facing mankind.

So the question I found. Why not take the time to study the Psalms and benefit from the source of godly inspiration each one provides? Including the Psalm for today. Psalm 62.

Verse 1. “A Psalm of David.” A Psalm written by David. A Psalm written in praise of God, but written for the choir master, named Jeduthun. Jeduthun is the man David put in charge of giving thanks and singing to God, including using instruments.

Psalm 62 was written by Paul. It was to be used by the choir master. It is to be used by us as well. It begins with the words, “For God alone my soul waits in silence. From Him comes my salvation.”

In the opening verse, David proclaimed his dependence on God. The word “waits” suggests David was not at that time getting help from God, but he was willing to wait. The promise was that he would wait however long God took. In the meantime, he would rely on no one else. Despite what he faced, it was God’s will that was to be David’s will.

Why? Because from God comes salvation. That was true for David. It is true for us as well.

In fact - verse 2 - “God only” was - and is - “my rock and my salvation, my fortress.” “Rock.” That is something solid on which to rely. “Salvation” means being saved, in our case, saved from our sins. “Fortress” refers to defense, having walls around us to keep enemies out.

My rock, my salvation, my fortress. God was all that to David. Only God was those things for him. David relied on no one else and nothing else.

God should be that for us as well. If that is the case, we, like David, will be able to say, “I shall not be greatly moved.”

It can be mentioned that David knew those qualities of God because of past help God had given him. Since God had done that in past times of trouble from his national enemies, from his own family, and from his own human nature, David knew God would continue to be his rock, salvation, and fortress.

There is someone else in the Bible who had known God to be helpful. A New Testament person named Paul. Listen to some of the times God had helped him. The list is in II Corinthians 11. For instance, five times he was lashed by the Jews, three times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, three times he was shipwrecked, a night and a day he was adrift at sea, he had been in dangers from nature and robbers and both Jews and Gentiles and hunger and thirst.

The point is that over and over again, Paul, just like David, suffered. The point is that over and over again, God had helped David in the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament to survive and keep serving. The point is that since God had done that in the past, He could be trusted to continue to help currently and in the future. That is what David proclaimed he was doing and would do so he would not be greatly moved. He knew he would not be ruined.

Another comment about Paul, who wrote of not being moved, this time in chapter 4 of II Corinthians. Paul wrote, “We [he and his fellow missionaries] have been afflicted [they had been troubled in that way], but not crushed.” God kept them going. We have been “perplexed, but not driven to despair.” God had saved them from being so in despair that they would give up. “Persecuted, but not forsaken.”

“God only is my rock and my salvation and my fortress.” That is what David wrote. In Him only we are to trust.

In verses 3 and 4, David alluded to the problems he was currently having. 

Men had set upon him to “shatter” him. I think their goal was to shatter David, either physically or emotionally, or both, if they could.

He felt like “a leaning wall” or “a tottering fence.” That is how close he was to being tipped over.

He was “eminent.” He was the king of God’s people. David knew his importance made him even more of a target. There are always people around who want to take down anyone with any kind of authority.

They assaulted David with lies. Some of his enemies spoke well of him with their mouths, at the same time working to depose him.

But, David wrote, they would not succeed. Why? Because of God. In verse 5, David claimed God as his “hope.” There were times he could rely on few if any people, but he could, he did, and he would put his hope in God, who would eventually help him. With that hope, he would wait for God because, as David had written earlier and repeated in verses 6 and 7, God was his rock, his salvation, his fortress, and, he added, his “refuge” - his only solid base, source of freedom, stronghold of protection, and place of safety was God. Therefore, David repeated, “I shall not be shaken.”

By the way, David certainly knew the importance of the need to rely on God. I am thinking of what is recorded in II Samuel 11.

Very briefly, one day King David noticed a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. Instead of just noticing her beauty, he made arrangements to have her brought to him, despite the fact she was married to Uriah, who was a soldier in David’s army, out doing battle for David’s kingdom while this happened back home. 

David was told the beautiful woman was married. Apparently that had no effect on David. He still called for her. David and Bathsheba spent a night together. The result was Bathsheba becoming pregnant.

When that was reported to David, he called Uriah home, the plan being that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba, thereby making it seem the baby was his and not David’s. However, Uriah felt so guilty being away from his comrades in arms, he refused the luxury of being with his wife.

That led to Plan B. David ordered that Uriah be sent back to the fighting. That he be sent to the heaviest fighting and then left alone at the front of the war, thus assuring his death. 

Uriah was killed in battle. That made Bathsheba a widow and free for David to make his wife. That is what happened.

I am not sure David took time to think through any of this once he first saw the beautiful woman, but when a prophet of God explained it to him, David felt very, very bad. In his dismay, he wrote Psalm 51, in which he asked for God’s mercy, which - get this - was the only thing that could save him. You see, Old Testament sacrifices could cover all sins except for two. One was adultery, which was considered the death of a soul. That is what David had inflicted upon Bathsheba. The other was murder, which is, of course, the taking of physical life. That is what David had inflicted upon Uriah when he ordered Uriah to be sent to and abandoned on the front line of the war.

There was nothing David could do to overcome his sins against Bathsheba and Uriah. Nothing except rely on God alone. That is what he did. In response, God did give David mercy. It was God’s mercy that allowed David, at the time of Psalm 62, to continue to rely on God only to be his rock, salvation, fortress, and refuge.

In verses 1 through 7 of Psalm 62, David wrote what he did. In verses 8 through 12, he challenged his fellow people of God to also rely on God only.

Verse 8. “Trust in God at all times, O people.” Trust in God. Depend on Him to provide what we need, including wisdom and grace. The challenge is to do this all the time. Make a habit of it. Live all of life in dependence on Him. Let Him guide in good times, and in emergencies, when in doubt, when in danger, when in need. Let Him be our strength in all we do is what David taught.

And look at a special privilege we have. “Pour out your heart before God.” That is part of God being a refuge for us. Pour out your heart - your grievances, your desires, anything else you are feeling.

And again, rely on God only. Verse 9. Not men of “low estate,” who may not have the means to help. Not even those of “high estate,” who may not have the time or inclination to help others.

Verse 10. And “put no confidence in extortion or hopes on robbery.” Extortion and robbery of course refer to fraud and violence. We know those things are wrong. 

In fact, do not rely on money to begin with. Even “if riches increase, set not your heart on them.” Do not be eager for riches.

It needs to be pointed out there is nothing inherently wrong with money. If you have some, great. Just do not value yourself or others by the riches you or they do or do not have. D0 not make wealth your major goal.

That was taught by Jesus in New Testament times. Matthew 6. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume.” Those two things refer to investments in cloth and crops being ruined. Cloth and crops were common investments at the time. “Or where thieves can break in and steal.” That refers to the practice of hiding money under a mattress or digging a hole in a field and hiding money there. The teaching is that riches can easily be ruined or stolen.

Instead, “lay up treasurers in Heaven.” In spiritual things. As David wrote, rely on God only because God is the only one worthy of being relied on. Verse 11 of Psalm 62. “Power belongs to Him.”

Therefore - verse 12 - love Him. Love Him steadfastly. Love Him always. Work at keeping your love for Him strong and growing, making it easier to rely on Him only.

*       *       *       *       * 

Going back to verse 8 and the privilege of pouring out our hearts before God, here is a devotional written by a woman who, for more than 30 years, has endured chronic pain and illness.

The woman’s name is Dorothea. Here is what she wrote. 

“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the limitations chronic illness places on my life. Often I realize everyone else around me faces some type of difficulty as well. For instance, a close friend tries to accept the devastating news of her mother’s dementia. A coworker fights to save her marriage. My neighbors file for bankruptcy and put their home up for sale.

“Life can be frightening, but Scripture, particularly the Psalms, including Psalm 62, can minister to our souls whenever we are troubled. Concerning being invited to pour out our hearts to God, if we become weary or discouraged, we can unload every care onto His shoulders. 

“The results? He will not condemn us when we pour out our hearts to Him, but He can restore us. He can use His Word to minister to us and comfort us. God can replace our worries with His peace.”

Dorothea adds, “It is during uncertain times I have learned to rely on God’s power because when I am at my lowest, He has never failed to be my refuge and my source of strength.”

She prays, “Heavenly Father, please help us remember You care about everything that happens to us. Teach us how to surrender all our cares to You. Be our rock and salvation, our fortress and refuge.”

And this thought by another devotional writer.

A couple had their car only three months. It was used, but it was in mint condition, not a speck, nick, or scratch anywhere on the car’s body.

One day, the husband returned from an errand and asked his wife how she got the crack in the windshield. The wife was dumbfounded. The windshield had not been cracked earlier. She went out to inspect the car and noticed a tiny hole on the driver’s side where the nine-inch-long crack had originated.

It was obvious. A stone had fallen off a truck or was tossed by a lawnmower and popped against the windshield. As she had driven over speed bumps, potholes, and rough roads, the tiny hole trailed across the windshield. Now the crack had grown.

The devotional continues. “Just when life seems to be rolling along rather smoothly, a stone pops up and cracks the windshield of our lives. Often other Christians can be like those stones, which inadvertently pop into the air and hit an unsuspecting soul. We may not notice the significance of sucha hit. We may not feel the sting of words hurled impulsively without thought during a passing conversation. We might roll on thinking nothing of how we affect another’s world.

“But then one day, we hit a bump that causes the tiny chip in our security to crack our heart. Unless I take the time to follow the crack to the origin, I may not know exactly why I am upset. But once I get alone with God, pray about my pain, lay my hurt before Him - once I pour out my heart to Him - He heals my heart and seals the crack. Sometimes there is a scar. Its tenderness, when touched by some unguarded moment, is a reminder to watch how I walk each day.”

So let’s pray for more discernment when we talk with others. 

Let’s pray others will not be shaken by troubling things said by us. 

Let’s pray they find the rock, salvation, fortress, and refuge that is God. 

And let’s pray for those who cast stones to be filled with grace. 

Let’s ask God to have mercy on others for the things they do and say 

that may inadvertently crack our emotional windshields. 

Then let’s forgive and move on.

God only is my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my refuge. God alone is my solid base, my source of freedom, my stronghold of protection, my place of safety. That was the hope for David. May it be our help as well so that we, like David, shall not be shaken.

Today’s closing song is God Will Take Care of You. We will sing verses1 and 3 before the chorus, then verse 4 and the chorus.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,

God will take care of you;

Beneath His wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,

God will take care of you;

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,

Through every day, o’er all the way;

He will take care of you,

God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,

God will take care of you;

Lean, weary one, upon His breast,

God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,

Through every day, o’er all the way;

He will take care of you,

God will take care of you.

God, You alone are what we need, now and forever, including being our rock, our salvation, our fortress, and our refuge. Help us to rely on You alone. Trust in You only. To love You. And yes, whenever we are troubled, we can pour out our hearts to You. What a privilege. Amen.

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