Psalm 131 Reading

Psalm 131

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

A few thoughts for meditation:

This song of David gives us a glimpse into the heart of godly king and warrior. He understood his place before God as a servant and a steward of the great responsibilities God required of him. It is no small thing to be a shepherd of God’s flock, especially one so large as a whole nation.

In vs. 1, he prayed to the Lord about two major sins he has tried to avoid, pride and arrogance. He did not think too highly of his own worth or overestimate his own strength, ability, or understanding. He did not pry into matters which belong only to God. He learned that the secret things belong to God and what is revealed belongs to him and his children (Deut. 29:29). He recognized his limitations as a man and humbled himself before the most wise and good God. This runs contrary to the common trait of leaders we see in the world who boast in themselves and their abilities, trying to convince others (or themselves) of their confidence and competence, while trying to advance their selfish ambitions. David rejected those attitudes, and instead grounded his identity and confidence in the Lord rather than himself.

In vs. 2, he described this state of contentment. He is like a weaned child with his mother. Twice, he used the word “weaned” to emphasize this. A weaned child does not fret or fuss when he is needy. He has learned that his own selfish desires are not the most important desires to be fulfilled in the moment. He has learned self-control and to trust his mother to feed him when he needs it, and that he is part of a larger household. This is David’s attitude toward the Lord now. He trusted the Lord to sustain him so that he does not have to fret or worry as he labors faithfully in the task God has given to him. As someone once said, “Duty is our part, the consequences are God’s.”

In vs. 3, David invited the rest of Israel to enjoy this hope in the Lord too. Our hope cannot rest in the shaky powers and plans of men, but in the unfading and unfailing power and plan of God. This is the hope and contentment which enables you to forget about yourself, and give yourself fully in service to God with whatever tasks he has laid before you as a worker, parent, child, husband, wife, neighbor, and church member. Too often, the reason we worry and fret so much, is that we have stopped trusting God, and taken on too much responsibility for the course of the world ourselves. We instinctively know we are not capable of shouldering that load, and so we grow anxious and worry about those things outside our control. We must wean ourselves of such pride and arrogance and learn to trust the Lord to provide for our needs as we serve him. And he should have earned our trust by now, after all he has done to save us through his Son, Jesus Christ. This is why Paul could say, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

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