Rest in God Alone
Updated: Jan 23
When we are discouraged, depressed, or threatened we sometimes feel that we are soon going to be destroyed, wiped out, or forgotten. David did. That is what Psalm 62 is about. David is surrounded by enemies who were treating him as if he were a leaning, tottering wall, and they were doing everything they could to push him over. Yet in spite of their hostility, in this psalm David is not worrying about them but rather is trusting God.
That is probably the most important thing to be said about the psalm. David is in danger, but in spite of the danger his trust in God is so strong that the psalm is wonderfully serene and confident. This is a psalm for you if you feel threatened or in danger.
The psalm falls naturally into three stanzas of four verses each, the three parts separated by the selahs that follow verses 4 and 8. The first stanza introduces us to the three interacting agents in the psalm: God, the psalmist, and the psalmist’s enemies. His enemies are trying to throw him down, but David is trusting God, who is his ‘rock,’ his ‘salvation,’ and his ‘fortress’ (2). The critical point is that David is trusting in God only, in God alone.
It is hard to see this in the English text, because the Hebrew is almost untranslatable, but in the Hebrew text the word only or alone occurs five times in the first eight verses (1, 2, 4, 5, 6), and once in v9. Moreover, in the Hebrew text the word occurs at the beginning of each of the six verses for emphasis, and that too does not lend itself to any easy translation into English.
All of this adds up to helping us understand that the most important thing about Psalm 62 is that the psalmist is making God his only object of trust. He is not trusting something other than God, nor is he trusting God and something else, or God and someone else. His trust is in God only, and that is why he is so confident.
This is something Christians in our day especially need to learn. Our problem is not that we do not trust God, at least in some sense. We have to do that to be Christians. To become a Christian you have to trust God in the matter of salvation at least. It is rather that we do not trust God only, meaning that we always want to add in something else to trust as well.
To pretend to trust God but not to trust him only is like having one foot on a solid foundation and another on an object that is unstable and is moving away from the foundation. We have some friends that have a place on Smith Lake with a lovely dock and a couple of jet skis. On one occasion Michelle and I and this couple took off riding on the jet skis. Upon returning, we pull up to the dock and while waiting to unload, one of the husbands (who will remain unnamed), being distracted, let go of the jet ski. His wife, who was getting off the jet ski, had one foot on the dock and her other foot, still on the jet ski, began to push it away. By the time others noticed, it was too late. There was nothing to be done but to watch her slowly sink down between the dock and the jet ski and splash into the water.
That is what will happen to you if you try to trust God and something else. You will find that you are actually not trusting God at all and that you will fall down doing it. David did not make that mistake. He had learned that if he was to trust God at all, he had to trust him only, and when he did, he found that God was indeed his ‘rock,’ his ‘salvation,’ and his ‘fortress.’ Fixed on that rock, David knew that he would ‘never be shaken,’ as he says in v2.
I hope you can join us this first Lord’s Day of 2021, as we understand how it is that we find our only hope in God. Happy New Year and God’s blessings to you.
By His Grace,