Theme: God’s Love and Power
In this week’s lessons the psalmist teaches us that true faith in God gives us confidence in the power of his Word.
Scripture: Psalm 62:1-12
The last two verses of Psalm 62 are intended as a summary of what David has been learning, but they also go a step beyond it, as biblical statements often do. Bible truths are seldom mere repetitions or summaries. In this case, David says that he has learned two lessons: namely, that God is strong and that God is loving.
The opening lines (“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard”) can be taken in three ways. First, it can mean that God has spoken “one thing” twice. That is, God has repeated his lesson for emphasis. Second, it can mean that God has taught David two lessons, “one” and “two” being only a Semitic literary device. Third, it can mean that God spoke once but that David learned two things from it. Probably what these words mean is that David has learned two great things about God as a result of God’s continuing self-revelation of himself, the two things I mentioned earlier.
First, God is strong; that is, he is sovereign in all the events of history, including the dangers that have threatened David. Second, God is loving or merciful, even in these apparently contradictory things. The word David uses is hesed, which always refers to God’s faithful covenants with his people. It means that he is a covenant-keeping God.
If you know anything about God and the salvation he has provided for you in Jesus Christ, you should be rejoicing in these two great attributes of God also, as David did. Why? Because there would be no salvation for you or anyone else if God lacked either. If God had power but lacked mercy, he would be able to save mankind, but he would have no inclination to do so. If God was merciful but lacked power, he might desire to save us, but he would not be able to do it. Thankfully, God is both all-powerful and compassionate. Therefore, he has reached out to save us and has been successful in doing so through Jesus Christ.
J.J. Stewart Perowne reflects on these attributes in a slightly broader way, saying, “This is the only truly worthy representation of God. Power without love is brutality, and love without power is weakness. Power is the strong foundation of love, and love is the beauty and the crown of power.”1 Which is why we can also “rest in God alone.” We can come to God for help, because he loves us and invites us to come to him. Once there, we can rest in perfect contentment, because we know that God is also able to protect us. Indeed, he is more than able. He is an impregnable fortress.
1J.J. Stewart Perowne, Commentary on the Psalms, 2 vols. in 1 (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1989) vol. 1, p. 484. Original edition 1878-1879.
What two lessons has David learned?
How does God’s strength comfort David?
What does the Hebrew word hesed mean?
Why is it so important that God is both strong and loving?
Application: In addition to being strong and loving, what other attributes of God do you see in this psalm? Praise God for who he reveals himself to be in this psalm.
For Further Study: To see how Jesus is the one who brings peace to the troubled, download and listen for free to Philip Ryken’s message, “A Word for the Restless.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)