Theme: Confidence in the Midst of Danger
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
Do you ever feel like an endangered species? If we are to believe what we read in the papers, there are a lot of endangered species these days, and there are many powerful organizations that have been brought into existence to try to save them. There are endangered whales, endangered seals, endangered plants and animals, even the endangered snail darter that held up a major hydroelectric project in the south for many years. When we are discouraged, depressed or threatened we sometimes feel that we too are one of these endangered species and that we are soon going to be destroyed, wiped out or forgotten.
David did. That is what Psalm 62 is all about. He was surrounded by enemies who were treating him as if he were a leaning, tottering wall, and they were doing everything they could to knock him down or 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. In fact, it is utterly confident. Many people have noticed this. H.C. Leupold wrote, “There is scarcely another psalm that reveals such an absolute and undisturbed peace, in which confidence in God is so completely unshaken, and in which assurance is so strong that not even one single petition is voiced throughout the psalm.”1 J.J. Stewart Perowne observed, “Scarcely anywhere do we find faith in God more nobly asserted, more victoriously triumphant; the vanity of man, of human strength and riches, more clearly confessed; courage in the midst of peril more calm and more unshaken, than in this psalm.”2 Clearly this is a psalm for you if you feel threatened or in danger.
1H.C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 458.
2J.J. Stewart Perowne, Commentary on the Psalms, 2 vols. in 1 (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1989), vol. 1, p. 480. Original edition 1878-1879.
Why did David feel like an “endangered species”?
Why is it surprising that the psalm is so serene and confident?
Reflection: Think through some specific times when you have felt like an endangered species. How do you respond during times of testing? Do you worry? Or do you trust God?
For Further Study: Are you finding it difficult to trust God? The book of Psalms is filled with instructions on how and why we need to trust God, even when things seem hopeless. Order your copy of James Boice’s three-volume work on the Psalms, and receive 25% off the regular price.