Theme: Rejecting Pride
In this week’s lessons, we learn of our need to love God for who he is and to trust him completely.
Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3
There are two other links between Psalms 131 and 130. First, both end the same way, calling on Israel to “put your hope in the LORD” (Pss. 130:7; 131:3). Second, the words of personal testimony that stand at the emotional center of each psalm are alike in substance and in form. In each case the line that embodies the psalm’s most powerful image is repeated for emphasis and effect. Thus, in Psalm 130:6, “My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” and then in Psalm 131:2 we have, “But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” This beautiful portrait of the child with its mother also fits in nicely with the pictures of family blessing developed in Psalms 127 and 128. 
Psalm 131 is a personal testimony, as I said earlier, and one part of it is its acknowledgement of what David was or was inclined to be before God changed him and he learned to be satisfied with God alone. He speaks of these things negatively, saying what he is not like now because of God’s grace. But he must have been inclined to these things once, which is why he is rejecting them. They are pride, arrogance and ambition, all in verse 1. 
1. Pride: “My heart is not proud.” Was David inclined to pride? We do not normally think of him being prideful, and if he was, he certainly mastered this vice early since he was known for his humility later on. Yet David’s success in life must have tempted him to be prideful, and it may be that he was inclined to be just a bit conceited in his youth.
There is a suggestion of this in something that happened when his father, Jesse, sent him to his brothers who were in the Jewish army in the days when they were being threatened by Goliath, the Philistine giant and champion. David was appalled that Goliath should be allowed to defy the armies of the living God, and he expressed his indignation to the soldiers. But Eliab, his oldest brother, heard what he was saying and grew angry. “Why have you come down here?” he demanded. “And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle” (1 Sam. 17:28). 
This was not entirely true, of course. David had been sent to the army by his father; he had not come just to watch the battle. Moreover, we detect a note of jealousy in Eliab’s words. He was afraid of Goliath after all, while David was not. Yet family members usually know us and have a way of putting their finger on our deepest flaws, and it may be the case that Eliab also had it right when he accused David of conceit. David was an extraordinary man. It would be a miracle if he were not somewhat impressed with his own unusual abilities—at least when he was a young man. 
But David had learned to subdue pride, which is what he claims in verse 1. What is remarkable here is that he is able to do this “with humility,”1 there being no hint of the Pharisee in what he says. 
1J. J. Stewart Perowne, Commentary on the Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1989), vol. 2, p. 407. Original edition 1878-1879. 
Study Questions: 

List two links mentioned between Psalms 130 and 131. 
Identify David’s personal testing in relation to pride. 
Why is it remarkable that David was able to subdue pride?

Reflection: Is pride a temptation to you? How does Psalm 131 challenge you?
Observation: The repetition of phrases in Scripture is used for emphasis and effect.

Study Questions
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