Theme: Fixed on the Lord
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
David knew that he was fixed on the rock, and that he would never be shaken. Yes, but still he had to keep trusting, and he knew how variable and weak the faith of a man in God can be. This is what we find emphasized in the second of the psalm’s stanzas. David had trusted God. But now he also: 1) encourages himself to continue to trust God (vv. 5-7), and 2) urges the people to trust God too (v. 8).
There is a great deal of similarity between the first and second stanzas of this psalm, because the first two verses are repeated again as verses 5 and 6, which begin stanza two. They are not a refrain (like the refrains in Psalms 57 and 59), but rather a thematic statement that repeats the necessity for trusting God alone. They are repeated because this is what the psalm is emphasizing.
There is a slight change the second time around, however. In the first occurrence David declared that he did trust God and that he had found rest in him. In the second stanza he urges himself to find rest in God or to continue in it. How does he do this? Well, in the first case, after he had expressed trust in God alone, he looked aside to reflect on the evil of those surrounding him, the people who were trying to knock him over like a tottering wall. In this second instance, where he is encouraging himself to continue to trust God, he does not think about his enemies but rather focuses on God instead.
How does he focus on God? He does it by repeating in verse 7 the images and epithets he has used to describe God in verses 2 and 6, that is, bringing them before his mind once again. He says in verse 7, “My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” “Salvation,” “rock” and “refuge” (“fortress”) were mentioned in verse 6, just one verse before.
Here is a point where we can all obviously learn from David. Alexander Maclaren has a sermon in which he compares verses 1 and 5, pointing out that although the settled confidence that David shows in verse 1 may be beyond us, his desire to “find rest” in God is nevertheless something we can copy. “This man’s profession of utter resignation is perhaps too high for us; but we can make his self-exhortation our own” is his summary.1 That is exactly right, and, of course, that is precisely what he urges on the people in verse 7: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
1Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, vol. 3, The Psalms, Isaiah 1-48 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), part 2, p. 40.
What two things does David do in verses 5-7?
Why are the first two verses repeated again as verses 5 and 6?
How does this theme change the second time around?
How does David focus on God?
Application: Using David’s example, how can you focus on trusting God?