Meditations on Psalm 62

This Psalm contains two key themes interspersed throughout the Psalm.  The first is contained in verses 1-2, 5-8 and 11-12 and consists of David’s explanation of the Lord and who he is.

The first theme is the centrality of God and may be broken down into the centrality of the Lord to David (v1-2, 5-7), Gods availability to be this to all (v8) and a summary of how this will be to all men (v11-12).

The second theme is the contrasting position.  In this Psalm David has in mind those who are working against him to topple him from the throne. He asks of them “How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?”

The great contrast is firstly in where David is saying this from – a position of strength and secondly where these attackers are coming from – a position of misunderstanding about the world they live in.

To understand this, we need to examine verses 1-2 in a little more detail.  Verse 1-2 sees David’s soul waiting for the Lord alone.  This may seem at a glance a little like a throw away line, however, there is much to see in this phrase.  David is the king of Israel – not just like many of the other kings of Israel, but perhaps the greatest king Israel ever had.  At this time in history Israel is greatly expanding its territory, and David rarely if ever loses a battle – wherever he goes in battle he wins the battle and takes the land, and the leadership of that people and reigns over it.

However, in spite of being the ruler of the greatest kingdom in the world of the day, the King was not self sufficient, arrogant or proud, rather he waited on the Lord alone – the Lord alone was where his confidence came from. David saw that salvation (in any form) did not merely come from his own hand, but that his rule was ordained and supported by God alone, and therefore, David recognised his dependence on God for all that he did. Rather than merely taking things into his own hands, he trusted, waited and expected God to act.

There were in his kingdom those who wanted to topple him (v3).  As king, David could have jailed them or put them to death or had them banished, however we have no evidence that David did this.  Instead, he trusted in the Lord – knowing that his position had been given by the Lord and would be maintained by the Lord as long as it was the Lords will.  However, David has also been told that his throne would endure – that his son would sit on the throne after him (2 Sam 7:8-16), so David had great confidence that none of these attempts to remove him from the throne would succeed because his confidence was in the Lord and his word.

Because of this, David not only depended on the Lord but also expected the Lord to act. If God had established him, the Lord would defend him and keep the place that God had selected for him (Ps 62:1-2)

So when David says to those who attack him “How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?” he knows that what they are doing is a worthless and fruitless exercise.  He’s in effect asking “why do you bother?” because their attempts will come to nothing.

Instead he sees their heart – that they are only seeking to remove him and have no plans of significance beyond that.  “They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.”  Their work, and words are merely vapour.  By contrast David sits on the rock – the Lord (v6-7).  David says his salvation rests on God, not on the wanderings of his own heart and mind.

In Ps 62:9 David explains that position (high or low) is nothing – it is a temporal thing that is meaningless.  He explains that “in the balances”, i.e. in judgement day – when they are weighed by the Lord) they are weighed and are “together lighter than a breath”.

The Lord wants us to depend on Him, to live lives that reflect what He wants of us.  He wants to be a refuge for us, and He wants us to “trust in Him at all times” and pour out our hearts before him (Ps 62:8).

The Lord will render to a man according to his work, and His power and steadfast love will be demonstrated because “he will render to a man according to his work” (Ps 62:11-12)

Those who sought to remove David were living their lives based entirely on what they heard and saw.  There was no reality beyond this.  Therefore, they lived their lives as they saw fit.  David on the other hand knew that there was more to life than this and that what we hear, see and touch is simply the playground where our lives are lived. 

What really matters is not what is seen, but how we live.  Not merely in doing right and wrong but in how we conduct ourselves with regard to God.  David appeals to all to trust in God, not merely in what we see (Ps 62:8).  He exhorts us to pour our hearts out before God – not to hide the evil that is in there, but to pour it out.  The idea is to top the contents of our hearts out before the Lord so that he can examine it and pick out the bits that don’t please Him.

We live in a world that overtly says “what you see is everything” and “there is nothing except what we see, feel and hear”.  By contrast David saw that what we see is nothing and that which our soul senses but cannot grasp without the Holy Spirit is everything.  May we too have eyes to see and hear the reality behind the reality we sense with our physical bodies and walk responding to Christ’s work in us and for us instead of merely responding to our senses.

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