Psalm 131: 1 – 3

Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes arrogant; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. I have certainly soothed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child resting against his mother, my soul within me is like a weaned child. Israel, wait for the Lord from this time on and forever.

Well, it’s back to Psalm Monday’s and I hope this is an indication that life is returning to something that at least simulates “normal.”

I began this writing some time ago but pushed it off in favor of things God led me to. Now I find this scriptural text ministers in a way it couldn’t have two weeks ago. We do involve ourselves in great matters and these things are difficult. They are also hard on our souls. Today we are offered a tonic for our weary souls.

Become a child. Jesus taught about the simple faith of a child and how we must become like children, but I see today that those childlike qualities extend beyond a childlike faith. It has more to do with the way a child can completely hide themselves in a parent. We can have the cares of an adult if we can simultaneously have the tender surrender of a child.

I am reminded of my precious nephew. Once, when we took him to a playground, he fell and scraped his knee. Not being a parent myself, I often felt out of my element but all I had to do was hold him. He climbed up in my lap and cried it out. I didn’t do anything except be there. he hid himself and his pain, more emotional than physical probably, in the comfort of my embrace. Then, done with the pain, he got up and went back to playing on the very same playground equipment. He didn’t even seem to remember the scrape or that he had been hurt. Just amazing and what a terrific picture of real life. We get old and forget those lessons of real life and how it is to be lived. Feel the pain, let it wash over you but let it wash out too as you sit in the lap of the Father, embraced by his loving arms.

Perhaps the best thing for us “adults” to do is to turn this psalm into a prayer. “Lord, teach my heart not to be proud, nor my eyes arrogant. Soothe and quiet my soul as I, like a child, rest in you. Remind me who my source of comfort is and teach me how to receive that comfort.”


Psalm 32: 7 – 8       Amp

You are my hiding place; You, Lord, protect me from trouble;
You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.

This is a good time to learn about the word “Selah” because it impacts the understanding of this psalm. One of the primary ideas about this word is that it indicates a pause. We find this word mostly in the Psalms so one might ask if it represents a musical interlude or just a pause in the lyric or instrumentation. It turns out that it has more to do with ideas represented in the lyric than it does to the lyric or melody specifically. It calls the listener, or in our case, the reader, to pause and consider the immediately preceding lyric. Today’s psalm was written by David. When we hear or read “Selah” in the above passage, he wants us to stop and consider the meaning. He has just said something very important and he wants us to stop and be sure that we have taken in that important thought.

There is a second use of Selah. It is used as a bridge or a connector. It alerts the listener that the stanza which is about to follow is thematically tied to that which has just preceded. In other words, the psalmist wants us to hear the next passage with the former still in mind. So stop and hear what has been said with a mind to integrate it with what comes next.

In today’s scripture selection, David confesses his confidence to God. He is able to hide himself in God, receiving protection and deliverance from trouble. He says, also, God surrounds him with joyous songs and exuberant shouts. That isn’t the end though, because in the next stanza, God answers him.

In the combination of these two verses we see a great deal of their relationship. Not only does God protect David but you hear David’s confidence in that protection. David is the one who proclaims that he is protected from trouble. His trust in God is the unspoken refrain. Yahweh answers his confidence and trust with, “I will lead you. I will counsel you. I will be your mentor and will guard your way and keep my eye on you at all times.”

There is a relationship between these two verses and these two people. That is what we are supposed to see in this psalm and that is what the word Selah reveals to us. These are not two independent ideas but rather a revealing of the intermingling of their lives. This is a model of how our lives are meant to be. We also have a hiding place, we are hidden in Christ. We should have the same confidence is the three persons of the trinity as David sang of here. I am hidden in Christ and thus protected from the danger and trouble of the world. God is my helper, my right hand and my deliverer. God, for his part, will lead me and guide me in the way that I should go because I have hidden myself in Him. Selah!