A Brief Update
For those of you who are unable to gather corporately with us this Sunday, you are loved and missed! If this is you, we are providing the songs we are singing together this morning and a devotional based on the sermon being preached.
Songs We are Singing Together
Devotional on Psalm 62
Where do you turn in times of trouble? What do you do in the face of adversity? When all around your soul gives way, where do you look for hope? Whether you choose to recognize it or not, the hard reality of life is that we are all either in the midst of trouble or we will be shortly. Adversity is a fact of life. So, what do you trust in? Where do you put your confidence?
There is only one point to this morning’s devotional, and it’s this: Trust Only God
This is a message that is always relevant to us and always important for us to hear. The world and the pleasure it offers is always at work trying to draw us away from God. Our flesh and its carnal cravings are always on the lookout for something other than God. Satan and his demons are always calling out for us to believe someone other than God. Because the world, our flesh, and the devil never take a day off, we must be ever reminded of this call: trust only God.
[Read Psalm 62:1-2]
David was a man well-acquainted with adversity. Whether it be in protecting his sheep, fleeing from Saul, fighting his enemies, or dealing with betrayal, time and time again David’s life was marked by difficulty and hardship. His life was no walk in the park. In spite of all his successes, all that could go wrong seemed to go wrong.
But in the face of adversity, in the midst of opposition, David begins with waiting silently on God. He doesn’t begin with his list of problems, his hope for deliverance, his longing for justice, but with God, and more specifically in waiting on God in silence.
His silence points us to his faith. It shows his confidence in God’s promises, his submission to his will, and a resolve not to grumble against him. His waiting is not reason to be discouraged or despairing. He is waiting because he has confidence in the One he is waiting for. So, while he is waiting, he meditates, not first on his problems, but he begins with God.
He meditates on God as his rock. David knew how a rock could offer protection in the midst of adversity, and he compares God to this refuge (see 1 Samuel 21 or 1 Samuel 24). Just like a rock would never fail in exposing him as he hid, so God will never fail in protecting him when in danger.
He meditates on God as his salvation. Not only is God a God who offers protection, but more than this he offers salvation. He doesn’t just protect. He saves. He is the one who delivers in the midst of adversity. David’s God is both defender and deliverer.
He meditates on God as his fortress. Those in a fortress look on their enemies without fear. They have protection, they have the upper hand. From their place of security, they face adversity.
These three words—rock, salvation, fortress—present a picture of a God who is David’s confidence in every circumstance and situation. And so, he concludes with this wonderfully honest statement: I shall not be greatly shaken.
He doesn’t say that he shall not be shaken. He says that he shall not be greatly shaken. Here, David acknowledges that he knows trouble lies ahead. He knows adversity and hardship will come. He knows he will be moved. But more importantly, he knows he will not be removed.
David is like a ship anchored at sea. Certainly, storms will come, and though his boat will be rocked by the wind and the waves, his anchor will never be removed. David knows that all the evil and suffering in this world is not strong enough to remove his anchor. He shall not be greatly shaken.
After looking to God alone for his trust, David turns next to the opposition he faces.
[Read Psalm 62:3-4]
Here, David looks toward his enemies and asks them, “How long?” “How long will you keep coming after me?” It doesn’t matter at what point in life David finds himself, his enemies continue to attack him. But his question isn’t a complaint of despair. Instead, it comes from the confidence he has in God. He has just said I shall not be greatly shakenand so he asks “How long are you going to keep coming after me. It’s useless. You will never get what you want. I cannot be greatly shaken.”
We see something of the patience that God calls us to in the midst of adversity. Opposition may come constantly, but we only are to wait silently on the Lord, our rock, salvation, and fortress. We are to patiently endure suffering, trusting only God in the midst of adversity.
For David, in the face of all of the threats to his well-being and to his soul, he finds strength and hope in this one thought: God alone is his salvation, and every attempt to bring him down will fail.
So, it’s no surprise when we see David come back to his main theme. It’s an interlude in the midst of his troubles, a calm in the middle of a storm:
[Read Psalm 62:5-7]
David comes back to this theme, both because it is his confidence, his hope, but also because he knows that his heart is prone to wander, that his mind is tempted to forget. He knows that he needs to continually re-establish himself in this truth. Just because he has said this one time, does not mean he shouldn’t say it again. As sinners saved by grace, we need to be ever-reminded of the one who saves. So, David gives himself to again meditate on God.
As he meditates upon God his Savior, we can see his faith and confidence grow. David meditates on the sufficiency of God as his deliverer. God is his rock, his salvation, his fortress, his glory, his refuge.
And, see how David owns each of these characteristics of God. It’s not just that God is all of these things, but that God is all of these for him. David says his is “my hope, my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my glory, my refuge.” Charles Spurgeon says David “brands his own initials upon every name which he rejoicingly gives to his God.”
Do you know that God is all these things? And, more importantly, do you know that God is all of these things for you? This is not dependent on your circumstances, your pain or lack thereof, your suffering or your peace, your adversity or your success. God is all of these things for you, dear Christian, today and every day.
Out of David’s confidence, his faith, his only trust in God, comes a call to all others to make God their trust. The sufficiency of God to deliver isn’t only for him but for all God’s people:
[Read Psalm 62:8]
Our call to trust in him is true for every season. We are to walk by faith every day. When we can see clearly, and when we are walking in the dark. In good times and in bad, trust in God. Our confidence must always be in God.
And how do we exhibit this trust? On the one hand we are to be silent, to silently wait on God, as David said in Psalm 62:1 and 5. That is one side to our prayer, borne out of a confident faith in God. But the other side to our prayer, David mentions here, that is no less an expression of confident faith: Pour out your heart before him
We are to come to God and pour out our hearts to him. Come and cast all your cares, all your burdens on him, because he cares for you. He is a refuge to you. He will give you rest. It can be so easy to not want to do this. We want to keep our troubles to ourselves. We do this for many reasons. We don’t want people to see how vulnerable we are. We don’t want help. Or we like being bitter at our burdens and problems. Our flesh longs for these hurts to fester inside of us until we grow bitter toward God.
But God calls us to pour out our hearts before him because he is our refuge. He is our shelter amidst the storm; our help in times of trouble; our safety in danger; our comfort in suffering.
[Read Psalm 62:9-10]
David is pointing us to the folly of placing our trust in people or money. He does this by, first, painting a picture of the frailty and insignificance of all humanity. The lowly, the poor, the downcast – they’re only a breath. The high, the rich, the powerful – they’re a delusion. David’s point is not so much that we have no need to fear man, but that it is foolish to hope in man. People may captivate and compel us, but they are only human. They are vanity—but a breath. They are never to be depended on for our salvation, never to be our hope.
Then, he points us to the foolishness of looking for security in money. Just as we should not hope in humanity, we should not put our hope in money, whether we come by it through evil means or hard, faithful work. David puts a life of crime on the same level as a love for riches.
David knows (and we must know) something: all the money in the whole world cannot bear the weight our trust. It will collapse under the weight of our eternal hopes. It is not enough to give us salvation, to bring deliverance. Trust only God.
David then concludes by once again looking to his God, the only God who is worthy of our trust.
[Read Psalm 62:11-12]
To say that once God has spoken is a special way of saying that there is no changing what God has said. Once he has said something it stands for all time. God speaks and it is done. Once God has spoken.
Twice have I heard this means that we must keep what God speaks always in front of us, always on our minds, lest we forget.
And what has God spoken? First, that power belongs to God. Power does not belong to our foes or our fears. It does not belong to humanity. It does not belong to our money. It belongs to God.
Right here we have every reason for faith. Our rock and refuge is found in the God who possesses all power. Spurgeon writes, “It can never be unwise to rest upon the almighty arm. Out of all troubles he can release us, under all burdens sustain us, while men must fail us at the last, and may deceive us even now. May our souls hear the thunder of Jehovah’s voice as he claims all power, and henceforth may we wait only upon God.”
Not only does God possess all power, David goes on to tell us that to him belongs steadfast love. One children’s Bible describes this love as God’s “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.”
Think on the comfort that this is. Not only is God’s power sufficient to stop his enemies, his love is powerful to protect his children. In God’s power he can accomplish anything he purposes. In his love he works all things together for the good of those who love him.
Our God isn’t just a God of love, who is kind to all, but can be overcome by opposition or thwarted by our sin. Nor is our God just a God of power who can do all things, but that we must fear because we don’t know his aims.
He is a God to whom belongs both power and love. He is mighty and merciful, just and generous. He has all power to save and all grace to restore. Why should we fear when this is our God? Take comfort, find rest in this God, the God of power and love.
David then concludes with an implication of this powerful and loving God in verse 12: For you will render to a man according to his work
This seems like an odd place to go, and it might come across as a reflection on the final judgment that is to come. But that’s not what the psalmist is doing here. Instead, he is gratefully reflecting on God’s promise to reward the faith and faithfulness of his people.
It is an encouragement in the face of adversity—in the midst of a bondage you feel like you may never break free from, of hardship that will never end—it’s an encouragement to persevere in faith, in obedience, in trust. God sees the obedience of his children and it will not go unrewarded. Blessing awaits those who trust only God.
There’s another implication we can draw from David’s conclusion. For it points to the fact that God will give us all we need for whatever we face. He is not a harsh taskmaster, but he gives us the grace we need for each day. He gives us new mercies every morning.
So, in whatever hardship we face, in whatever adversity comes our way, in whatever work God has given us to do, he will render to us all we need. We may be shaken, but we shall not fall, for to him belongs all power and love.
So, brothers and sisters, Trust in him at all times; pour out your heart before him; for God is a refuge for us.
A Song of Response
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24