Summary: Faith in the midst of adversity.


Psalm 62:5-12.

1. Context

David asserts in Psalm 62:1, that, “Truly” his soul waits upon God, from whom comes his salvation. The Psalmist claims, in no uncertain terms, that his trust is grounded in God (Psalm 62:2). This is a statement of faith which he has reached through the medium of persecution and affliction (Psalm 62:3-4).

“Selah” = stop and think on this.

2. Text

The Psalmist exhorts himself to patience in adversity (Psalm 62:5).

‘You have heard of the endurance of Job,’ encourages our Lord’s brother, ‘and the end thereof you saw: that the Lord is full of tender pity and compassionate’ (James 5:11). Even when Job was challenging God in the midst of his awful trials, his main disposition was still towards God. The secret of Job’s perseverance was an unwavering trust in God, no matter what (Job 13:15).

Likewise David survives, taking refuge in his refrain (Psalm 62:6-7; cf. Psalm 18:2). There is a multiplicity of martial words used here, not unfamiliar from some of the other songs of the Old Testament, and brought to our attention again in some of the songs of the Nativity.

Before such a God as ours, it is in fact our enemies who are reduced to ‘a bowing wall, and a tottering fence’ (Psalm 62:3), not ourselves. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).

Having set out his own testimony and experience, the Psalmist exhorts the congregation to trust God, AT ALL TIMES (not just the good times). Pour out your heart before Him, for He is a refuge for us (Psalm 62:8). There is a shift here from singular verbs to plural.

“Selah” again = pause for thought.

Such is the nature and extent of human frailty, when we are weighed in the balances, that - without God - we are each lighter than air (Psalm 62:9). This anticipates the words of Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 - ‘All is vanity!’ Furthermore, we are not to set our hearts upon that which is not God (Psalm 62:10).

The false objects of devotion epitomised by wealth and power (Psalm 62:9-10) are contrasted with God’s power and constant love (Psalm 62:11-12). Therefore we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

In this we can trust: “To you, O Lord, belongs mercy” (Psalm 62:12). The Lord’s grace is sufficient, and His strength is manifest in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

3. Conclusion

The Lord will render to every man according to his deeds (Psalm 62:12; cf. Romans 2:5-6). This is not justification by works, but having been justified by God’s free grace, works should follow (Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:26). We will receive according to what we have done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

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