Summary: This is about trusting God.
The Book of Psalms is an interesting book. Basically it’s a book of ancient Hebrew poetry. I’m not one who was every really into poetry. I dreaded the section on poetry in English class. I’ve never been much on symbolism. I had an English teacher in high school who saw symbolism in everything, but I could never see it. We would read a poem, and she would point out all the symbolism. Winter symbolized death. Spring symbolized birth, and on, and on. I would always be puzzled about that. I would wonder things like, “Could the author have used winter because he like snow, or that it rhymed with another word?” Poetry is something I could never really grasp. So it is with some caution that I have elected to be in the Psalms for this week and next week.
There are many beautiful passages in the Psalms. This is basically an ancient Jewish hymnal. We think of the incredible comfort of Psalm 23. We think of the incredible remorse of Psalm 51. The Psalm that we will look at today is a song. I will spare you the agony of singing it to you. Let’s look at Psalm 62.
You will notice that at the very beginning there are some musical commands. Also note that at the end of verses 4 and 8 there is the word Selah. Now no one is really sure what the word Selah means. It’s likely some sort of musical instruction. It may mean, “pause,” “repeat,” “get louder,” or some other musical term. Either way it seems to serve as a breaking point. It seems to perhaps mark the verses of the song, to put it in contemporary lingo.
Let’s look at Psalm 62. We will pause as the “Selah” and look at each segment individually and then tie it all together. There are three S’s to look at today: Salvation, Security, and Steadfast Love.
Read Psalm 62:1-4.
At the outset the psalmist proclaims that salvation comes from God. Verses 3 and 4 indicate that the author is under some sort of attack from his enemies. It is not clear who the enemy is, but the point is that God has saved him from his enemies. He says that with God, he will “not be greatly shaken.” (Verse 2.) The psalmist is under stress here. He feels like a leaning wall or a tottering fence.
Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes it seems like things can’t get worse, they do. It’s that old “out of the frying pan into the fire” cliché. We get hit on one side, and we turn around and get smacked again. Maybe it’s a co-worker lying about us, or blaming us for crashing the computer system. Like that airline commercial where the lady is sitting at here computer at the office and opening e-mails. The computerized voice declares, “Congratulations, you have just launched the pink-slip virus. They will soon trace it back to you. Good luck finding another job.” It goes from bad to worse.
This is one of the beautiful things about the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole. It is the fact that no matter what we are going through, someone has gone through it before. And we can find encouragement through these passages. The psalmist here is telling of being beaten on continually until he was leaning like a wall.
This last summer we were in Haiti on a Work and Witness trip. Our job was to build and addition on a building at the Nazarene Seminary there. Inside the building they wanted a wall knocked down. I’m sure why they didn’t give me the sledgehammer. This one guy stood there and beat on the wall with sledgehammer. Pieces of cement block crumbled off and fell. Sections of the wall then leaned. They cracked and eventually fell. My job was to clean up the mess and haul it off.
We are often like that wall. Our enemy, whoever it may be, batters us, but it is often from the devil. Sometimes we think we are going to be tough and strong and stand there and take the abuse. We say things like, “If it doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger.” That is pure nonsense. The wall that was battered in that Haitian building certainly did not grow stronger by standing there taking blow after blow from the sledgehammer. We will not grow stronger by standing around taking blow after blow from the enemy.
God is our salvation. He is there to protect us. He is there to shield us from the blows of the enemy.
The very first thought of this passage is so instructive, “For God alone my soul waits in silence.” Silence is an incredible. We talked last week about Samuel listening to God. Samuel said five words and then listened to God. Do we take time to listen? It’s easy to take our laundry list of needs to God. We pray like, “God, be with the wife, kids, and parents. Help the missionaries. Be with the service Sunday. See you tomorrow. Amen.” It is only when we listen to God that he exercises his power in our life and offer his protection.