Psalm 62

Read: Psalm 62

The Hebrew word ak, which means “only,” appears at the beginning of sentences, for added emphasis,  six times Psalm 62, although many translations (including the King James) obscure this through translating ak with different words. The New American Standard consistently translates ak as “only” but does not always place it at the beginning of a sentence, due to differences between English and Hebrew syntax. The Hebrew psalm has a strong message: it is about what is primary, about what stands alone.  “Only” appears in verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9 in the NAS translation.

Think About It: What is the significance of each “only” in Psalm 62? Is my faith a “God only” faith?

Prayer: For absolute trust in God alone.

 

Read: Psalm 62:1 – 2; 2 Samuel 22:2, 3, 32; 23:3; Isaiah 40:31; Matthew 7:24 – 25; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4

David wrote Psalm 62 with an attitude of confidence. Unlike many other psalms, in this psalm he expressed neither complaint nor fear.  Instead he expressed a quiet confidence in God and was not afraid of being shaken.

Think About It: There is no specific incident in David’s life connected with this Psalm. At what period in his life might he have written it? What is meant by “waiting for God”? Do I wait quietly for God? What is the meaning of the symbolism of the “rock“?

Prayer: Lord, help me to wait on You and to wait for You.

 

Read: Psalm 62:3  – 4; Psalm 7:15 – 16; Proverbs 26:27, 28:10

The Hebrew of verse 3 is difficult, and translations differ. The King James interprets the verse to mean that David’s persecutors will perish and fall like a tottering wall (which in fact they did). Most newer translations interpret the verse to mean that David’s enemies intend to murder him and topple him like a leaning wall.  Because of the propensity for layered meanings in Hebrew, perhaps David was intentionally ambiguous, so that we would think about the situation both ways– in terms of the intentions of his enemies, and in terms of what would happen to them.

Think About It: What examples do I know of evil plans recoiling on those who lay them? How should this principle influence my faith and behavior?

Prayer: For God’s help in believing that He will foil the plans of the wicked and deliver me from their evil intentions.

 

Read: Psalm 62:5 – 8; Romans 8:31 – 39; Philippians 4:6 – 7

Athanasius wrote of Psalm 62, “Against all attempts upon thy body, thy state, thy soul, thy fame, temptations, tribulations, machinations, defamations, say this psalm.”

Think About It: By what do I feel threatened at this time in my life? What kinds of things have made me feel threatened in the past? Can anything separate me from the love of God?

Prayer: Bring my fears to the Lord; ask Him for and thank Him for the peace that passes understanding.

Read: Psalm 62:9; 118:9; 146:3; Hosea 10:13

David exhorts us in Psalm 62 to trust only in the Lord. There are other options for trust. One option is to trust in men. Men of low degree are more numerous– this would be confidence in numbers, in the strength of the crowd, even in democracy. Men of high degree are powerful and well-connected; this would be confidence in human influence, in aristocracy. Neither direction of human trust works; mankind is all vanity and lies.

Think About It: What are specific examples of how people today succumb to the temptation to trust in men of either low or high degree? Do I face any such temptations?

Prayer: For the wisdom to resist the temptation to trust in the arm of flesh; to trust rather only in the Lord.

 

Read: Psalm 62:10; Ecclesiastes 5:13 – 14; Luke 6:24; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Psalm 73:26

Another temptation we face is to trust in oppression, robbery and ill-gotten gains.  Not many face the temptation to outright banditry, but reliance on manipulation to control people and situations is a more mundane kind of oppression that is tempting for many people.

Think About It: How do I view my material resources? What am I really willing to live without? Am I guilty of trying to manipulate people and circumstances?

Prayer: For freedom from dependence on wealth or power for my sense of security and well-being.

Read: Psalm 62:11 – 12; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Jeremiah 25:14, 31:3, 32:18; Isaiah 65:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10

In the last two verses of Psalm 62, David gave three reasons why God is the rock: His power, His lovingkindness, and His recompense.

Think About It: what would be the result if any of these three attributes were missing from God? What recompense do I expect from God?

Prayer: That I might live a life worthy of God’s praise and reward.

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