Psalm Bible Study (Worshiping God)

Psalm 62, Rest In God Alone

I. David’s Trust

A. Silent rest (62:1-2)

  1. The first two verses describe a peace and rest that David has found in God. David says, “I am at rest in God alone.” The NASU says, “My soul waits in silence for God alone.” David simply describes a tranquility that he has in the Lord. Our culture endless seeks out perfect rest. So much of the activities of the people today center around the attempts to become wealthy so that one can rest. Our society believes that rest can only be found in immense wealth. But we can tell that wealth does not bring rest. None of us are resting because of the wealth we have. Do you know anyone who is resting because of his wealth? Even the wealthy we see on television are not at rest, but are in greater turmoil. Wealth does not bring rest. Wealth brings the turmoil of trying to maintain that wealth and that standard of living.
  2. But real rest is found in God alone. David does not find rest in his possessions or his royalty. Only God brought his rest since salvation comes only from God. In verse 2 David declares that God alone is his rock, his salvation, and his stronghold. Because of these three things, David will never be shaken.
  3. In reading these words, I would suppose that David offers these words of praise during favorable times in his life. I would assume that things were going well in David’s life for his to praise God as his rock, salvation, and stronghold that gives him rest. But as we will read, this is not the case. David is not going through easy times but challenging times.

B. The assault of the wicked (62:3-4)

  1. In verses 3-4, David now addresses the wicked who bring their attack. The wicked are cowardly in the form of their attack. David points out that they attack those who are already weakened. “How long will you assail a person, will you batter your victim, all of you, as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?” (NRSV). It is not too hard to knocked over a leaning wall or knock down a tottering fence. This is the shot that David makes at the wicked who continue their attacks. The wicked seek out the weakened to pounce upon and destroy.
  2. We understand this characteristic of the wicked. David is not the first to notice how evil people kick others while they are down, and we will not be the last to notice this attribute of the wicked. It is an interesting picture that David using describing the wicked as a sort of bully, if you will, against the weak.
  3. The evil of the wicked is further described in verse 4. Verse 4 seems to indicate that David is speaking of himself in the third person. David declares that the wicked “Plan to bring him down from his high position.” It seems that David is likely speaking about himself who is the king over Israel. David occupies the high position and the enemies are trying to bring him down to destruction. David has gone through great difficulties in his life and rather than simply let him alone, the wicked continue to kick him while he is done.
  4. We cannot be surprised that these are the actions of the wicked. It is hard to deal with people who act this way in our times of distress. As we can see from the rest of verse 4, with friends like these who needs enemies. David states, “They take pleasure in lying; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly.” Once again, as we have notice in many of the psalms, David is not describing a physical attack from a warring army. Rather, the attack is from the lips of those around him. These wicked people plan on bringing David and other righteous people down by using deceit and hypocrisy.
  5. It is interesting to think about how many times David has mentioned the pain of the attacks from people who say kind things to your face but destroy you with their words when not around. This is a characteristic of a wicked person. You and I cannot think that we can use our tongues in this way and still be in fellowship with God.

C. Only trust God (62:5-8)

  1. In verses 5-8 David expands upon the themes set forward in the first two verses of this psalm. David declares with greater detail why he is able to rest in the Lord. Notice that verses 5-6 parallel verses 1-2. The only distinction is that in verse 1 David said that his salvation comes from God while in verse 5 David says that his hope comes from God.
  2. David then expands upon this theme: “My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.”
  3. David brings out an interesting point. All of claim to trust God and all of us have put our trust in God. But do we only trust God? I think this is a significant question. Six times in these verses David has repeated that his hope, salvation, and trust are found in God alone. There is nothing else that David will put his trust in for his life, his welfare, for his salvation, for his strength, or for his hope.
  4. We have the tendency to trust God, but only so long as we can trust other things with God. We trust God, as long as there is a good amount of money in the bank. We trust God, as long as we have a nice home. We trust God, as long as things are going well in our lives. We trust God, as long as we have nice possessions. We trust God, as long as we have a good paying job that we are happy with. You see, we really do not trust in God because we have put conditions upon our trust. We need things to be going just the way we want and then we think we are trusting God.
  5. Do we trust God alone? We see this faith exhibited by Job because he lost it all. When faced with the loss of family, friends, occupation, welfare, and health, Job trusted in God alone. What safety net do you need to trust God? This is why we see such an appeal to the health and wealth kind of teaching of the gospel. We want to think we are trusting in God because God is going to make things good for us. We want all our desires and wishes met and we want to call that trusting in God. These things are a safety net and we are typically unwilling to fully trust in God and in Him alone if all of these things were removed.
  6. Look at verse 8 again: “Trust in Him at all times, you people.” This is one way that we know that we are trusting in God only: we trust him in any circumstance and any situation. No matter how difficult it gets and no matter how challenging our lives become, we do not let go of God for anything.
  7. Look at verse 8 one more time: “Pour out your hearts before Him.” This is one more way that we show that we trust God only. Who do you turn to in times of trouble? Who do you speak with when things are going well? Our hearts need to be poured out to God. We need to speak to God and tell him what is going on. We need to talk to God so often that we could say that we have poured out our heart to him.

D. Final reminders

  1. People are a vapor. David uses the final section of the psalm to make some final points of encouragement to the people. David begins by stating that people are just a vapor. Why does David speak about the brevity of life suddenly in this text? I believe David is pointing out the tribulations that we endure from such people are temporary. It does not matter if someone is of high estate or of low estate, every person is just a vapor that passes quickly. Do not let the wicked bring you down. Do not allow their actions to make you distraught. They are a vapor. They will pass and they will be judged.
  2. These wicked are worthless. To drive home the point, David states that if these evil ones were put on a balance scale, they would go up. A scale was a way to measure the value of money. The weighting ought to be equal and this would be a way to see if someone was cheating you or using counterfeit money. To say that these people are put on the scale and they go up teaches that these people are worthless. They do not have any value. They are counterfeit friends with us and counterfeit friends with God.
  3. Ignore them. Because of these facts, we ought to place no trust in these people, their words, or their actions. Essentially, ignore them. Why should we put any effort in with such people? Since life is just a vapor, why should we waste our precious time worrying about the evildoers? Do not spend your time obsessing about them. Do not be so concerned about them. You need to do what is right. Sometimes we get so concerned about what others are doing we forget to look at what we are doing. How are living our lives? God will take care of everyone else.
  4. God has spoken, so do not forget his words. (1) Strength belongs to God. To get through the hard times in life, we need to have God. The trials from Satan and the hardships of life’s circumstance can be crushing. We need the Lord to get us through. (2) Faithful love belongs to God. God’s love for us will never fail. It does not matter what may happen to us in life or how bad our circumstances may be, God still loves us and his covenant with us will never be broken. As Paul said, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (3) God will repay each according to his works. No one will avoid the recompense that God will bring. Every person will be repaid for their deeds. If we have done the righteous things of God, then we will be rewarded for our sacrifices and for our actions. But if we have committed evil, as described in this psalm, then God will repay us with wrath and punishment. Serve the Lord today while time remains.
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