Psalm 131

This psalm, at first glance, might sound a little conceited in the light of Jesus’ dislike for the practice of showing off our own righteousness. However the psalm is expressing something quite different from self-righteous confidence. What we have here is an intimate inside view of the inner spiritual rewards of obedience to God. The psalmist has resolved to abandon pride, haughtiness (looking down on others) and the desire to be able to view his life from a god-like perspective where he can grasp and control his own affairs. Instead he has cast himself into the arms of God in complete dependence. He has chosen to accept the providence of the God who loves him in submission to the fact that the ways of such a great God can never be fathomed. He has realized his smallness in relation to the majesty and greatness of God and embraced humility. And yet it is the greatness of God, something that we only experience, once we have abandoned our own prideful positions in life, that leads him to a place of complete tranquillity. He is resting transparently in the power of God. In this place of intimacy and trust he has discovered an unshakable peace and stillness of soul. He likens the experience to that of a child that has just been weaned off its mother breast and lies contentedly and peacefully in her arms. So too when we rest our lives in the arms of God do we find a stillness of soul and a contentment that all the external threats of this world can never take away from us. The final cry of the psalm sums up the reason for this personal spiritual testimony. The psalmist wants people to see the inward spiritual rewards of humility in order that they might trust in God. ‘O Israel ‘ hope in the LORD.’ In this position of peace and joy the psalmist longs that all of God’s people would learn to do the same and discover what peace is available to them in the arms of God if they will only put their trust and hope entirely in him.

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