Australians, particularly those who live in rural areas understand at times the need for a place of refuge from such dangers as bush fires, particularly at this time of the year. Presently in this country there are hundreds of fires burning, human lives have been lost, animals killed, properties destroyed and thousands of hectares of forests and pastureland burnt out. For many people, including those in emergency services, the beginning of a new year has not brought much relieve from the dangers and tragedies all around them.
David seems to have had his fair share of dangers in his life, but he makes a remarkable statement in Psalm 62 which is worth our consideration. He says:
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress; I will never be shaken.
Later in the Psalm he also says, speaking to himself:
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honour depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
The NIV Study Bible suggests that, “no psalm surpasses [this psalm] in its expression of simple trust in God.”
Today, let us consider two words used by the psalmist here. They are “soul” and “rest”.
Again, quoting from the NIV Study Bible: “soul. Not a spiritual aspect in distinction from the physical, nor the psalmist’s “inner” being in distinction from his “outer” being, but his very self as a living, conscious, personal being.”
Then, “finds rest. Lit. “is silence,” i.e. is in repose.”
The Passion Translation puts it:
I stand silently to listen for the one I love,
waiting as long as it takes for the Lord to rescue me. (verse 1)
I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love,
waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. (verse 5)
This doesn’t mean that David passively sat silently in a corner of the temple and let the world’s troubles pass him by. He could recognize when certain circumstances of his life were beyond his control and it was then that he needed, above all else, to trust God and seek God’s intervention.
In Australia, bushfires are “normal” and when required the Emergency Services are called upon to keep them under control and hopefully fully distinguish them. But the phrase, “out of control bush fire” is a common one, and that’s when people need to evacuate and seek refuge in a safe place.
In reality, in the troubled world that we live in, we need to adopt daily David’s habit of speaking to ourselves to “find rest in God” or “stand silently to listen to the one I love” and who loves us!
But to do this we must know God first. David knew God and so could base his trust on who He is and what he does. He says:
11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”
“Because God is all-powerful and all-loving, David is able to ‘find rest’ in God alone” (# 36)
Father, there are often situations in our lives and in the world around us that are “out of control” and we wonder what to do. May we every day seek to know you better and as we do, learn to trust you, find our refuge in you, rest in you, be silent before your majesty. Amen