Recently I was on a railway station waiting for my train to arrive and while there I witnessed a domestic conflict between a man and a woman, who presumably were ‘partners’ of some kind. Fortunately, the harsh words didn’t escalate into violence, but it was very disturbing to watch.
If your life is going well right now and there is an absence of conflict, then while reading Psalm 62 maybe you are thinking, why would I need:
- To find rest in God
- A Rock
- A Fortress
- To never be shaken
- A Refuge
In our world though, conflict abounds. On an international scale, there are somewhere between 20-30 conflicts (both major and minor) happening at this present time. These involves 2 or more countries, or the conflict is internal involving the government and those who oppose them. Then on the domestic scene, sadly, conflict abounds between neighbours, between family members, between ethnic groups and the list goes on. Truly a sad state of affairs, which historically is not new.
I read recently the ancient account before the flood in Genesis and it records:
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. (Genesis 6:5)
When David wrote Psalm 62, he was faced with some of this wickedness and conflict between him and some unnamed others. So, he writes:
3 How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse…
9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
It is in times of conflict of whatever nature (and the reality is that it is always around us in some form), that there becomes apparent a great gulf between two lives being lived. Psalm 1 describes it very clearly as the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. The psalmist writes:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
The NT then reveals yet another insight to our situation in this world.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
In other words, every day of our lives is actually lived in a spiritual warfare and we need what David describes in Psalm 62:
- To find rest in God [to trust him no matter what is happening]
- A rock [a firm foundation who is God]
- Salvation [which is from God through Jesus death and resurrection]
- A fortress [who is God]
- To never be shaken.
- Hope [which is found only in a right relationship with God]
- A refuge [who is God].
Yes, my soul, find rest in God…Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to this sin-sick world of ours to bring life and hope and salvation. May we live our short lives wholly for you and for those around us who urgently need to understand what it means to find rest in you. Amen