Yes, my soul waits for God alone
He looked back on his life… As a child he looked after his father’s sheep but suddenly he became famous. He became the darling of his nation and that is where the trouble started.
There probably weren’t many people who lived such an exciting life as he did, but his adventures started taking its toll. Many days he had shown fighting spirit and he asked God to destroy his enemies. Then there were times where he became quiet, got his eye on the Lord, and praised Him with song while his fingers played over the harp. Sometimes he just longed for the Lord and set music to his words.
Today he is thinking of the dangers and threats around him. Although it is pressing down on his, his soul is quietly waiting. He doesn’t ask for the destruction of his enemies, even though he sometimes had to flee for his life like a partridge over the mountains (1 Samuel 26 verse 20). No, he waits on God. And then he starts to sing: Psalm 62, a Psalm of David.
After the preface in verse 1 he starts with: For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Here we see that David, despite the threatening dangers, didn’t ready himself for a fight or to defend himself, but that his eyes were fixed on God in full dependence for protection.
In verse 2: He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. The images used here are things that give a soldier a sense of security. Firstly, a soldier standing on a rock is higher than his enemy, who has to come up to him and therefore cannot fix his attention on his enemy because he has to climb to get to the top. Secondly, a rock fortress is a structure made of big and heavy stones built on top of a rock; a fort, and the people inside are safe. More important is the fact that God is his salvation. When He protects a person, the enemy cannot conquer.
Throughout his life the Lord has shown Himself to David in many different ways. He was a youngster, a shepherd when he challenged the giant Goliath to a fight and conquered in the Name of the Lord. He had perfect faith in the Lord.
In verses 4 and 5 David looked at his enemies with the question: how long will you still attack me? They want to knock him down like a wall. They lie and are full of hypocrisy, with words of blessing but with curses in their hearts. But this doesn’t arouse strong emotion or anger in David. It is as if he is only observing the attack on him without getting involved.
Immediately his thoughts turn back to God. “For God alone, o my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” (verse 6) David reminds himself to wait on God because his hope is from Him. The word “expectation” in Hebrew is pronounced “tiekwa” and means “hope, with an expectation of something happening”. In other words, it isn’t like hoping for rain. No, it is an expectation of the certainty that God is going to do something; that He will give redemption!
“He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.” (verse 6). This verse is an almost exact repeat of what we read in verse 3. The Lord is his rock and his salvation and his fortress. The last part of the verse differs a bit though: Where he declared in verse 3 that he will not be shaken, he now says with even greater confidence that he will not be shaken!
One sees that David doesn’t allow himself to be influenced by the dangers around him. It is as if they don’t exist. His reality is God and His nearness. Without wavering from his train of thought, he moves into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God in verse 7: “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” Now David declares: With God. It is as if he is getting closer to his rock, his salvation, and his fortress. It isn’t far away; he is with God, who is his protection, and not just that, but also his honour!
David received honour throughout his life, but now it has no value. What does honour help one when his life is taken with a sword? The only honour that is important to him is that God is his honour; and not only that but also his treasure (the word “honour” also means treasure). As Jesus declared later in Matthew 6 verse 21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” David’s heart was with God.
In Psalm 62 verse 7 David adds the following: “…my refuge is God.” The same word in Hebrew can be translated as “refuge” or “shelter”. Here one sees that God is his shelter as well. All the illustrations used – rock, salvation, fortress, and shelter – serve to emphasize one point, namely that it is God and God alone in whom he places his trust to escape from his enemies.
It is as if David has new courage when he commands his people to trust God and that He is their refuge (verse 8). His enemies, who he saw as a powerful multitude, were now nothing and their lies and the significands were all less than nothing (verse 9).
In the last two verses, David declares that the strength, as well as the kindness, belongs to God and that He repays everyone according to their works.
David won many battles, and God at his side he was invincible. The women sang: “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (1 Samuel 18 verse 7).
But when we read Psalm 62 it seems as if David doesn’t have that motivation to defeat his enemies anymore. He turns to himself and seeks the silent refuge under the wings of the Almighty, where he will be safe.
It is like a prayer: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”
He refuses to let his attention wander even though the circumstances and his enemies are profound; he just tells his soul to rest in the Lord, because from Him comes his salvation.
As the Psalm continues, and his contact with the Lord is strengthened, one notices that he depends on the Lord more and more. His expectation is now in the Lord; God becomes his honour, the rock of his strength and his refuge.
In verses 4 and 5 he was still paying attention to the multitude of enemies who want to destroy him, but in verses 9 to 11 he transforms into someone who motivates his people to trust in God! To him his enemies now look like less of a problem in the perspective of God’s power and protection.
David teaches us that our victories don’t depend on our own power or ability, but that our souls need to wait on God in silence because our salvation lies in Him. Even though our circumstances may be dire, and the waves of oppression crash over us, we must stay dependent on Him. Through communion with the Lord, we build up trust in our hearts and we get a new expectation that He will help us through. He becomes our honour, the rock of our strength and our refuge.
Regardless of our problems and challenges we face in the modern world, God’s Word is still as powerful and true as in David’s days. The less we struggle in our own power and just wait on the Lord, the less we’ll experience worldly dangers and toils. The more we let God’s presence and peace wash over us, we’ll experience His saving power.
Thus, let us grow quiet before God and trust Him fully because He is our salvation.
In Isaiah’s words: “For this says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30 verse 15)
Willem Maartens, Jatniël Congregation
#Lockdown Bible Project
The Bible Society of South Africa celebrated their 200th birthday last year and Berséba congregation in Uitenhage/Despatch, under the leadership of Hannes & Hannelie van Tonder, also felt the need to contribute with regards to the distribution of Bibles.
They had a few plans but then the lockdown happened during March. This did however not stop them – they just had to change the way they had to do it, and so #Lockdown Bible Distribution project was born.
Initially, the lockdown would’ve only been for three weeks and they asked the congregation to donate at least R1 per day for each day during these three weeks.
During this lockdown period, the churches were closed, and great was the joy when they could get together again for services. During each service there was a marked container where the donations could be dropped off.
By the end of November, they bought Bibles with the money donated and it was also during this time that Berséba heard about another denomination, Huis van Heerlikheid, who was also busy with a Bible donation drive. They then decided to donate their share to this church in their goal to distribute 5000 Bibles. These Bibles were given out at 10 hospitals in the Port Elizabeth area during December. Unfortunately, Berséba couldn’t attend the handovers but for them it was a huge honour just to be able to do their part in giving out Bibles.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered..” Proverbs 11:25 (ESV)