Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
In Psalm 62, the poet finds a quiet place of rest from his busy life and noisy enemies. He says,
Only in God my soul finds rest;
my salvation comes from him.
Only he is my . . . fortress;
I will not be shaken (vv 1-2).
This psalm is unique because the poet doesn’t make any requests to God. Though he complains about enemies, he doesn’t ask God to save or rescue or deliver him. Instead, he finds in God a quiet shelter in his stormy life, a strong refuge in his weakness.
Our father, this psalm tells us to trust in you at all times, to pour out our hearts to you, for you are our refuge (v. 8).
Thank you for welcoming the outpouring of our hearts, with their muddled thoughts and feelings. We present to you our thanks for food and shelter, our relief that spring has come at last, our fear of the coronavirus pandemic, our concern for the economy, and our faith that you are good. Take our hearts, Lord, protect and heal them.
With the poet we form a prayer of rest around three times our psalm uses the word “only”.
About his enemies, the poet says,
How long will your assail [me]
will you batter [me],
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Your only plan is to bring me down. . .
With your mouth you bless,
but in your heart you curse (vv.3-5, paraphrased).
O God, our enemies are single-minded–their only plan is to bring us down. The enemy in our minds discourages and depresses us. The enemy in our hearts creates numbness and apathy. The enemy in our relationships destroys trust and goodwill. The enemy in our spirits tells us faith is an illusion. O God, how often, like the poet, we are a leaning wall, a tottering fence. Fragile and vulnerable, we live on the edge of failure and ruin. But we choose with the poet to rest in your shelter.
In a second use of the word “only”, the poet says,
Those of low estate are only a breath,
those of high estate only a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
together they are lighter than breath (v. 9).
O God, the heavyweights of our world are not as weighty as they imagine–they are only a breath of air. When they stand on the scales, the needle doesn’t move. When they walk through the sand, they leave no footprints. When they stand before you, O God, their haughty speech and mighty words are reduced to silence. They cannot provide a reliable fortress or a trustworthy salvation.
The poet also uses the word “only” to talk about you, God, for you alone are his focus. Twice he says,:
Only in God does my soul find rest,
Only he is my rock and my salvation (vv. 1-2, 5-6).
Thank you that our souls find rest in you. Thank you for each night of sleep. Thank you for each day of peace. Thank you for the downtime that coronavirus imposes on our hyperactive society. As we take a break from shopping, eating out, commuting, and attending church, we invite you to bring us to rest. May this coronavirus sabbatical become a holy time of rest in your name. Bring us through the epidemic with a new desire to seek you in our lives and to follow you in our world. Care for the unemployed, the displaced, the weary, and the sick in Jesus’ name.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.