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Psalm 62 - God Alone
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
2He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse. Selah
5Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
6He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge. Selah
9Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10Do not trust in extortion
or take pride in stolen goods;
Though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
11One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
That You, O God, are strong,
12and that You, O Lord, are loving.
Surely You will reward each person
according to what he has done.
We are told in the inscription that the psalm is “for Jeduthun”, who was one of the directors of music under David’s supervision (see I Chron. 25). There is no occasion given for this psalm in the inscription, which is just as well, for this psalm has general application. We can all strive for the state of mind that can say, with David: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (vss. 1–2). The key words in these verses is “alone”. Most of us find rest in God, somewhat, at times, but do we find rest in “God alone”? Is He our only “rock” and only “salvation”? Or do we depend also on things of the world—on money, on our strength, on our cunning? “They trust not God at all who trust Him not alone. He that stands with one foot on a rock, and another foot upon quicksand, will sink and perish, as certainly as he that standeth with both feet upon a quicksand” [Spurgeon]. “True piety finds and pronounces God all-sufficient. The proffer of another is an offence to the believer as it is to God Himself” [Plumer, 627].
David underscores the need to trust in God alone, by describing the assault upon those who do not: “How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down—this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse” (vss. 3–4). Those who do not trust in “God alone” are like “leaning walls” and “tottering fences”. Because of their vulnerability, they are under special attack by the evil one. Note that the primary method of attack is falsehood and flattery: “They take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse.” “Flattery has ever been a favorite weapon with the enemies of good men; they can curse bitterly enough when it serves their turn; meanwhile, since it answers their purpose, they mask their wrath, and with smooth words pretend to bless those whom they would willingly tear in pieces” [Spurgeon].
In the midst of such attacks, David must renew his resolve. He exhorts himself to stay the course: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him” (vs. 5). “The soul is apt to be dragged away from its anchorage, or is readily tempted to add a second confidence to the one sole and sure ground of reliance; we must, therefore, stir ourselves up to maintain the holy position which we were at first able to assume” [Spurgeon].
David reminds himself of the reasons for his resolution: “He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge” (vss. 6–7). David’s possessive language regarding his God reflect the close relationship he has with the Lord. “Observe how the psalmist brands his own initials upon every name which he rejoicingly gives to his God—my hope, my rock, my salvation, my strength, my refuge; he is not content to know that the Lord is all these things; he acts faith towards Him, and lays claim to Him under every character… It is the word my which puts the honey into the comb. If our experience has not yet enabled us to realize the Lord under any of these consoling titles, we must seek grace that we may be partakers of their sweetness” [Spurgeon].
David wants everyone to experience the benefits of trusting in God alone. He exhorts us: “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (vs. 8). We are not only to “trust in Him”, we are to trust in Him “at all times.” “Faith is an abiding duty, a perpetual privilege” [Spurgeon]. In good times, in bad times, trust in Him. Some people find it easy to trust in God during good times, but when affliction comes, they lose hope, and think that God has deserted them. “Trust in Him at all times.” Others turn to God in times of affliction, but during good times, they turn their back on Him and forget He’s there. “Trust in Him at all times.”
We must trust in God, for there is no one earth upon which we can depend: “Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath” (vs. 9). We instinctively know that we can’t trust in “lowborn men”, but we equally cannot trust in “the highborn.” It is a “lie” of the world that a rich man has more intrinsic value than a poor man. Both are mere humans, soon to return to dust. As compared to God, “they are nothing; together they are only a breath.” A highborn man’s riches cannot save him from death. And in fact, riches can be harmful, for they “lie” by giving false security. “Carnal confidence is not only unable to help a man, when he hath most need, but also bringeth damage unto him, and makes him to find God in his jealousy an adversary and just judge to plague and curse him; and so if the matter be well weighed, creature-help, and creature-comfort, when it is relied upon, is worse than no help” [Dickson, 368].
Furthermore, riches are often gained immorally. Moreover, the more riches one has, the more opportunity and resources he has to act immoral to gain yet more riches. David warns: “Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (vs. 10). Increasing riches give us false hope. We think that God approves of what we are doing just because our lucre increases. We even convince ourselves that God sanctions our corrupt ways in gaining riches. Riches ever deceive: “Do not set your heart on them.”
David concludes by giving two compelling reasons to trust in God alone: “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that You, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving. Surely You will reward each person according to what he has done” (vss. 11–12). What a beautiful summarizing statement of why we should trust in God: He is “strong”; He is “loving”. Because He is “strong”, He has the power and ability to rescue us from any situation; because He is “loving”, He has the desire to work out everything for our good. Praise the Lord! What a great God we have!