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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
   from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
   will you batter your victim, all of you,
   as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
   They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
   but inwardly they curse.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
   my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
   pour out your heart before him;
   God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath,
   those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
   they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
   and set no vain hopes on robbery;
   if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken;
   twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
   and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
   according to their work. (NRSV)

Reflection
“For God alone my soul waits in silence.” What a concept. Waiting and silence both seem to be rarities in our world, especially when facing trouble like David describes here. When our political, economic, and personal climates feel saturated with anxiety, my soul can barely wait for coffee in silence, let alone for God. (And yes, sometimes it feels like my soul demands coffee.)

Here, David is facing real trouble. Being “assailed” and “battered” by falsehoods and plots against him, an expected human reaction would be anger and retaliation. It’s clear that David is upset, even angry, but his response is to wait in silence for God? “David, you’re the King, for goodness’ sake. Take care of them! Remember that whole ‘an eye for an eye’ thing?” But David resists the temptation to misuse his position of power to get even with his adversaries. He keeps perspective. In fact, in verses 9-10 he even reminds himself—and us—that any human being at any level of power is “but a breath” in the context of eternity, and that misusing our resources against others is never the best choice.

David reminds us that power ultimately rests with the God of the universe, and that putting our hopes in our own or another person’s power is bound to disappoint. Does this mean we shouldn’t do anything when faced with problems? Certainly not—David was also decisive and active when the situation called for it. But he had the wisdom to wait on God’s guidance—and to take soul-rest while determining next steps—rather than act impulsively. May we do the same.

Prayer
God of power and steadfast love, thank you for providing refuge for my soul and deliverance from trouble. Help me to pause, waiting in soul-silence for your guidance. Grant patience and peace in my next steps. Amen.

Written by Sarah van der Ploeg, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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