Humility before the Lord
A Song of degrees of David
Psalm 131: An intensely personal song of humility, this psalm contains David’s declaration of humility (verse 1), declaration of trust (verse 2), and call for hope (verse 3).
Verses 1-3 (see note on Psalm 120:1-7). David is the author, but the circumstances are not apparent.
I. A Personal Testimony (131:1-2);
II. A National Exhortation (131:3).
Psalm 131:1 “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.”
“Haughty … lofty”: God gives grace to the humble (compare Prov. 3:34; 16:5; James 4:6). David expresses the greatest of God’s ways (compare Psalm 139:6; Rom. 11:33-36).
Just as a gardener cuts away what merely looks good for the sake of a healthy plant, this psalm prunes readers to their roots in God. The two things to be pruned are unruly ambition and infantile dependency.
This is just saying; Lord I cannot figure out what you have done for me in salvation. I accept it on simple faith. I am humbled that so great a salvation has come to me in such a simple manner.
Psalm 131:2 “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child.”
“As a weaned child”: David has been trained to trust God to supply his needs as a weaned child trusts his mother.
A “weaned child” is one who is no longer straining for sustenance. These children sit calmly and quietly in their mothers’ laps, trusting her for all things. The psalmist has that same feeling of contentment as he hopes in God.
Except ye come to God as a little child, you shall not receive salvation. We cannot figure out salvation, we must be saved through simple childlike faith. We see from this, that faith alone is the answer. We must not guess, but truly believe, and we shall be saved. We must be separated from family and make this decision on our own.
Psalm 131:3 “Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.”
What he did himself, and found it good for him to do, that he knew was good for others. And therefore exhorts and encourages to it, to hope in the Lord and wait for his salvation. And which should be done constantly, and to the end of life, or till the thing hoped for is enjoyed (see Heb. 3:6). Perhaps some respect is here had to the people of Israel, especially the friends of David, who were weary of Saul’s government, and impatient to have David on the throne. Whom he advises to wait patiently, and not take any indirect steps to bring it about. But leave it with God, and hope and trust in him. Compare with this (1 Sam. 24:7; see notes on Psalm 130:7).
David exhorts the nation to forever embrace his own personal hope in the Lord.
There is no hope, but in God. It is our faith that is counted unto us as righteousness. Hope in the Lord, and He shall never fail you.
Psalm 131 Questions
1. What is chapter 131:1 speaking of?
2. If I cannot figure out salvation, what must I receive it on?