To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.
Verses 1-12: Whether Absalom’s rebellion is the setting or not (2 Sam. chapters 15-18), David writes this psalm while facing treason from someone. David faces the problem of his adversaries forthrightly (verses 3-4), but his thoughts focus primarily on God (compare Phil. 4:4-13).
- Affirming God’s Covenant Relationship (62:1-2, 5-6).
- Confronting One’s Treasonous Adversaries (62:3-4).
III. Trusting God’s Sovereignty (62:7-10).
- Praising God’s Power and Mercy (62:11-12).
Title: “According to Jeduthun”: An official temple musician (see note on Psalm 39: Title).
Psalm 62: Thoughts of confidence and trust predominate in this psalm, making it a “psalm of confidence”. The expressions of trust found in (verses 1-2 and 5-7), are rich with figures that picture the absolute stability of being found in God. At least five nouns describe God’s protection: “rock, salvation, defense” (verse 2), “glory”, and “refuge” (verse 7). The lament (verses 3-4), again concerns his enemies. However, from his confident position he is able to exhort others to trust in the Lord (verses 8-12).
Verses 1-7: We are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls wait upon God. When we cheerfully give up ourselves, and all our affairs, to his will and wisdom. And when we leave ourselves to all the ways of his providence, and patiently expect the event, with full satisfaction in his goodness. See the ground and reason of this dependence. By his grace he has supported me, and by his providence delivered me. He only can be my Rock and my salvation; creatures are nothing without him, therefore I will look above them to him. Trusting in God, the heart is fixed. If God be for us, we need not fear what man can do against us. David having put his confidence in God, foresees the overthrow of his enemies. We have found it good to wait upon the Lord, and should charge our souls to have such constant dependence upon him, as may make us always easy. If God will save my soul, I may well leave everything else to his disposal, knowing all shall turn to my salvation. And as David’s faith in God advances to an unshaken steadfastness, so his joy in God improves into a holy triumph. Meditation and prayer are blessed means of strengthening faith and hope.
Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him [cometh] my salvation.”
“Waiteth upon God”: Silence indicates trust that is both patient and uncomplaining (compare verse 5).
The word that was translated truly here, could have been translated only. This is saying then that my soul is waiting only on God. It could also mean that my soul is waiting on God only. It is good to wait upon the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”
The following Scripture is what David is saying in the verse above. It is also what we Christians should be saying as well.
Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.”
Psalm 62:2 “He only [is] my rock and my salvation; [he is] my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.”
“He only [is] my rock and my salvation”: He hath been so often. In him I have found shelter, and strength, and assistance. He hath, by his grace, supported me under, and delivered me out of my troubles, and by his providence he has defended me from my enemies, and therefore I trust he will still support, deliver, and defend me.
“I shall not be greatly moved”: Though I may be shaken, I shall not be overthrown. The Targum, “I shall not be moved in a day of great affliction;” “Greatly moved”: Means “demoralized”.
The Rock spoken of here, is the One we Christians call Jesus. He is the Rock that we must build upon, if we are to stand when the wind of false doctrines come. Jesus said, a house built upon the sand will not stand when the rains come.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:” “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Let us look, one more time, at who this Rock is.
2 Samuel 22:2 “And he said, The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;”
Psalm 62:3 “How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? Ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall [shall ye be, and as] a tottering fence.”
“Bowing wall … tottering fence”: A metaphor for imminent collapse. Some apply it to the victim, but as translated here it refers to the attacker.
A bowing wall and a tottering fence are both just about to fall. This is not just speaking of David’s opponents, but ours as well. When a person starts to plot against someone else, he is about to come to a great fall himself. David in the verse above, has founded upon the Rock, now he can come against the enemy with confidence. He being established upon the Rock, says to his opponents, your wall is crumbling and about to fall and your fence is falling down. He goes even further and tells them of their doom. He says you shall be slain.
Psalm 62:4 “They only consult to cast [him] down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.”
Either from the excellency of God, from his greatness, and from his height, as Kimchi. Or from his grace, as the Arabic version. That is, they consulted to discourage him from looking to God, his rock and fortress, and from trusting in him. Saul and his courtiers consulted how to prevent his coming to the throne, and Absalom and Ahithophel how to pull him down from it, and seize his crown and kingdom. Which latter best agrees with the expression here.
“They delight in lies”: In making and in spreading them, in order to hurt his character, and give his subjects an ill opinion of him. And thereby alienate their affections from him, and weaken their allegiance and obedience to him (see Rev. 22:15).
“They bless with their mouth”: Saying, God bless the king, or save the king.
“But they curse inwardly”: They curse the king in their hearts, and when by themselves in private, when they imagine nobody hears them (see Eccl. 10:20).
This is speaking of two-faced people. They pretend to be a friend, when in fact they are being friendly to try to get any piece of information they can blow out of proportion and cause you trouble with. They delight in lying. They, while pretending to be a friend, are trying to tear down the work that you have done. They try to flatter you with their fancy words, while all the time they hate you in their heart. They would do or say anything that might destroy you.
“Selah”, then of course, we are to pause and think on these things.
Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [is] from him.”
The “wait … upon God” is best understood as expectant faith in God. This is the antidote to despair.
David is saying in this, that he will not depend on those of this world, but will steadfastly trust and wait upon God. He is saying he expects nothing from the world, and that is what he will get from them. David is putting all his faith and hope in God, who will never let him down.
Psalm 62:6 “He only [is] my rock and my salvation: [he is] my defense; I shall not be moved.”
“I shall not be moved”: David demonstrates his increased confidence in the Lord.
This is a repeat of a previous sentence. David is just stating all over again, that his trust, and faith, and hope all lie in God alone. Those who build upon the solid Rock have a solid foundation, as we read in a previous verse.
Psalm 62:7 “In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God.”
Or “upon God”. He that is God overall and has taken it upon Himself to save me. He is the author of salvation to me; and it is in him safe and secure. And I shall be saved in him with an everlasting salvation.
“And my glory”: The author of all his temporal glory, honor, and dignity. And of all his spiritual glory, which lay in the righteousness of Christ put upon him, and in the grace of God wrought in him. And of the eternal glory he was waiting for. And besides, God was the object of his glorying, of whom he boasted, and in whom he gloried (see Psalm 3:3).
“The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God”: Not only his strength, as well as his righteousness and refuge. But the firmness and security of his strength were in God, who is the Rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength.
This is a statement so true for us all. Salvation is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Acts 4:10-12 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
Verses 8-12: Those who have found the comfort of the ways of God themselves, will invite others into those ways; we shall never have the less for others sharing with us. The good counsel given is, to trust wholly in God. We must so trust in him at all times, as not at any time to put that trust in ourselves, or in any creature, which is to be put in him only. Trust in him to guide us when in doubt, to protect us when in danger, to supply us when in want, to strengthen us for every good word and work. We must lay out wants and our wishes before him, and then patiently submit our wills to his: this is pouring out our hearts. God is a refuge for all, even for as many as will take shelter in him. The psalmist warns against trusting in men. The multitude, those of low degree, are changeable as the wind. The rich and noble seem to have much in their power, and lavish promises; but those that depend on them, are disappointed. Weighed in the balance of Scripture, all that man can do to make us happy is lighter than vanity itself. It is hard to have riches, and not to trust in them if they increase, though by lawful and honest means. But we must take heed, lest we set our affections unduly upon them. A smiling world is the most likely to draw the heart from God, on whom alone it should be set. The consistent believer receives all from God as a trust; and he seeks to use it to his glory, as a steward who must render an account. God hath spoken as it were once for all, that power belongs to him alone. He can punish and destroy. Mercy also belongs to him; and his recompensing the imperfect services of those that believe in him, blotting out their transgressions for the Redeemer’s sake, is a proof of abundant mercy, and encourages us to trust in him. Let us trust in his mercy and grace, and abound in his work, expecting mercies from him alone.
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.”
Of the house of Israel, as the Targum. Or of God, as Aben Ezra. All that are Israelites indeed, and are the Lord’s covenant people. These are exhorted and encouraged to trust in him. Not in a creature, nor in any outward thing. In riches, wisdom, strength, birth, privileges, the law, and the works of it; in their own righteousness, in their hearts, in themselves or in others. But in the Lord only, both for temporal and spiritual blessings.
“Pour out your heart before him”: As Hannah did (1 Sam. 1:15). And as water is poured out, (Lam. 2:19). It means the desires of the heart, the complaints of the soul, the whole of their case which they should spread before the Lord, and make known unto him (see Psalm 102:1, title, and Psalm 142:2). The phrase denotes the abundance of the heart, and of its requests, and the freedom with which they should be made to the Lord. For through the blood and sacrifice of Christ a believer may come to the throne of grace with boldness and liberty, and there freely tell the Lord all his mind, and all that is in his heart.
“God is a refuge for us”: To whom the saints may have recourse in all their times of trouble, and where they find safety and plenty (Isa. 33:16).
As we have mentioned so many times before, trust is one step further along than faith. To trust in God means that you have every confidence that He is doing the right thing in your life, and you rest in that knowledge. When we do that, we are not so frustrated about the little problems that arise, because we know that they are necessary for God to get us to the level He would have us.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”
As we have said before, your heart condition is what you really are. This then is saying, open your heart to God, and let Him see who you really are.
Psalm 62:9 “Surely men of low degree [are] vanity, [and] men of high degree [are] a lie: to be laid in the balance, they [are] altogether [lighter] than vanity.”
The brevity of life, shown by its comparison to “are vanity”, is fleshed out in (Job 7:16 and Eccl. 2:18-19; 6:12).
“Low degree … men of high degree”: All men, regardless of social status, are woefully inadequate objects of trust.
This is speaking of the unstable character of man. The word that was translated surely, should have been translated only. In our society today, we have a slang saying that fits these persons mentioned here perfectly. They are wishy-washy. They profess belief on Sunday, and then the rest of the week, they carry on their lives in a worldly manner. They are trying to ride the fence. They want to keep one foot in the world and the other in heaven. The catch to this is, that fence riders will not make it to heaven. It reminds me of the crowd that followed Jesus to be fed and healed, but turned on Him and screamed for Him to be crucified. These are vain people, without the character to make a definite decision for good or bad. Look what Jesus said He would do with these lukewarm people.
Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
Psalm 62:10 “Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart [upon them].”
That is, in riches gotten by fraud and violence; or in the arts of acquiring them. As you must not trust in any other men, so neither must you trust to yourselves, nor to your own wit, or industry, or courage. By which you may oppress others, and so think to secure and enrich yourselves.
“And become not vain in robbery”: In riches gotten by violent seizure and theft. And men become vain herein when they boast of such riches, and place their confidence in them. And think to make atonement for their sins by burnt sacrifices purchased with them (Isa. 61:8).
“If riches increase, set not your heart on them”: So as to esteem and inordinately love them, to place your hope, and trust, and chief joy in them. Or so as to grow proud and insolent because of them.
We see in the verse above, that riches are not to be acquired through oppressing others or by robbing. In fact, to have riches that have been acquired in an evil way is not an advantage, but a sin. Sometimes a person is blessed of God and acquires great riches. We read in the following Scriptures how a person is to conduct themselves, if they have wealth.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;” “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Psalm 62:11 “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power [belongeth] unto God.”
One word of his is more to be confided in, and depended on, than all the men and things in the world. The meaning is not that God hath only spoke once; he has spoken often. He spoke all things out of nothing in creation; he spoke all the words of the law at Mount Sinai; he spoke by the prophets under the Old Testament dispensation, and by his Son in the last days, and still by the ministers of the Gospel. But the sense is, that what God has once spoken stands. It is irreversible and immutable; it is firm, sure, and unalterable. He does not repent, he cannot lie, nor will he alter the thing that is gone out of his lips. And therefore, his word is to be trusted to, when men of high degree are a lie.
“Twice have I heard this”: The meaning is, that the psalmist had heard of two things, and was well assured of the truth of them, and which were the foundation of his trust and confidence. One is mentioned in this verse and the other in (Psalm 62:12).
“That power belongeth unto God”: Great power, even almighty power, as appears from the creation of all things out of nothing. The preservation of them in their beings. The government of the world, the redemption of his people by Christ, and the work of grace upon their hearts by his Spirit. The perseverance of the saints, their deliverance from their enemies, and the destruction of them.
There is absolutely no question, when God says something, that it is absolutely the truth. He does not change.
2 Chronicles 20:6 “And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? And rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?”
Psalm 62:12 “Also unto thee, O Lord, [belongeth] mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”
This is the other thing the psalmist had heard, and was assured of, and which encouraged his hope and trust in the Lord. That mercy belonged to him (Psalm 130:7); as appears, not only from the common bounties of his providence, daily bestowed upon his creatures. But from the special gift of his Son, and of all spiritual mercies and blessings in him. From the regeneration of the Lord’s people, the pardon of their sins, and their eternal salvation.
“For thou renderest to every man according to his work”: And which is a reason proving that both power and mercy belong to God. Power in punishing the wicked according to their deserts, and mercy in rewarding the saints, not in a way of merit, or of debt, but of grace. Some interpret the words, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi observe, “though thou renderest”, etc. That is, God is gracious and merciful, though he is also just and righteous in rendering to every man as his work is, whether it be good or evil.
Even though it was in the power of God to destroy us from the face of the earth, God was merciful to us and sent us a savior; Jesus Christ the righteous. The only work necessary to be saved is found (in Romans 10:9-10). If all there is to being saved is to believe, then why do we work? When we stand before Jesus on judgement day, the sweetest words we could possibly hear is, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant”.
Psalm 62 Questions
- The word that was translated truly, in verse 1, would have been better understood, if it had been translated what?
- They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their _____________.
- The Rock in verse 2, is referring to whom?
- Jesus said, a house built upon ______, will not stand.
- Where, in the Scriptures, do we find the contrast of building on the Rock and building on the sand?
- What is soon to happen to a bowing wall and a tottering fence?
- Who is verse 4 speaking of?
- David’s expectation is from whom?
- Where is salvation?
- What does trusting God really mean?
- What is verse 9, of this lesson, dealing with?
- Who does the message in verse 9 remind the author of?
- What do we have to have to be able to make definite decisions?
- What will Jesus do with the lukewarm?
- Oppression and robbery are riches that are _______.
- If you are rich in this world, what are you to be quick to do?
- Who does power belong to?
- God was _____________ to us, and sent us a Savior.
- Where do we find the Scriptures that tell us what we must do to be saved?
- What are the sweetest words we could possibly hear from Jesus on judgement day?