I closed out last year with a study of the shortest psalm in the Bible. Today, I’m continuing our consideration of the Book of Psalms, and doing so based on length. There are three psalms that are only 3 verses in length. These are numbers 131, 133, and 134. The first of these reads as follows,
Yahweh, my heart isn’t arrogant, nor my eyes lofty; nor do I concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me. 2 Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 Israel, hope in Yahweh, from this time forward and forever more.Psalm 131:1-3
From the above, there are some main ideas that immediately jump out at me. Two of these are not concerning myself with matters too wonderful for me, and the image of a weaned child with a mother.
The Importance of Knowing One’s Place
From the first sentence we get the impression of the author’s humility. This isn’t too surprising considering that this work is attributed to King David. He talks about how his heart is not arrogant, and that his eyes are not lofty either. He doesn’t have an exalted view of himself. Because of this, he knows that there are some things that are too great for him.
Even though there is much we can learn in this world, there are certain truths that are too wonderful for us. Some that come to my mind are God’s glory, His love for us, and the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. These can be known to a degree, but I don’t know if I will ever fully grasp them until I make it to heaven. As you read this, you may have other ideas that you think of as too wonderful for you too. After we learn the principle of certain truths being too wonderful for us, then we will have a greater humility than before.
There is nothing wrong with realizing that there are some things that we do not completely understand.
Maybe if we study the Scriptures, and learn our place before God through it, then this idea will be easier for us to accept. For myself, I know that it goes against what I would want to hold to naturally.
Being Like a Weaned Child With a Mother
The second verse of the psalm mentions the soul twice. It also refers to a weaned child multiple times. In the case of the latter, it is according to God’s design for a baby to seek the milk from his or her mother. This is healthy, good, and right. Eventually though, a baby no longer drinks from the mother. This can cause some stress for the baby, and I would expect for the mother too.
One great thing about this is that God devised a normal means of calming such a child. When a baby is with the mother, he or she is comforted by her presence. Knowing that mom is there, the baby has a lovely place of peace and comfort. This is a beautiful blessing for the child, and also mom.
In the psalm itself, David refers to his soul being stilled and quieted. When one’s soul is noisy and rambunctious, it is impossible to focus on God and see the world from a godly perspective. On the other hand, if we enjoy the presence of God, and listen to His Word regularly, then our souls can be calmed as David describes. A few other tasks we can do to cultivate this peace is praying to God about everything, being with other Christians, and recognizing God’s power and authority.
He is in control and will deliver the faithful according to His will. Don’t forget that! Trust God and be calm in one’s soul.
Hoping in Yahweh
As the psalm comes to a conclusion, King David mentions Israel for the first time. The first verse was in first person. The second uses a first-person pronoun, and also the image of a mother with her baby. He then speaks of the Jewish people as a whole. Notice his exhortation to the people, “hope in Israel.“
Doesn’t this fit well with the love between a mother and her child?
When a baby is with his or her mom, he or she is calm and at peace. There is trust that safety and nourishment will be provided. The baby doesn’t worry about problems that may arise. There is a stillness and peace. Likewise, there is a security that the child enjoys. He or she can get mom’s attention, and have needs met.
While not exactly the same, hope is similar to what we see in relation to a child and a mother. It concerns the child’s desires, having them provided for.
When Israel is encouraged to hope in Yahweh, there is the expectation that the people recognize that God is the source of having what they need and want. If they trust Him like a baby trusts a mother, then their souls will be still and quieted. Not just once or twice, but forever more. For eternity.
May we all aspire to have that same great hope! Thanks be to God, and glory to Him in the Highest!
A Mom and Her Baby by satyatiwari from Pixabay.