Grant, O Lord, that our souls may wait upon thee. Amen.
Psalm 62, 1-8. Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense: I shall not be greatly moved. 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. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency; they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. My soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense: I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation, and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
David was able to bear witness that “many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34). How full of trouble was not his life even in his youth, when for a long time he was compelled to flee as a chased roe before Saul, and be in constant danger of his life! How sad was not the revolt of Absalom, and his miserable fate!
And what grief was brought upon David by his other children! But he emerged out of his troubles with a purified soul as the prize. Thus he became the sweet singer of Israel and the servant of the Lord to comfort and instruct us in our afflictions; and he could have become this in no other way.
“When one does not have God before his eyes, and does not turn to him in prayer, no stormy sea is as turbulent as is the human heart; for then terror, sorrows, and impatience follow hard upon one another, until the wretched soul sinks at last as a dismantled hull into the depths of despair.” (Joh. Arndt). How sorely we need such instruction as that which the Holy Spirit through David gives us in this and other psalms! “Truly my soul waiteth upon God; he only is my rock and my salvation.” Mark these two important lessons: 1) The soul must cling to God as its only Savior, and expect help from none other. When our enemies with wicked malice plan our destruction, and employ all their devil’s cunning in tempting us to unbelief, the Lord is to be our only hope, the only source from which we are to look for help. All our thoughts and all our strength of soul must center in him. We must have no other God beside the true God. Learn well this “only” on which the psalmist lays so great a stress. 2) The Lord is a sure and safe refuge; and hence it is of no account, if the enemies be many and mighty. In order to strengthen his own faith and to cheer our hearts, the psalmist repeats again and again the assurance: God is my salvation, my rock, my glory; wait upon God, my soul; he is my expectation, my rock, my salvation; I shall not be moved; in him is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. — He that knows these two lessons has help in every need. But they can not be learned to perfection all at once; wherefore God little by little increases the trials of his children, and thus brings them promotion in his training school. — The diseases of the souls under the Lord’s care are many; and he is compelled to use many painful remedies in order to bring about a cure. If he did not, we would with self-willed perverseness hide our distresses in our own breast, and allow our disappointments and foolish desires and our sorrows to gnaw at our hearts, until our souls would be sick unto death. On the other hand, our afflictions teach us to pour out our hearts before God, and hopefully wait upon him.
Merciful God, we thank thee for all which thou dost in thy dealing with us; and we ask thee to chasten us and heal us. Teach us to hope in thee only, and to trust firmly in thee at all times. Amen.
Jesus Christ, my sure defense
And my Savior, ever liveth;
Knowing this, my confidence
Rests upon the hope it giveth,
Though the night of death be fraught
Still with many an anxious thought.
Jesus, my redeemer, lives!
I, too, unto life shall waken;
He will have me where he is:
Should my courage then be shaken?
Should I fear? Or can the head
Rise and leave its members dead?