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Psalm 62

Resting in God alone

How can we get ahead without somehow cornering the market on money and power, even playing dirty now and then? This psalm says, no, we truly get ahead by trusting ultimately in God alone.

A David psalm.

My soul finds rest in God alone—
in God who rescues me.
2 He alone is my rock and my deliverance
my fortress where nothing can tear me down.
3 How long will you attack a person?
Are all of you going to bash me to the ground
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 Their only plan is to topple me
from my high position.
They love to deceive—
outwardly blessing, inwardly bashing.
5 Find rest, my soul, in God alone
because he’s your only hope.
6 He alone is my rock and my deliverance
my fortress where nothing can shake me.
7 My deliverance and my honor come from God.
My refuge, my strong rock, is God.

8 Everyone, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your hearts before him
because God really is our refuge.
9 Ordinary people are just a breath
the rich and powerful pure delusion.
Put them together on the balance
and they add up to nothing.
Less than one single airy breath.[1]
10 Don’t try to get ahead by oppression
or entertain false hopes of theft.
If your wealth multiplies
don’t set your heart on it.
11 Here’s something God has clearly said—
two things we can be sure of:
that power belongs to God
12 and your love, Lord, never fails.
You repay everyone
for whatever they’ve done.

David rests in God, his calm in the midst of the storm. He’s being mercilessly pounded by enemies determined to remove him from his high position. In fact, that’s all they can agree on since they’re otherwise totally given to duplicity, outwardly commending, inwardly condemning. Such evil makes getting pulled into the hurricane’s havoc far easier than resting in God, which requires holding onto him tightly.

In our weakness, we’re tempted to hope others will shore us up or else to amass wealth and power for ourselves, through manipulation or theft if need be. We’re also tempted to view material wealth as trustworthy. But David refuses all such God-substitutes. Looking to people—whether crowds or the biggest powerbrokers around—is folly since all of humanity doesn’t even weigh enough to register on the scales. And getting ahead through oppression or extortion sets you back in the long run.

David urges his people to trust God as their true source of peace and pour their hearts out to him—easier said than done when it seems he doesn’t care. But three interrelated truths form the basis of David’s call. That God is powerful, his love never fails and, implicitly, he defends his people and opposes their enemies.

Lord, I often wish you’d support me as I think you should, but your thoughts are far higher than mine. You call me to wait humbly on you, love as you love and give up my small ambitions for your kingdom’s sake. Help me believe your all-powerful love won’t fail me now or ever. Amen.

In your spare moments today, meditate on this truth:

My deliverance and my honor come from God.
My refuge, my strong rock, is God.


[1] This doesn’t mean people—created in God’s image—are worthless, but only that they’re nothing at all to rely on.

Why Yahveh?

Every translator of the Psalms must decide how to handle God’s personal name, YHWH, which occurs repeatedly in its Hebrew text. Translators of the King James Version usually translated it “LORD” (all caps) and occasionally transliterated it (badly) as “Jehovah.” Modern translations, likewise, either translate or transliterate it. While translating it aims to make it more accessible to readers, transliterating it is more faithful to the text since it’s not a word at all, but rather God’s uniquely personal name. I’ve chosen to transliterate it to root it more firmly in the biblical story as the name—meaning the “self-existent One”—that God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. This name set Israel’s God apart from all the gods of Israel’s neighbors.

Personal names are, well, very personal. Even the sound of a name can evoke strong emotion. One problem with YHWH is that we aren’t sure how it was pronounced since Jews long ago stopped saying it in order better to hallow it. In transliterating it, I follow the advice of my esteemed Hebrew professor, Raymond Dillard. He advocated transliterating it as Yahveh—pronounced yah·vay—arguing that following the modern Hebrew pronunciation of its third consonant makes the name sound more robustly Jewish than Yahweh.
May these psalms be a light to you in dark times. You can read more of Mark Robert Anderson's writings on Christianity, culture, and inter-faith dialogue at Understanding Christianity Today.