Ours is a Personal, Immediate God
We do not promote deism – the belief in a supreme being who wound up creation then let it go on its own; a god who is aloof, passive and distant. Ours is a Father-God who is not only present but pursuant; who is a powerful, loving Presence with us in our daily lives.
His actions amongst us are both specific and practical for he knows us each by name.
Psalm 62 is a wonderful expression of this truth in real time amidst real life.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation. 62:1
James L. Mays (Interpretation Bible Commentary, John Knox Press 1994) is one of my favorite commentators on the Psalms. He clarifies that the translation “wait in silence” misses the Hebrew meaning. The Hebrew does not mean verbal silence. Nor is waiting implied. What the Psalmist is experiencing has already been completed. The meaning rather speaks of a quietness of soul, an inner stillness that comes from yielding fears and anxieties to God as an in-the-moment act of trust.
Verse 5 is extremely similar in verbiage:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
This verse is spoken to self; a soliloquy to remind oneself of the truth; a trusting response amidst a world that is hostile and deceitful. A helpful rendition is: “Truly, O my soul, rest in God, for from him alone is your hope.”
Real Time Trust
There is no one and no thing in this world that will provide hope let alone a rested, still soul. Our world facilities the opposite.
We are dealt an onslaught of information that has a fear-formation upon us. The under pinnings of our true identities as known, rescued ones is eroded.
These dark messages depersonalize us. Our God always particularizes us. Note how personally David experienced our God:
- My God
- My rock
- My fortress
- My salvation
- My glory
- My refuge
So David encourages us:
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah (62:8)
We will experience troubles in this world. Dark forces will oppress us. Others will seek to “batter” us (v. 3). Lies from without and within will assail us. These are to expected.
There is a greater One still. Psalm 62:11-12 is a strong theological summary about the Person of God:
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.
God is powerful – he is able. God is loving – he is willing. These traits belong to God alone. Other forces will feign power over us, but it is a smoke screen. God will reward us according to our work – which is to say, whether we trust and hope in him or in our own devices to make life work on our own (Compare Isaiah 50:10-11).
As we trust him in real time amidst real life adversities, he offers to us his Presence which can bear within us a rested, still soul. Our daily practices of being immersed in his Presence and his Word are means of orientation as we head into a hostile and deceitful world.
May you know this rest and stillness from the One who is your Hope alone.
Shepherds: As you sit with others and hear their stories, may you
be bearers of this hope: “Truly my soul is at rest in God, for he alone is my salvation.”