Psalm 131:1,“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.”
God is God … and we are not! This truth is brought home in a succinct and straightforward way in Psalm 131 (one of the Psalms of Ascents, Ps 120-134). In this Psalm, David, while not giving us a technical definition of faith, does demonstrate one way in which true, Biblical faith ‘operates.’ David begins in v. 1, “O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high.” David is confessing his own finiteness – that he is a creature who stands in humility before the Creator. David’s eyes rest in the revelation of God. They are not raised ‘too high;’ that is, David is content with what God has revealed to him – he does not try to peer or pry into the mind of God. This point is underscored in v. 1b, “I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.” There are things that God has simply not revealed to us. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways; but in fact his ways and thoughts are above our ways and thoughts (Is 55:8-9; also see Deut 29:29). But God has given us all things necessary to life and godliness in his word, the Scriptures (2 Pet 1:3). Thus David can say in v. 2, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul.” Yes, God is God and we are not. He is the Creator and we are the creature. His ways and thoughts are above our ways and thoughts. His ‘hidden will’ is hidden from us, but his ‘revealed will’ is given to us perfectly and completely in the Bible. And it is in His word that we, like David, are to rest.
Dear reader, how often do we – in the deepest recesses of our hearts – desire to be God! How often do we tell ourselves, ‘God would never do that;’ or ‘God would never let that happen;’ or ‘I would have done things differently.’ We act, or think, as if we are God. But the truth of the Bible, from beginning to end, is that God is God and we are not! And what a glorious God he is – holy and righteous, loving and merciful, who does all things well!
Brothers and sisters, perhaps you are struggling today as the week is in full swing. Perhaps you do not understand God’s ways. Well you are in good company. David did not fully understand God’s ways with him (just think of the anointed king of Israel hiding out in caves for his life, 1 Samuel 21 – 31). But may we rest in God and in His perfect word. May our souls be calmed and quieted by God’s grace, and by the knowledge that He does all things well (Ps 55:22; Nahum 1:7).
– Rev. Robert Arendale