Our world is full of things that we don’t understand. Even with growing technology and education we still face things that we can’t quite grasp. The current pandemic is excellent confirmation of this. Think about how many government experts made claims early in the pandemic and have since reversed their claims. If that’s true of experts, where does that leave us? And that is only the tip of a huge iceberg. God is doing a million things in every one thing that happens in His creation, so the things we don’t and can’t understand are everywhere.
Perhaps it was an event like a pandemic that led David to write Psalm 131. It’s certainly the psalm we need days of pandemics, presidential elections, and a world that feels like it’s coming apart at the seams. The psalm is composed of three parts: an admission of ignorance, an expression of rest, and a encouragement to hope.
The admission of ignorance is in v1, where David admits his temptation to pride and his desire to know what God is doing. But David also admits that God’s wisdom and knowledge is above his. God’s wisdom is one of His most under-appreciated attributes. Whatever God does or allows is always the wisest and best thing that can be done in any situation. And David admits that the events of the world and the things God is doing are too difficult for him. He refuses to think that he knows a better way than God.
“O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.”Psalm 131:3, NASB95
And that leads into his expression of rest in v2. Instead of worrying about those things, David would quiet his soul and rest in God and His plan. Notice that the circumstances don’t change, but David’s closeness to God does. As things grow more confusing and complicated in the world, David draws closer to God. When confusing and complicated events like a pandemic occur, I am tempted to move toward media. I read everything I can to make myself an expert. In doing so, I draw near to the news or social media so I can know what’s going on and can interpret it in my wisdom. But the more that I depend on media, the more my anxiety grows. The circumstances of the world are too much for me and it is my arrogance that makes me think I can understand them. If I will draw closer to God instead of media, I can rest on Him like a child rests on its mom, a beautiful picture of dependent rest.
Then David in v3 shares an encouragement to hope. As we draw near to God and experience the peace that He gives, we will want to share it with others. And what an opportunity we have right now to proclaim to the world, “Hope in the Lord!” Think about how much this contrasts with so much of what is happening in this world. Everyone is worked up about something, if it’s not coronavirus, it’s the election or the economy, or the rioting, or the mask mandate, and if it’s none of the rest of those things, people will say you’re uncaring. But maybe we don’t need to fix everything. Maybe it’s not our job to trouble ourselves with things we can’t understand. Maybe we just need to hope in the Lord and let Him handle the craziness. Quiet yourself in God, draw near to Him, and hope in the Lord. –Pastor Rory MartinPhoto by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash