“But I have stilled and quietened my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Psalm 131: 2
This Psalm of David is simple, short, beautiful and deep. David, in verse 1, shows that he knows the enemies of his own soul: pride; haughtiness; and arrogance. These failings are found in the heart, eyes and actions of his (and our) lives. Pride is a matter of the heart where an individual believes that they know better than God; self is their king not God. Haughtiness is the focus of a person’s eyes; they can look down on others and focus on their desires rather than on their Saviour and Lord. Finally arrogance can lead people to fill their lives with action and busyness, often in matters that are actually above them, rather than in loving service to the Lord. These characteristics lead people away from God and harm their souls.
The antidote for the soul is a childlike faith. A weaned child no longer suckles at their mother’s breast; they have grown. They are in a state where they remain in their mother’s presence, in a place of peace and trust. As a child of God a person can trust in God’s sovereignty as He knows the big picture and has all things in His hands. In this state of humble assurance they can fix their eyes on God and be held in a loving embrace; this heals and quietens the soul.
The Psalmist encourages God’s people to adapt this attitude and to place their hope in the Lord.
In some senses the application of this Psalm in our lives is straight forward: what is the condition of our hearts – proud or humble; where are our eyes focused – on our Saviour or our desires; and in what activities are we involved – humble service or personal ambition? The answers to and deeper aspects of these questions lie, however, in the state of our relationship with God. He calls us to grow beyond being spiritual babies (1 Corinthians 3: 1-2) and to satisfy ourselves on more that spiritual milk (Hebrews 5: 11-13). We are to mature as Christians, as His children, but remain in His presence trusting His sovereignty and being held in His loving embrace. In that place we can truly quieten our souls and place our hope in Him. We do however need a childlike faith (Luke 18: 16-17).
The Question of Application
Who holds your heart, where are your eyes focused and what are you busy with?
Father of hearts, desires and actions may we know you, your voice and embrace in a living and loving relationship with you. Teach us the way of quiet, that we may find our peace in your presence and hope in your grace, in and through the pattern of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Abide with me sung by Audrey Assad
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.