Monday, December 7, 2015

"We take refuge in our refuge when we set our faith on God, & tell Him all that threatens or troubles us."

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
 Trust in Him at all times, O people!
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  ~Selah.
Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
And loving-kindness is Yours, O Lord,
PSALM 62:5-8,11-12

         The Psalmist’s whole being is, as it were, but one stillness of submission. The noises of contending desires, the whispers of earthly hopes, the mutterings of short-sighted fears, the self-asserting accents of an insisting will, are hushed, and all his nature waits mutely for God’s voice. No wonder that a psalm which begins thus would end with “Once God has spoken, twice I have heard this”; for such waiting is never in vain. The soul that leaves to God is still; and, being still, is capable of hearing the Divine whispers which deepen the silence which they bless. “There is no joy but calm”; and the secret of calm is to turn the current of the being to God. Then it is like a sea at rest.
         The psalmist’s silence finds voice, which does not break it, in saying over to himself what God is to him. Not only does his salvation come from God, but God Himself is the salvation which He sends forth like an angel. The recognition of God as his defense is the ground of “silence”; for if He is “my rock and my salvation,’ what can be wiser than to keep close to Him, and let Him do as He will? The assurance of personal safety is inseparable from such a thought of God.
         Every man who has learned that God is a refuge for him is thereby assured that He is the same for all men, and thereby moved to beseech them to make the like blessed discovery. The way into that hiding-place is trust. “Pour out before Him your heart,” says the psalmist. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God," says Paul. They both mean the same thing. We take refuge in our refuge when we set our faith on God, and tell Him all that threatens or troubles us. When we do, we are no longer in the open, defenseless before the rush of enemies, but housed in God, or, as Paul puts it, guarded in Christ Jesus, as in a fortress. No wonder that the psalm pauses for a moment on that thought, and lets the notes of harp and horn impress it on the listeners!
         So far the psalmist has spoken. But his silent waiting has been rewarded with a clear voice from Heaven, confirming that of his faith. It is most natural to regard the double revelation received by the psalmist as repeated in the following proclamation of the two great aspects of the Divine nature —Power and Loving-kindness. The psalmist has learned that these two are not opposed nor separate, but blend harmoniously in God’s nature, and are confluent in all His works. Power is softened and directed by Loving-kindness. Loving-kindness has as its instrument Omnipotence. The synthesis of these two is in the God whom men are invited to trust; and such trust can never be disappointed; for His Power and His Loving-kindness will cooperate to “render to a man according to his work.” Such “work of faith” will not be in vain; for these twin attributes of Power and Love are pledged to requite it with security and peace.

The Expositor’s Bible –Psalms Vol.II

There is the joy whereto each soul aspires,
And there the rest that all the world desires,
And there is love and peace and gracious mirth;
And there in the most highest heavens shalt thou
Behold the Very Beauty, whereof now
Thou worshippest the shadow upon earth.

From the French of

DU BELLAY (1550), tr. By A. LANG

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