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Every 10 weeks we return to our ongoing series entitled “Psalms Greatest Hits.” This is deliberate time to pause, breathe, and reconnect in deeper way to our Source of existence. Do your best to be present now and let the words of the Psalmist find you, wherever you are, regardless of what you are facing.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
We live in a world that has lost any sense of solitude, silence, or ability to wait. We are conditioned to skim over the depth of life by focusing on the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. Unlike the psalmist, we wait for our big break to “save us.” We wait for landing the big account, the promotion, that ‘whatever’ for our “salvation.” The result is we have lost our footing, we trip, slip, and slide as we struggle to stand in balance. As this progresses, or fragility increases to where the smallest things will shake and unsettle us. This Psalm is an invitation back to center. Through the dark night of silence, where we sit, still, awaiting, as we move every agenda to the sidelines other than the Main thing.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse.
As the Psalmists mind wanders to the relational, political, and real threats of his day to day reality, he let’s the contemplation arise and he brings it into this contemplative space. How often do our minds drift into the cares of our life? How common in our “rat race” is it to find others who seek advantage at the expense of others? These plagues of the human heart exist at every level. May this reassure each of us that God does see, care and listen.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Again, the Psalmist returns to silence and waiting. He is establishing the neuro-pathways and habits of not being trapped in one’s thoughts. Like the disciplined meditator, his contemplation watches his thoughts and then turns them off, finding solace and sure footing in this Divine union.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Now the appeal goes outward to other sojourners in life. He takes the perspective and priority gained in solitude and emphasizes those priorities over those that plague our emotions, or illusions of self, and our flags of self importance. In the big scheme of things, all that we are concerned about is really minor. Our default mode of stealing and manipulating the system is a waste of life. We must establish the trust and dependence upon that which will transcend our will, our ambitions, our lifetime.
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.
Silence establishes the right order of the mind, heart, and will of humanity. Removing ourselves from the throne of our life is not easy and requires perspective. Yet here, the Psalmist appeals to us to continue this process of letting God lead. Not because God is threatened by us, offended by us, or annoyed by us, but because he truly loves us with an unending, undying love. This love is supposed to set our agendas and as it does, God directs our steps, leads us through all our struggle and rewards us with Himself and a transformed world.