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.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time on and forevermore.
‘One of the shortest Psalm to read, but one of the longest to learn!’
This was what the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once commented about Psalm 131. What is the difficult lesson that Psalm 131 is teaching us? Well, it is the lesson of contentment and rest.
When David writes, ‘my heart is not lifted up…’ and ‘I do not occupy myself with things too great for me…’, he is essentially saying: ‘I have kept my ambitions in check. I have learnt to be contented with my lot in life. I shall trust God.’
Now, if David was a Singaporean in our time, he may very well have written something like this:
‘Oh Lord, I have been down-to-earth! I am not craving for more money, gadgets, vacations or status! I am not eyeing the position of my boss or for the next pay rise. I am certainly not going after more paper qualifications or fancy titles. I have not taken on huge projects to create a legacy for myself. Neither have I taken on huge loans to buy a property and car that I cannot actually afford. Whatever you have given me, I shall be contented with them.’
It is a good reminder, isn’t it? All of us have ambitions that we need to keep in check and Psalms 131 reminds us to do exactly that; to be happy with our lot in life i.e. whatever God has allocated to us to do, and whatever possessions we may have. There is no need to crave for more. Often it is out of the cravings and strife that we enter rashly into situations that we are not meant to be in. These could be with our finances, jobs, relationships and even ministry.
Cravings can lead us to take on loans too big for us. They can cause us to enter relationships that are unhealthy. They can also lead us to jobs that are too demanding; that are beyond our capacity; jobs that causes us to be unable to devote enough time to God, our family and to ministry.
Today, let us learn to be contented with whatever God has given to us and let us learn to trust Him afresh. Amen.
Ps. Kelvin Chua