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Sunday, September 25, 2016 pm                                    Psalm Index

 

STUDIES IN PSALMS
My Heart is Not Haughty
Psalm 131

 

Tonight we examine another of the psalm of ascents.  This one is attributed to David.  The occasion is not known but it seems to refer to a time early in his life, though it was not necessarily written then.  In some ways this seems to be a psalm of maturity as David reflects upon events in his past and sees the hand of God at work.  This pricks his heart.  In this short psalm we are reminded of humility and contentment.

 I.                     My Heart is not haughty

a.       Humility, not lofty eyes – not proud or arrogant. As the psalmist turns to the LORD he begins with his humility. 
How God views such pride - The “proud look” – Proverbs 6:17 – one of the 7 things the LORD hates. 
Proverbs 21:2-4 – the haughty look, proud heart and plowing of the wicked are sin.
1 Peter 5:5 – God resists the proud
Humility is where saving faith begins – cf. Matthew 5:3 – the “poor in spirit”.
James 4:10 – humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.

b.       Nor do I concern myself with great matters  the idea is one concerned with acts of greatness.  Often the arrogant and haughty want to be recognized.  They want to be at the forefront.  What made David different as a king than Saul was his humble attitude.  AT times, his authority overtook him, but he always bowed before God.  We find that in this psalm.
The Bible gives examples -  1) Naaman wanting to make a great show of his healing. (2 Kings 5:10-12)
2) The scribes and Pharisees who enlarged their phylacteries and borders of their garments (Matthew 23:5-7).    Matthew 6:2- giving to be seen, 6:5 – praying to be seen (cf. Luke 18:10-12), 6:16 – in their fasting.
Today is no different.  The haughty want to be involved in great things or draw attention to themselves – things that elevate them and make them important.  Matthew 23:12, Luke 18:14 – whoever exalts himself with be humbled.
The significance of the little things.  Romans 12:16 – associate with the humble.
The body of Christ includes “unpresentable parts” and parts not as recognized as others (1 Cor. 12:18-20 – we are right where god wants us to be!)
Jesus said that he would notice the cup of cold water given in His name (cf. Matthew 10:42).
1 Peter 5:5 calls for our humility and notes that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

c.        Nor with things too profound for me -
The word profound here means something surpassing or extraordinary. [KJV – too high; NASB – too difficult; ESV – too marvelous, ASV – too wonderful]. 
The Hebrews would could involve 1) something difficult to do, or 2) something difficult to understand, or 3) something wonderful (BDB).
IN CONTEXT, David is probably speaking of things in God’s control (out of his) and things he does not understand.  David doesn’t need to understand these things to keep trusting in the LORD.
David speaks of such in Psalm 139:6 where he notes the omnipotence and omniscience of God and says, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.”
Romans 11:33 – we are reminded of the depths of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge and His ways unsearchable.  There are things about God we don’t know or fully understand.   Moses stated this in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the worlds of this law.” And within scripture there are many subjects that are for the mature or even beyond comprehension.  NOBODY knows everything!!!! Especially in spiritual matters.   All we know is what has been revealed to us (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10-13).
That doesn’t change the simplicity of what we do know and are expected to do.  When it comes to matters of salvation, the way we are to treat each other, the everyday life of a Christian, matters of morality, etc. – the Bible is typically straight forward.  As one person noted – the issue is not about understanding what we are to do, it is in the applying of it, especially when it means we need to change.    THIS is what causes men to twist scripture to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).   This is what causes men to question the nature of scripture. 
Consider Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 
When the LORD presented Himself to Job and challenged him, Job said,  You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job 42:3.
LET US with humility accept the word of God and apply it (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 II.                   A Calmed and quieted soul

a.       A soul that is calm and quieted – composed and content.  WHEN one humbles himself before God and accepts that He is in control, it can calm his soul and bring about contentment. 
Paul in Philippians 4:11-13 demonstrated this same maturity as David in this psalm.

b.       Composed – We need to be calm and composed.  The Hebrew word actually means to be smooth, even or level.  With the idea of calming down. 
Phil. 4:6 – be anxious for nothing…
Jesus addressed this when He told us not to worry (cf. Matthew 6:25-34).
I think of the song, “It is well with my soul.”

c.        Content - Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6-8); 
Hebrews 13:5 calls for us to be content with such things as we have. 
2 Corinthians 9:8, Paul said, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

d.       Like a weaned child us is my soul within me
Jesus taught us to “become as this little child” – Matthew 18:2-5.  In this text He is addressing qualities of children that we ought to emulate, including humility and contentment (think not of the spoiled child who has been taught to demand and receive all he wants, but the little child who even if given an expensive toy, plays with the box, etc.).
Our text is still dealing with David’s humility and contentment.  Like a child weaned, he has been “weaned” from his anxiety.  Trusting in God as he faces troubling circumstances.  THAT needs to be our attitude as well.
Consider David as he fled from Saul, before being formally crowned as king of Israel.  He had numerous occasions to kill him, but he left that in God’s hands.    He trusted God to take care of what needed to be taken care of. 
Do we have that type of trust in God as we face anxious times, both physically and spiritually?

 III.                 Hope in the LORD

a.       Israel is called upon to hope in the LORD – a frequent theme in the psalms.  Its frequency ought to gain our attention.  As we have noted, we are here because of our hope – hope of Israel (cf. Acts 28:20, Ephesians 2:12-13) -
Proverbs 13:12 – hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.
1 Thess. 1:3 – Paul commended their patience of hope in the Lord
Romans 15:4-6 – the things written before are for our learning that through “the patience of comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

b.       From now and forever more – resolve that this will be your lot, or way of life as you move forward.    When we put to death the man of sin, our goal is to keep him in the grave.  This is about a renewed heart, not simply using Jesus to patch a hole in our old heart.  Romans 6:3-6, through baptism the old man has been crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with. 
Romans 12:1-2 speaks of being TRANSFORMED – changed into a state where we don’t return to the old state.  Romans 6:14 as a result of this, “sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

Let us learn from this psalm that we must put our trust and hope in our Lord God.  When we do this, with humility and contentment we will submit to His will.  Does your heart hope in the LORD?