“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.”
~Psalm 62:11-12a (NRSV).
This psalm is a resolution of secure silence in reflection of many throngs of would-be assassins (if not by actual means, then my character assassination) that have been met. The psalm reads like a song, complete with a chorus in verses 1-2 and 5-6.
The chorus is the resolution:
“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 never be shaken.”
This Psalm of David’s is typical of his genre: in the presence of persecution by an enemy there is an inner strength and confidence prevailing through David’s heart as we read, with encouragement, his unenviable situations that are met with poise of faith. Yet, there is no absence of vulnerability.
As with a lot of Scripture, because it has been rewritten in a different language, in this case from Hebrew, there can be translation issues, as we read meaning into English words that perhaps weren’t there in the original. There are those issues here in the chorus.
The Psalmist’s Hope And Salvation
The writer of the psalm makes his confessions, again, with sound resolution. There is not much quiver to the voice, little hesitation as the words leave the mouth; as the letters are written on the page. Clearly there is confidence that God delivers (verse 7).
Although he has felt assailed, perhaps in this case by memory of battles gone by, little real impact is made for the changing of his mind. Indeed, so resolute is David he not only believes, but is an advocate to others for the hope and salvation that is in God (verse 10).
The hope and salvation of God, truly, is one stayed on the right path, not defeated by one’s enemies, circumstances, or even the greed of one’s own covetous heart. Our Rock and our Salvation saves us from all these, and more.
The Confessional Value Of Hoping In God
There are several direct references to the sovereign character qualities, and names, of God: my Rock, my Salvation, my Fortress, my Mighty Rock, and my Refuge.
As we call on these names of God, our psyches recognise the confessional value of hoping in God—we are affirming to ourselves our beliefs, the strength of our confidence, and even venturing beyond any evidence of situational disbelief. We prefer, at these times, to rest in our confidence for God to deliver us, than explore any presence of despair that intermittently underpins our humanity. And to rest in this confidence we are well advised.
Quietness of soul and rest beyond compare characterise the heart prepared to observe the safety resplendent in God. The Lord’s faithfulness reaches from eternity to eternity and has covered our whole lives. This is what we are now able to see.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.