Psalm 62.

The word "only" is the characteristic of this Psalm. The first verse should read, "My soul waiteth only upon God," and the word is repeated in verses 2, 5, 6. It needs to be weighed, meditated upon in the presence of God, for the soul can never be at rest until its blessed significance is apprehended. The Psalm opens with the soul in difficulties, surrounded by enemies; but it has learnt the lesson that salvation (deliverance) can only come from God. Hence the Psalmist waits only upon Him. There are few who have not known what it is, in the stress of conflicts or temptations, to turn to human means of succour, and thus to lose the blessedness of waiting only upon God. The fact is that until we have come to the end of ourselves and of man, and have found out by experience the vanity of all human help, and are shut up to God alone, we never reach this blessed place of entire dependence. When reached, in ever so small a measure, we pass into a new circle, outside of man, and where the presence of God is our home.

The moment the attitude is taken in verse 1 the soul is filled with confidence, and thus proceeds: "He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved." Surveying all the dangers around, together with the enmity of man and the activity of Satan, there is rest in God, and consequent freedom from fear or apprehension while passing through the wilderness. Doubtless we have here the path and experience of the Lord Himself; but this makes it all the more valuable and instructive for His people, inasmuch as He was the first to tread the path of faith in all its completeness and perfection. (Heb. 12:2.) The three things He had especially to encounter, indeed, while enduring the cross and despising the shame, are specified in verses 3, 4 - hatred, envy, and hypocrisy. If the accounts of the apprehension, trial, and condemnation of our blessed Lord are examined, these three things will be found in distinct relief. And every believer who runs the same race, "looking off" unto Jesus, must reckon upon the same forms of opposition.

It might seem at first as if verses 5-7 were but a repetition of verses 1, 2, but a closer examination will show that it is not so. The soul is waiting only upon God in verse 1, and in verse 5 it is encouragement to maintain, to continue in it, together with the declaration that it has no expectation except from God. In one word, it is the expression of absolute dependence, combined with the activity of faith, in the assurance that they that wait on the Lord shall never be confounded. May we not also hear this appeal to wait only upon God? Nay, is it not addressed to us by the same Spirit? If these lines are read by tried, burdened, sorrowful, or perplexed souls, let them take the unspeakable comfort which the Lord would minister to them through His own experiences; for we know that He is not One who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because He has been tempted in all points like as we are, apart from sin.

The next verse (6th) appears to give the reason or the ground of the appeal or the encouragement in the preceding one; the same in language as verse 2, with the omission of the word "greatly." And this omission is significant, as it shows an advance - if such a word may be ventured where all is perfect - upon verse 2. Now, following upon the re-statement that "He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence," the Psalmist (for while the path of the Lord Himself is foreshadowed, David was, in the first place, the vessel of these experiences) is able with absolute confidence to say, without any qualification whatever, "I shall not be moved." Hence we regard verse 7 as experience rather than the language of faith; that is, that David had realized now that God was his salvation and his glory, that the rock of his strength and his refuge was in God. He knew it before, but now he had appropriated what he knew, and thus was in the present enjoyment of what had been wrought out in his soul through his trials.

The personal experience of the Psalm ends with verse 7; and now, the lesson learnt, the Psalmist is at leisure to think of others. And what is the one thing he desires to communicate to the people of God? It is simply, "Trust in Him at all times." If simple, however, how far-reaching and inclusive! At all times - in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, in deprivation and in abundance, in dark days as well as in sunshine, yea, always - at all times trust in the Lord. What a perfect example of this is seen in our blessed Lord on the cross, when He endured the hiding of the face of His God. "O my God," he said, "I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." At such a moment he would justify his God. Let us, then, learn the precious lesson that God may be trusted, implicitly trusted, in all circumstances and in all seasons, and then we shall be kept in perfect peace with our minds stayed on Him.

But, it may be felt, it is easy to write and to read, these words; the test lies in our daily experience. It is true; and the Lord, knowing this, has added, "Ye people pour out your heart before Him"; for He well knew that this is the way of reaching confidence in God. It is the same instruction in Philippians, where the apostle says, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." It is indeed the all-efficacious antidote to fear and despondency to empty our hearts before God, and to do it continually - during the day as well as at our stated seasons of prayer. It was said by one of old that prayerful ejaculations in our daily lives are the "arrows of God's deliverance." And so they are; and on this account let us give the most earnest heed to the exhortation to pour out our hearts before God.

As an encouragement to do so, the Psalmist says God is a refuge for us. He himself had found Him to be so, and what He had been for David He would be for all His people. Two things may be noted in connection with the introduction of this word "us." First, that the believer who is in communion with the heart of God about His people merges his individuality into theirs. Whatever he learns, and whatever he receives, are for the whole company, because he is in full identification with them. As we read of our blessed Lord, "Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." Secondly, none of us can teach others what we have not ourselves learned. The Psalmist, we mean, could not have said God is a refuge for us if he had not in his own experience made the discovery for himself. True that it may be written so in the word of God; but before we can carry this blessed truth to troubled souls we must have "set to our seal" that it is so. Then we can speak with power in the Holy Ghost because we have verified the sure word of God for ourselves.

In the proclamation, "God is a refuge for us," the goal has been reached, and hence man, and man's power, disappear. Trusting in God and hidden under His protection, men, whether of low or high degree, are a lie, and, truly estimated, are altogether lighter than vanity. Moreover, the soul thus resting in God can warn the oppressor and the wealthy of the insecurity of their confidence, and then cries in the hearing of all that, as it hath been adequately testified, power belongeth unto God. For the Christian the resurrection of Christ and the coming of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost are the twofold witness of this, and he wants no other. "Also," the Psalm concludes, "unto Thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for Thou renderest to every man according to his works." As will be observed, mercy here belongs to the Lord, not Jehovah but the Lord; and this is because the time contemplated is when the Lord will come forth in mercy to His poor, down-trodden people, and deliver them from the hands of those that oppress them by rendering to their enemies according to their works. (See Luke 1:68-75.)