Other studies from this week's reading:
If we find ourselves in a precarious legal situation, our first and best action is to seek the counsel of a lawyer. Because they have been through such situations many times, they are able to understand the subtle differences between our situation and others that may look similar, and guide our actions appropriately. Anyone that’s had to do this can testify that not everything the lawyer advised would have crossed their mind because of their limited view and experience. Well WE have an Advocate as well, One who sees much clearer and better than ourselves, to Whom we need to trust our every thought and action so that we will end up successfully handling things according to HIS higher standards of truth and righteousness.
|1My soul waits in silence for God
From Him is my salvation.
2He only is my rock and my
My stronghold; I shall not be
Q: What does it mean when one’s “soul waits in silence for God only”?
A: It’s a statement of faith that takes action by one’s patience to await an answer from God, expending no energy on worry or personal murmuring. It’s one’s recognition that God’s timing, although not yet come, WILL come according to HIS schedule.
Point: Do you ever interpret “silence” as God not being responsive or acting in a timely manner? The classic proverb states that God has 3 answers to all prayers: “Yes”, “No”, and “Wait”. What is the right thing to do, the right attitude to maintain when He chooses to answer, “Wait”?
Q: What is the common word that ties v.1 and 2 together? How does it teach us something of the right thing to do while waiting on the Lord?
A: The common word is “only” as in “for God only” and “He only is my rock and my salvation”. It simply conveys that there is no other alternative apart from God, so restless behavior while waiting for Him to act according to His plan is futile.
Q: What attributes of God provide us great assurance while waiting upon Him?
A: “Rock” and “stronghold”. They depict a foundation and surrounding that “shall not be greatly shaken”, a safe place to trust in while we wait.
Application: Have you ever decided on a course of action because you HAVEN’T heard back from God? Did this work out well or did you learn that you’d acted prematurely? Why is NOT receiving an immediate answer as important as receiving an immediate “Yes” or “No”?
3How long will you assail a man,
Q: While waiting for God’s intervention, David clearly identifies that other men are attacking and putting pressure on him. How does David’s description of them teach us something of the true nature of life’s problems?
A: David likens them to “a leaning wall...a tottering fence”. In other words, they’re not strong in reality and very easily toppled by the Lord whenever the Lord chooses to act on behalf of David.
Application: Do we allow the pressure of others to cause us to make premature decisions or take premature actions? How well do we recognize that in spite of appearances, God is actually still in control? Do we ever allow the mere actions of men to acquire the appearance of greater power than they’re actually capable of?
Q: In David’s case, as implied in v.4, his enemies want to take his position away from him. How is this similar to the motives of our own enemies, and why is this actually an impossible task?
A: Such attacks all have in common that someone else wants to take whatever position we’ll vacate, whether it’s a relationship, office, position, etc. In reality, if we truly believe and understand that it is given by God in the first place, we would clearly, as a matter of faith, understand that it can’t be taken without God’s permission.
Q: What are the most common tools used against us? How effective are they against someone established on the Rock and Stronghold of Christ?
A: Their most common tool is the lie, which cannot shake us from our foundation of truth and righteousness in Christ.
Point: While waiting on God, we may have to endure the lying attacks of others. This has even greater implications in how to wait according to God’s standards when we consider the opening line to this Psalm, “My soul waits in silence for God only.” We need to respond according to God’s appointed time.
|5My soul, wait in silence for
For my hope is from Him.
6He only is my rock and my
My stronghold; I shall not be
7On God my salvation and my
The rock of my strength, my
refuge is in God.
8Trust in Him at all times, O
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Q: What is added to “salvation” as an additional personal attribute that must be found exclusively in God and not ourselves?
A: “My glory”. It’s an elegant way to sum up the fact that our name, our reputation, our deeds, and all that could be described as our earthly identity because of our life’s actions do not rest with us personally, but instead with God.
Q: What is implied in the statement in v.8 to “trust in Him at all times” within the overall context of this Psalm?
A: We don’t just trust Him when He says “Yes” or “No”, but whenever He says “Wait” as well.
Q: How are we to express our trust in God?
A: By pouring “out your heart before Him”. We are not to murmur and dance nervously about and repeat to God how threatening the situation looks, but to express the concerns of our heart that we might address the greater issue of how our personal faith is bearing up under trial.
9Men of low degree are only
Q: How is v.9 describing the condition of all others that may come against us?
A: All men, whether of low or high esteem by earthly standards, are equally NOTHING without God. In the end they are both found wanting according to God’s view.
Q: What is the message of v.10?
A: All wealth, regardless of whether it is gained legally or illegally, is no substitute for God’s ways.
Point: Earthly standards place a high value on a man’s status, wealth, and reputation, but God’s standards consider them useless.
Application: Does the pressure we feel to take premature action while waiting on God sometimes come from earthly sources using earthly standards of measure? How should we respond? Can you see that this might be a method they use to get us to act prematurely before God responds otherwise?
|11Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
12And lovingkindness is Yours,
For You recompense a man
according to his work.
Q: Consider the context and what has been discussed to this point. Why do you suppose that it’s enough to rely on what God has spoken?
A: It’s the assurance that even while we wait in silence, even in spite of the pressure that others are putting on us to act prematurely, that the reliability of God’s Word is enough to justify our faith while we wait. His Word is all the assurance we need that the power and grace of His actions will eventually materialize according to HIS timing and desire.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
A: “You recompense a man according to his work.” It’s also another way of stating that we are actually doing His work by waiting in patience for Him to act. “Silence” is not “down time”, but a test of faith.
Perhaps we can now appreciate the example David provided in his personal life in the way that he handled trials and even persecution at the hands of others. His first response – even when the situation seemed “obvious” – was to “inquire of the Lord” and to respond God’s way. God was not only able to prove Himself over and over again to David personally, but through David to reach out to the very hearts of all those around David, both friend and enemy. By waiting on the Lord, David not only experienced a stronger personal faith, but became a personal example of God’s faith to everyone else. Perhaps one of the best explanations of why God sometimes commands us to “wait”, is for the benefit of those around us and to bring glory to His name rather than our own.