Sunday, November 28, 2010

Psalm 62 - God and only God matters

Preamble: My original intention was to put up my exposition of “Ps 66 – Intercede, but cherish not sin in your heart”, which I have done some time back, because my previous article, “Intercede for others, and you’ll be blessed too”, has continued to find readers. But last week, I felt led, to do up the exposition of Ps 62, which I thought I will put up, perhaps, several weeks later, (again) but this morning, when I read the blog entry of a cancer-stricken lady (Liz Mah), in Malaysia, and the email of Rusty Russell, USA, on him being stricken by some strange “disease”, I have decided to put this up, ahead of Ps 66 -Intercede, but cherish not sin in your heart {title, mine}.

There are 3 reasons for this swap:

1. I hope that Ps 62 would encourage both Liz Mah and Rusty Russell to hold on to the position, “God and only God matters”.

2. As the titles of the intercession articles suggested, I hope that fellow believers would pray and intercede for both Rusty Russell (many of my readers, from FGBMF, should know him (and you can know about the great works and sacrifices of this man of God, at his website,, and sister Liz Mah (I have no relation to Liz, except that, for several months now, I have, I believed, been led to encourage her on her journey with the Lord even as she was afflicted in life. You can know more about her from her blog site,

3. I want to encourage both Rusty Russell and Liz Mah to continue to pray and intercede for others even as they are still bearing the weight of their own afflictions.

Recently, I have my belief in a particular way of God confirmed by a young but powerful man, Philip Mantofa, of God from Indonesia {}, and that way of God is that, we are to pray and intercede for others (and even, to serve) even when we are in affliction ourselves (my own testimony also bears witness to it). When we take up the causes of others, when we focus on securing God’s aid for others, be it through prayer and intercession or service, Jesus prays and intercedes for us, in Heaven, before the Father God. I am not saying that we should not pray for ourselves, but perhaps, in the ways of God, there is a dimension of Jesus interceding, additionally, for those who have placed the interests of others ahead of their own. Isn’t it wonderful to know that even as we are busying praying and interceding for others, Jesus takes up our cause and prays and intercedes before the Father God in Heaven (Rom 8:34). The Bible said the prayer of righteous one avails much (James 5:16). Jesus passes that righteousness with a full 100%. Don’t you like Him to intercede for you?

For testimonial evidence of such is a way of God, those who read my previous article, “Intercede for others, and you’ll be blessed too”, I related that I was healed when I interceded for the Haiti disaster. I have also shared, as encouragement, in my church, that when I served as a lay Altar Minister, and still avail myself to pray for the sick, when I was in pain myself, the Lord healed me, and caused my pain to leave me. Pastor Philip Mantofa had shared that he too, had experienced God’s healing of his body of weird affliction, when he interceded for a member of his congregation of the same weird affliction. He said he was healed of his affliction when he did not even know if the member of the congregation was healed or not.

Of course, I am not saying that we work for salvation (sozo), but when we love God (often times, many of us do not know how to love God, according to his definitions) by aligning ourselves to His Word and ways, we attract or draw out His grace and mercy. Please, do not habour in your heart that because you pray for the sick, and they got healed, then Jesus must intercede, and you must be healed; that is not what I am saying, nor is it the right attitude of the heart. The right attitude, and I am not saying I have arrived, is that we place God’s interests and the interests of others, ahead of ours, in love, fulfilling the twin pillars of love that enveloped all laws and commandments.]

The way to read this article is that the orange underlined texts are the verses of the Bible (NIV, unless otherwise stated). The black texts following the Bible verses (and enclosed by square brackets) are my commentaries. At the end of these Bible texts and commentaries, I have inserted a section on "Points to take note/What we have learnt/can learn".

Psalm 62 - God and only God matters {title, mine}

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
[David started out this psalm by saying to God his position, his stand, his belief system, his faith.

David stated that his soul found rest in God alone; his salvation came from Him. God alone was his rock and his salvation; He was his fortress, and He, David would never be shaken knowing that. {I prefer this 1984 edition of the NIV over the latest 2010 version, for the 2010 version had no “alone” in either of the verses. The KJV or NKJV both have at least an “alone” in one of the 2 verses. This, in my view, is important, and must NOT be omitted}

There are 2 important points to note: One, David’s understanding that his soul would find rest in God, and God was his rock, his salvation, and fortress; and two, such rest could only be found in God ALONE, not in anything else or, in God together with something else; and God ALONE, and no others, was his rock, his salvation, and his fortress. The “ALONE” point is very important, we cannot try to find rest for our soul in God and something else, it must be purely and solely in God. David experience was that there were no others or no other things. That was how he could weathered through the repeated attempts by King Saul whom he served with great loyalty, and the rebellion of his son, Absalom, snatching his throne at Jerusalem. Only one could not fail David, and us, too, and that was and is God; everything else could and can fail. If we want to be able to say that we will NEVER be shaken, then our reliance must be solely on and in God, no one else, nothing else.]
3 How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse. Selah
[David then told God what was bothering him.

David had enemies, and he was telling the LORD that his enemies kept on assaulting him. His enemies had wanted to throw him down the moment there was weakness in his position, like throwing him down a (city) wall or fence that was weakened or was shaky {In those days, city were fortified with walls, and people stood/moved about on the top of those walls}. His enemies fully intended to topple him from his elevated position (his elevation was by the LORD). David said these people who were after his blood delighted in lies. They pretended to bless, but in their hearts they cursed. These were wicked people.]
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
[David repeated his faith in God again, but this time he was even speaking to his soul {stir himself to hold on to the right position that he first was able to assume}.

The spoken words are powerful, and meditations of the heart, even more so, and David knew both. That was why he cared to say in the earlier verse that his enemies lied, and they blessed, but in their hearts they cursed. So, David wanted to speak to his own soul, so that his soul and heart would be firmly established in who God was.

David told his soul to find rest in God alone, saying that his hope would come from God. God alone was and would be his rock, and salvation; God was and would be his fortress, and he would not be shaken. In verse 7, David repeated again that God was his salvation; and his honor, his high position depended on God. God was his mighty rock, his refuge.

I believe that David at this time was already king, and was enthroned in Jerusalem, yet even in his high position, he still had enemies, and had included those outwardly looked friendly, but were scheming against David, even to want him to fall.]
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. Selah
[Such psalms, like this one here, were recited before the LORD. In 1 Ch 16, after David successfully brought the ark of God into the City of David, he had instituted spontaneous exaltation before the LORD, including spontaneous praises, psalming, and worshiping with joyful sounds, at the tent (some called it the Tabernacle of Praise) which he had put up for housing the ark of God. Such a psalm was also to edify and build up others, when recited.

In verse 8 here, and in the subsequent few verses, we read of David, after encouraging himself, tried to edify others by calling his people to trust in God at all times, to pour their hearts out to God, for God was their refuge, too.]
9 Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
[David said that men, whether lowly men (or lowborn men) and lofty men (or highborn men), they were the same on God’s scale, they were nothing but only a breath. Indeed, Man was nothing but dust with a breath, and our very breath was and is from God; He gives us our every breath each day. We have believed a lie if we think that just because we are highborn, or in high or lofty position, we are special; men are all the same, completely dependent on the grace and mercy of God.]
10 Do not trust in extortion
or take pride in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
[Because of his status as a king, and so, his contacts with the highborn, David continued to speak what he had observed of these people’s characters which he felt were not right, and these people ought to reconsider their belief system.

David advised not to trust in extortion or to take pride in stolen goods. The people who extorted, were the highborn, and the “powerful” people. Stolen goods here probably carried a broader meaning to include every form of ill-gotten goods, including those through abuses, including of power, etc, etc. Here is sound advice from David, “though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them”. Our every breath, life, could be demanded of us, at any time, whatever riches we amassed cannot save us. Our salvation and our hope have to be in God alone, and no other, animate or inanimate.]
11 One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done.
[Speaking from experience, David ended by speaking about the character and ways of God.

Such beautiful depiction of the character of God: One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard – that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. What is meant here was that when God speaks, we can be sure that we hear in it, God is almighty, powerful and strong, and we can hear in it, God loves us. God is El Shaddai yet He is loving towards us. (It must be understood that in those days, the spoken words, especially through the prophets were the most frequent way of interaction/communication between God and Man. That was why that which proceeded from the mouth of God was being referred to.)

Verse 12b, was the observation of David, and I believe that David, as a man said by God to be after His own heart, this observation could not be wrong, that God would reward each person according to what he has done.

In Jer 17:10, the same thing was said, and in that prophecy of Jeremiah, the LORD Himself said it - “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”]

What we can learn here:

1. It is perfectly fine for us to tell God how we regard Him. It is nonsensical to say that God knows everything, and so we should not even need to say that. Sure, God knows everything, but it still does not mean that we do not tell things that God already know. If it were so, why bothered to talk to God at all since He already know everything. However, one needs to be truthful though, we cannot deceive God; we cannot say one thing and in our heart it is a different thing. The Holy Spirit of God searches and knows the hearts of men (1 Ch 28:9). What is the significance of doing this? What we have is a relationship with God, and so, for a relationship, we tell the other party such matters. When we do that, it goes to show that we place importance to the relationship, and importance to the other party, in this case, God.

2. It is not only fine, it is necessary for us to reinforce our faith and belief by speaking to ourselves, to our own souls, so that we would be reminded, and continue to hold on to positions which we first were able to assume. For example, in psalm 42:5-6a (or 43:5 {In many Hebrew manuscripts Ps 42 & 43 constituted one psalm}), we read this:

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Remember now, that our spoken words and the meditations of our heart are very crucial for us to assume a firm position concerning the matters of the faith. Do them both, speak to ourselves, and meditate on God’s words.

3. Many psalms have a petition element, and this one is no exception, and if we are to petition, we are to say what our problem is, or what is bothering us. Again, do not say God knows, and so, I will say nothing. If it were the case, why pray to, or talk with, or psalm to God, at all! My personal belief is that you can be long-winded or short-winded, it does not really matter. God is able to take it all, and if He is annoyed He will let you know. Just avoid vain repetitions. In the moment, if He asks that you cut-short, you cut-short, otherwise, shoot away. Verses 3 & 4 above were where David told God what was bothering him.

4. In the intended edification by David, we should note the followings:

a. What he recommended was what he subscribed to. In Verse 8, he recommended trusting in God alone, to cry out to God, and take refuge in Him; all of these were what he was subscribing to, as can be seen from the verses prior to verse 8.

b. Concerning verse 9, regardless of our high or low position, we can only take pride in one position, and that is the position of God’s grace and mercy. In James 1:9-12, the apostle James taught about this. Those interested can read my exposition of the James’ text from this separate article of mine, “Trials and Temptations (James 1:2-18)”.

c. We are all being tested in our Christian walk. The lowborn men will be tested too, yet Scripture had much to say to the highborn men or men in high positions, the rich and the powerful. In a very real sense, pride and money are the biggest stumbling blocks for men. Actually, the same James 1:9-12 passage talked about the trials of the rich and those in high position. David, in verse 10, reminded 2 things: one, do not misuse high position, and be found to engage in extortion, and derive ill-gotten gains through those positions; such are not only dishonest, it is oppressive, and oppression is always detested by God. Two, though one’s riches increase, he is not to set his heart on them, for if he holds money too tightly to his chest or loves money, he will find problem loving God, and serving Him.

d. The character of God; David pointed out 2 important attributes of God, He is almighty, none can match Him, and He is loving (it does not mean God does not punish). These 2 attributes, David said, could always be noted in God’s words, meaning we can see these attributes in them. We better believe that (the character of God), if we are to stand firm on “God and only God matters”.

e. The ways of God; David believed that God would reward each according to what he has done. This is not necessarily be referring to Man's perspective of "good works" as such, like doing a philanthropic act of donating $100K to a university endowment fund, but at the least, should include such matters of whether or not, what we do is in agreement with the very foundation of His throne. Ps 89:14 gives us “the foundation of His throne as justice and righteousness”. In Micah 6:8b, we read this: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Will we NOT receive mercy when we show mercy? Surely, the Lord may reward us with mercy, for Matt 5:7 said this: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”. If we stubbornly remain wicked, what do we think is our reward? Prov 10:16 said this: “The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment”. 1 Pet 3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Revelation 2:23b has this: Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions – Lord, may I subscribe to what I write here. May I constantly speak your ways and truths to my soul, and meditate upon them, that I may be firmly established in my knowing you, and will NOT waiver in my position that “God and only God matters”.

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