This Week's Focus Passage

Psalm 62:1 - ‘My soul waiteth in silence for God only; from him cometh my salvation.’


Psalm 62:1 - ‘My soul waiteth in silence for God only; from him cometh my salvation.’


    One of the modern ‘translations’ of the Scriptures, The Message, the very centuries they have given here, not a translation, but a paraphrase of what they think that the Psalmist, and thus of course the Holy Spirit, intended to communicate. If one is content with a paraphrase, there is not much else to say to them. But the primary reason for even mentioning this ‘version’ here is simply to make reference to what they have thought that the Psalmist actually said. Their rendering contains, in some respects, an admonition that we might well take to heart when they say, ‘Everything I need comes from him, so why not [wait as long as he says]?’ frequently it occurs in the case of commentaries that the writer misinterprets what the true meaning of a passage is, yet what he says may well be true. ‘This is true, but that’s not what the text says,’ is a rather common remark of one commentator that is demurring from the understanding of another’s comments.’ And this is probably the case here; while the translation of The Message is not a true translation, what it says may be true. What they seem to be trying to say is much better expressed by the apostle Paul when he has pointed out to the readers of his epistle to the church at Rome, after speaking of the glorious blessings of salvation, “If God is for us, who is against us? He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?’ since our salvation has so wondrously been freely provided by this God, may we not entertain every reason to wait patiently for Him to accomplish each and every one of His purposes; may we not wait in silence for Him to work; in His good and perfect time and in His good and perfect way? The Psalmist adds this as the ground for waiting in silence for God only, ‘from Him cometh my salvation.’ This sentiment he further elucidates beginning at the fifth verse where he instructs his own soul, as it were, ‘My soul, wait thou in silence for God only; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my high tower; I shall not be moved.’ Now if he would only listen to his own instruction; if he would only act upon the declared understanding of his expectation. It is always much easier said than done; this we all know from our own experience. Nonetheless, the exhortation is to wait upon God, and to wait in silence. 

    To wait in silence certainly does not imply absolute silence; we presume that the Psalmist would continue fervent in prayer and supplication unto God. The sort of silence spoken of, we infer, would likely allude to the absence of any complaining to God. Rather, the thing generally and sadly absent from the considerations of the saints, however, may be patience. These two things are often diametrically opposed one to another, are they not; that is, patience and complaining? It is even said to that apparent impatience expressed by those souls underneath the altar [Revelation 6] when they ‘cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the Holy and True, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ that they should rest yet a little time. The prophet cries out, and we often, with him, ‘Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence.’ But is it not quite relevant that we read only a few verses later in that sixty-fourth chapter of Isaiah, ‘from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides thee, who worketh for him that waiteth for him [italics mine]?’ We return to the question posed by The Message, ‘why not wait for him?’ Why should we not wait patiently upon God? Did He not wait patiently for us?

    Did He not exercise the utmost in patience, forbearance, and long-suffering toward us? And what if He had not done so? Did you or I respond the first time the gospel called us to leave our sins and come to Him through Christ Jesus? Was it not likely that we heard the pleas of family, friends, and preachers of the gospel on numerous occasions before ever we actually acknowledged the blood on our hands, and fled to the City of Refuge that God has provided for lost and undone sinners in order to escape the justice of the Avenger of Blood? Did God not patiently plant the signposts along the way, perhaps in some cases over a great length of time, to that only Refuge for the express purpose of their being our guides unto Christ when we recognized our helpless plight? Yea, did we not for a time despise ‘the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?’ to which the apostle Peter would add, ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ 2 Peter 3:9. The what if? should constrain the why not? What if God had not waited patiently upon us, and why not wait patiently upon both His perfect time and way, knowing and trusting that He does all things well?    

    Perhaps we have fallen into that snare so common to fallen man; that which God addressed in the fiftieth Psalm, when He has looked down upon our foolishness and declared, ‘Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself.’ May we wrest ourselves from that snare and put away such thoughts of God that are unworthy of Him. Even as we love Him because He first loved us, may we strive to be patient as He was patient with us? Moreover, even as He has called us to love others according to the love with which He has loved us, may we exercise the like patience toward others that we have received from Him? May we learn to take the time that we might have expended upon complaining, fretting, or being anxious, and put it to use rather in praying, meditating, reflecting, and trusting God to provide the answers we desire according to His great mercy and wisdom. 

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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