Daily Family Worship

Psalm 131: A Prayer of Humility

by | Jul 2, 2024

psalm 131

We can imagine that the shepherd-boy of Bethlehem – being suddenly trans-ferred from his lowly occupation to the dazzling glare and glitter of a court; and having his praises resounded, in song and dance, above those of King Saul – might be justly accused by the envious around him, “I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thine heart!” It would be difficult indeed for a person in such circumstances to not become haughty and arrogant, and lifted up by his position and success. This charge actually did proceed from the lips of one of David’s own brothers, who were probably mortified at his superiority over them and his designation for still higher posts; and so we may see at once how much of a wounded spirit, as well as a meek and forbearing one, was contained in his answer and defense. He enters at once upon the charge: “Lord, my heart is not haughty!” He immediately takes the reproach to the only One Who can search the heart. “Lord,” he says, “my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty. Even though You have anointed me as the future monarch of Israel, and have set me apart for high and honorable purposes, yet mine hour is not yet come. And until You, O Lord, bid me to act, and until You open and make plain my way – I do not exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me!” Well might the Apostle declare that a meek and quiet spirit is, in the sight of God, of great price! The Savior’s declaration was literally fulfilled in the case of David: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

The Psalmist aimed at nothing high or great; he was content in every condition which God allotted to him. Humble believers cannot think so well of themselves as others think of them. The love of the Lord reigns in the heart, and it will subdue self-love. Where there is a proud heart, there is commonly a proud look as well. To know God and our duty is education that is sufficiently high for us. It is our wisdom to not meddle with that which does not belong to us. David was well-reconciled to every condition that the Lord placed him in. He had been as humble as a little child that had been weaned, and he was far from aiming at high things; he was entirely submissive to the Lord, as the child is submissive to his mother. We, too, must pray for grace to become as humble as little children! (Matt. 18:3) Our hearts are naturally desirous of worldly things; we cry for them and are fond of them. But by the grace of God, a soul that is made holy is weaned from these things. A child is cross and fretful while he is being weaned; but soon he cares no longer for milk, and can bear stronger food. Thus does a converted soul quiet itself under the loss of that which it formerly loved; it grows easy, no matter what happens. The Psalmist concludes by drawing from his own experience, and recommending confidence in God to all the people of God. It is good to hope, and to quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord under every trial.

O Lord, we repent of times when we have thought more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. We pray that Your love may reign in our hearts, and subdue our self-love. Help us to always be looking to Jesus, until every faculty of our souls is humbled to the dust before You, and every power of our hearts goes forth in praises to You – the God of our salvation! Amen.

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