Your Tone Is Showing
For God alone my soul waits in silence;From Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation,My defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened. How long will you attack a manSo that you may murder him, all of you,Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? They consult only to throw him down from his high position [to dishonor him];They delight in lies.They bless with [the words of] their mouths,But inwardly they curse. Selah. For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him,For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation;My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged. On God my salvation and my glory rest;He is my rock of [unyielding] strength, my refuge is in God. Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people;Pour out your heart before Him.God is a refuge for us. Selah. Men of low degree are only a breath (emptiness), and men of [high] rank are a lie (delusion).In the balances they go up [because they have no measurable weight or value];They are together lighter than a breath. Do not trust in oppression,And do not vainly hope in robbery;If riches increase, do not set your heart on them. God has spoken once,Twice I have heard this:That power belongs to God. Also to You, O Lord, belong lovingkindness and compassion,For You compensate every man according to [the value of] his work.
Guideposts magazine carried the story of a six-year old girl who couldn’t get the words straight when recording the greetings on the family’s telephone answering machine. After several attempts- the same mistake being made each time- the mom and dad gave up and let this inverted message instruct the callers, “Please leave your tone at the end of the message.”
In this psalm, David leaves his tone in a situation which had brought him great stress.
Psalm 62 records a time when David had difficult persons in his life to afflict great pressure. These individuals “pounded” on him so much that they considered him a “tottering fence” ready to collapse with their next blow. The treatment inflicted was two-faced: “They take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse(verse 4).
Maybe there are those such as this in your life- someone whose actions bring about hurt by deceit masked by smooth speech. The deep injury received through such deception, may find us simply overwhelmed with anger. At such times, God’s presence and comfort appear almost nonexistent. At such times, we tend to focus on nothing except the feelings of rejection or betrayal. But a calmer day is coming on that day when God becomes larger to us than the injury we’ve received and when we focus our attention more upon Him than those who have wronged us.
Perhaps in the first days or hours of hurt, we may not feel like praying the opening words of Psalm 62: “My soul finds rest in God alone.” At such times, we feel no rest- only anger, anxiety, depression, or denial. There is no sense of having a rock to lean on or a fortress in which to hide. Rather the picture we seem to view is one of exposure in a very open and unprotected place where we appear to be the rich target for arrows, bullets, or stones.
David gives us the tone to follow in our difficulty: Speak the truth of God into the face of your adversity. “My salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”(verses 1&2)
George Wood shares the following:
“I have never been blessed with athletic prowess. My physical education class in my freshman year of college required that I learn to wrestle. I lived in mortal fear of my first match. I remember standing in the corner of the mat looking across to my opponent and thinking, “He is going to kill me.”
I also thought, “Rather than cower here, at the sound of the bell I should run across the mat and attack him.” To his and my surprise, I grabbed him bodily, tripping him to the mat and falling on top of him. It was the fastest win on record in the class- all of six seconds from the bell to the pin. When my opponent and I stood up, we both began laughing. It was so unexpected. He should have beaten me, and we both knew it. I had won on a fluke. But was it a fluke? My attitude before the bell sounded had determined the outcome.
Psalm 62 tells us that David’s focus on his disturbing circumstances are sandwiched between two statements of trust.
In verses 1&2, David says, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” However in verses 5-8, the second words of confidence begins not with a testimony bur with a self-admonition: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.” The differences in the wording are interesting to note.
Most of us experience mood swings when we face trouble. In Psalm 62, when David begins, his heart is at peace and resting in God. But when he begins thinking about his enemy, his adversity, restlessness and anger become stirred up and his rest is disturbed. Now, once again, he must get hold of himself and find the right tone again. As he does so, David extends his admonition with: “My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”(verses 7&8)
Then David turns his words to those who can learn from his experience. As with him, we should be on the lookout for how our own testimonies in our trials can be of help to others.
The chasing of economic or social status mean nothing(verse 9). If we must harm someone to gain something for ourselves, then we have trusted “in extortion” and taken “pride in stolen goods”(verse 10).
What’s the bottom line? Verses 11&12 tell us that God is strong and loving- the very two qualities we doubt most when in the most difficult moments of a trial. Since He rewards each person according to what they have done, the most important thing I can do in adversity is to trust Him. My tone(attitude) reflects the measure of our trust.
Trust doesn’t require understanding nor does it require the absence of doubts or questioning. Trust is choosing to rely on the character of God even in the darkest moments of adversity. While faith may move mountains, trust is the strongest anchor that holds in the storm. And we need both.