Calm and Quiet Your Soul

Psalm 131

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 26, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. Psalms 120–134 are Songs of Ascents or Songs of Degrees, because
    1. these were psalms that the ancient Israelites
    2. recited as they ascended the hills to Jerusalem where they would worship.
      1. One psalm leads into the next one.
      2. Psalm 130 leads into Psalm 131.
  2. Psalm 130 shows the desperation of the psalmist
    1. for God to hear his prayers, and
    2. that God would forgive his sins.
      1. The psalmist said that he would wait on the Lord, for
      2. in God’s word he would hope.
        1. He encouraged Israel to hope in the Lord, because
        2. in the Lord we find forgiveness.
  3. Psalm 131 takes the idea of hope and
    1. magnifies it,
    2. showing just how much he hoped in the Lord.


  1. Psalm 131.0 | Ascending to Jerusalem

    0 A Song of Ascents. Of David.

    1. Why would a Jew ascend the hills to Jerusalem?
    2. Why do we carve out time from our schedules to gather with the saints?
      1. The Lord meant everything to David and
      2. the same Lord means everything to us.
        1. Can you imagine living without Him?
        2. How do people live without having the Lord as their hope?
    3. David then showed why he hoped in the Lord and not in himself.
  2. Psalm 131.1 | Some Things Are Beyond Us

    1 LORD, my heart is not haughty,
    Nor my eyes lofty.
    Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
    Nor with things too profound for me.

    1. There is
      1. a place for man and
      2. a place for God.
        1. David wanted the Lord to know
        2. that he did not try to take God’s place.
          1. David knew his place and
          2. he was content with it.
            1. With his heart, his affections,
              1. he did not become arrogant and
              2. try to take things upon himself that were God’s prerogative.
            2. With his eyes,
              1. he did not seek things
              2. that were out of his place as a man.
    2. Think about who made this declaration!
      1. Think of the things that he wrote.
      2. Think of his exploits as a warrior.
      3. David was a sevenfold genius:
        1. Music
        2. Knowledge
        3. Combat
        4. Poetry
        5. Faith
        6. Leadership
        7. Family
          1. Yet, in all that he did and was,
          2. he glorified Yahweh God.
            1. He did deal with great things, but
            2. not beyond what humans should do.
              1. David had a heart like God, but
              2. David did not try to be God or to do God’s duties.
      4. David did not seek to be king, but the Lord put him in that position.
    3. In Jeremiah 45, you will find the Lord speaking to Baruch,
      1. the one who took dictation from Jeremiah,
      2. telling him not to seek great things for himself:

        4 “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go”’” (Jeremiah 45.1–5).
    4. Job 42 shows that Job learned from God’s rebuke:

      2 “I know that You can do everything,
      And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
      3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
      Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
      Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
      (Job 42.2–3)
    5. What David said next in Psalm 131
      1. will show what he meant in verse 1.
      2. Listen to David’s
  3. Psalm 131.2 | Calm and Quiet Your Soul

    2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    Like a weaned child with his mother;
    Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

    1. Eventually the mother decides that her child needs weaning.
      1. The child may not necessarily like the weaning, but
      2. in time the child learns that it can go on without the nursing,
        1. although the child still cherishes his mother.
        2. The child still wants to sit on his mother’s lap.
          1. Still wants to be held.
          2. Still has a bond with the woman who nursed him.
    2. One commentator said:

      “God’s goal for us is emotional and spiritual maturity…and God sometimes has to wean us away from good things in order to give us better things. Abraham had to leave his family and city, send Ishmael away, separate from Lot, and put Isaac on the altar…Joseph had to be separated from his father and his brothers in order to see his dreams come true. Both Jacob and Peter had to be weaned from their own self-sufficiency and learn that faith means living without scheming. The child that David described wept and fretted but eventually calmed down and accepted the inevitable” (The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: OT, page 1032).
    3. The commentator said again:

      “Most children naturally resist weaning because they want to continue enjoying the special attention of mother and the security it brings” (Warren Wiersbe, Bible Commentary: Old Testament, page 400).
    4. So David saw his relationship with the Lord.
      1. The Lord began David’s life and
      2. He would continue David’s life, but
        1. he had to go through steps of maturity, and
        2. each time it was improvement in life,
          1. although it may not have seemed like it at the time, and
          2. he may have fought it.
  4. Psalm 131.3 | The Key: Hoping in the Lord

    3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
    From this time forth and forever.

    1. The Lord had taken care of everything
      1. up to that point in time,
      2. therefore, David would put his hope in the Lord for the future.
        1. David wanted the same thing for the people of God.
        2. Whatever you have found with the Lord, don’t you want it for the church?

          “If Israel wishes to be great ‘from henceforth and for ever,’ she must leave herself in the Lord’s hands, and wait for the lord’s time and way to magnify her” (A. R. Fausset, page 385).
    2. Listen to David.
      1. He told Israel to hope in the Lord
      2. from that time forth and forever.
        1. Make the decision now for all time.
        2. As Christians we should do the same thing.
          1. Make the decision today for all time
          2. that you will hope in the Lord.
            1. This is what I mean.
            2. Take the example of attending the worship services.
              1. Some Christians go through the decision every Sunday
              2. on whether to go to services or to do something else.
                1. When you became a Christian
                2. that should have also been a decision
                  1. what you would do for the rest of your Sundays.
                  2. That is what I did.


  1. Some things are beyond us.
    1. Deuteronomy 29 shows
      1. that some things belong to the Lord and
      2. that some things belong to us:

        29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29.29).
    2. Be content for it to be that way.
  2. Therefore,

    5 Commit your way to the LORD,
    Trust also in Him,
    And He shall bring it to pass.
    (Psalm 37.5)

    Do not be wise in your own opinion (Romans 12.16).

    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.6–7).

  3. Do these things and then
    1. remind yourself constantly
    2. that you have placed your hope in the Lord.
    3. You will be tempted to keep thinking as you were before.
      1. Fight back and remind yourself what you told the Lord and
      2. what you placed or cast upon Him.
  4. Success can make us have the opposite spirit of David.
    1. Second Chronicles 26.16

      16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chronicles 26.16).
    2. Second Chronicles 32.25

      25 But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32.25).
    3. Do not commit the sins of Uzziah and Hezekiah.