Psalm 131: Humility

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore.

– Psalm 131 (ESV)

Do you remember the first time it truly hit you that God is…God? Like, the first time you realized that God is this Being so high and holy, that it surpasses all your comprehension? Maybe you heard in a sermon or read in a book how God is omnipotent, omnipresent, has no beginning or end, or outside of time and space, and the more you thought about who and what God is, your mind simply just couldn’t handle it. I can remember that time for me, at least.

If we stop and truly think about the nature and the essence of God, we begin to understand and see just how small and insignificant we are. What am I compared to God! I think the psalmist in Psalm 131 has had that same realization. He has been pondering the realities of God Almighty and is absolutely blown away by His majesty. Thus, the psalmist writes Psalm 131 and speaks out of great humility. He, in a sense, tells God that he is man, and God is God. Right in the first stanza, he says that he will not raise his eyes too high or his heart too much, as to think himself better than what he actually is. Rather, he will humbly stay lowly on the ground and, “not occupy [himself] with things too great and too marvelous for [him].”

The psalmist acknowledges the “bigness” of God, and we see further down in the psalm, that this fact brings comfort to his soul. He knows that God is in control, and can handle the big issues, and this allows him to have a calm and quiet soul. And I think that that is another point worth mentioning. We talk a lot about humility, and the need for it, but we typically stop there. We don’t mention the outcome of what happens when we seek humility. Here, in Psalm 131 at least, we see one blessing of humility, and that is peace. Because the psalmist understands his place in the universe, and knows God is in control, he is able to have a calm and peaceful soul. He can be restful at the end of his day. He can lay his head down on his pillow, and not have to worry. Why? Because he knows that God is in control. 

Friends, as we continue on through life, may we also seek the very humility that our psalmist has. A humility that recognizes that God is in control and we are not. May we then turn to praise Him and place our hope in Him as we see the psalmist plea for us to do.

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