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.
Surely, I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
David writes in this psalm about a time in his life when he humbled himself—about a time when he deliberately chose to calm and quieten his soul.
Perhaps, David was writing about the time between being chosen to be king and actually being made king. During that time, he humbled himself and refused to retaliate in response to Saul’s persecution. Perhaps, these verses refer to the time David was fleeing from his son, Absalom. David humbled himself and said that if the Lord was through with him, that was fine.
David possessed an incredibly humble attitude about his life. God chose him to be king because He “was a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Even when David’s life was at stake, he was determined to do God’s will. David didn’t plead with God to make something happen. He was at peace with whatever the Lord desired.
Look at the difference between David’s attitude and the attitudes of Saul and Absalom. Saul spent most of his time as king in rebellion against God and tried to promote himself in any way he could. Absalom didn’t care about God’s will or his father. He loved himself more.
Who is the one person out of these three that God chose to be king? He chose the one with the humble heart. If you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, He will exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
Humbling yourself before the Lord gives you contentment no matter your circumstances. David didn’t like being persecuted but he trusted in the Lord. He knew His promise and waited on God’s timing. Trusting in the Lord and knowing we don’t have to be in control gives us peace no matter what we face in life.
There are things in life that are under our control, but there are things that are under God’s control. It takes wisdom to know the difference (James 4:7).
A little child doesn’t care about anyone or anything else. He only wants what he wants. The more he wants something the more he demands it. But the older he grows, the more he learns to control himself. This is what David referred to when he said “he had calmed and quieted his soul.” He didn’t demand his rights like Saul or Absalom demanded theirs. He behaved and quieted himself, which was a sign of maturity. David was clearly able to control his emotions, and so should we.
Jesus told the disciples in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled.” It is our responsibility to control our hearts, and it is also the power of the Holy Spirit that makes it possible. We can choose to “not let our hearts be troubled”—to not worry—to be content in whatever situation. This verse goes on to say, “Believe in God.” Believing in God is how we conquer our emotions. Placing our faith in Him gives us His power to deny our feelings.
Even in circumstances like they would experience, Jesus told his disciples to not let their hearts be troubled. Jesus’ statement reveals the authority we have over our emotions. Jesus would have never commanded His disciples to do something they were powerless to accomplish. No matter the circumstance of our lives, we can control our emotions.
If we let our feelings control us, it is almost impossible to later reign them in. Controlling our emotions is the very first thing to do in a crisis situation. Most battles are won or lost in the first few moments.
David humbled himself and trusted in the Lord. He placed his hope in His faithfulness. When our hope and confidence are in God, we act differently. We respond peacefully with maturity. We aren’t stressed trying to control things. We don’t take the responsibility for the outcome upon ourselves. We allow God to have responsibility. We place our faith in Him.
Our hope rests in the Lord.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher