My salvation and my honor depend on God. He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:7-8)
On July 4, Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence adopted by the original thirteen colonies in 1776. The document stated the principles for which the Revolutionary War was being fought and which remain fundamental to our nation. The colonies resolved to be free and independent, no longer under allegiance to King George of England. And now is a good time to remember that Jesus’ followers swear lifetime allegiance to Him as our King and we are dependent on Him forever. Apart from God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) we are defenseless, poor, and vulnerable, so we count on the Lord to sustain us in this world and in the world to come. The whole Bible teaches this and Psalm 62 expresses that wonderfully.
I outline Psalm 62 like this:
- True Help Comes from King Jesus Alone (Verses 1-4)
- True Help Is Available from King Jesus at All Times (Verses 5-8)
- True Help Is Given by King Jesus Sovereignly (Verses 9-12)
I will deal with the first two points in this post and the last point in the next post.
True Help Comes from King Jesus Alone (Verses 1-4)
The Hebrew word for salvation in verse 1 is yeshuah, where the name Jesus comes from. It means deliverance, help, welfare, prosperity, security, and victory. It means God saves His people from sin, Satan, and all kinds of troubles. He doesn’t just bring us to Heaven. He helps us all along our walking with Him in this life. Psalm 2:12 says: “Blessed are all who take refuge in the Son of God.” Psalms 60 and 61 nearby point to Jesus the Messiah. So I interpret Psalm 62 as Messianic also.
Verses 1 and 2 say: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
David doesn’t write in easy times; he is being assaulted by enemies. They are trying to kick him down like a rickety fence. They tell lies about him and backstab him, so David appeals to God his faithful Savior. We must do the same whenever we are afflicted, attacked, rejected, or ridiculed. We need to run back to God by faith. He takes notice of all the events in our lives and He will not leave the guilty unpunished.1 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”2 Jesus protects us like the apple (pupil) of His eye and hides us in the shadow of His wings.3 We are super-safe in Christ.
David calls Jesus “my rock” in verses 2, 6, and 7. He may be thinking of Deuteronomy 32:4 written 400 years earlier. Moses says: “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.” In ancient times, large stones were used as foundations for buildings, and rocks symbolize strength, stability, and durability. Jesus may have also had Deuteronomy 32 in mind when He told His parable of “The Wise and Foolish Builders” in Matthew 7. Christ says that the foolish man built his house on sand, and when floods and storms beat against that house it caved in with a crash. Jesus says that’s what happens to people who hear God’s words and do not put them into practice. The Lord urges us to be wise people who built our lives on His solid rock foundation. The storms of life will beat against us also, but we will not fall. Jesus says we will survive and thrive when we hear God’s words and trust and obey Him.
In 1965, Bob Dylan released the song entitled “Like a Rolling Stone.” The chorus asks: “How does it feel? To be on your own, with no direction home, a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?” In 1976, Christian songwriter Larry Norman released a song called “The Rock That Doesn’t Roll.” The chorus says: “Jesus is good for the body and great for the soul. He’s the Rock that doesn’t roll.”
Psalm 62 and the rest of the Bible remind us that depending on Christ is the only safe way to make it through this fallen world. We must be joined to Him and walk with Him by faith as His precious sons and daughters. Then we can be still and rest in Christ. Jesus’ followers have peace knowing that He has the final say over our lives, not our human or Satanic accusers.
2. True Help Is Available from King Jesus at All Times (Verses 5-8)
Verse 5-6 are similar to verses 1-2, as David reminds himself that Jesus is a faithful Savior.
- He is faithful to provide food to those who fear Him.4
- He is faithful to receive all who seek Him.5
- He is faithful to hear and answer our prayers.6
- He is faithful to guide us all through our life.7
- He is faithful and just to forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness if we confess and forsake our sins.8
After remembering Christ’s faithfulness for himself, David goes on to encourage others. Verses 7-8 My salvation and my honor depend on God. He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
David calls Christ His refuge or fortress four times in this Psalm. A fortress is a strong defensive structure where people run in times of danger. Martin Luther wrote his hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” in 1527, the one of the worst years of his life. You can read about it in “The Weak Man Behind a Mighty Fortress” by Mark Galli.9 Battles were raging between groups of Christians, Luther fought extreme sickness and intense depression, and the bubonic plague had come to Wittenberg, Germany. Many people, but Luther stayed to minister to others. How did he do that?
Luther remembered the Bible truth that the Lord Jesus is not only our reliable Refuge, He is also our compassionate Elder Brother, eager for us to ask, seek, and knock on His door for help. He remembered the truth of Psalm 57:1, “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
I quote Hebrews 4:16 often and happily do it again: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” John Newton reminds us: “You are coming to a King, large petitions with you bring, for His grace and power are such none can ever ask too much.” Let us pray big prayers, attempt great things for God, relying on Him and laboring in His strength.10
Depending on Christ honors Him and is good for us. “Blessed and happy are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.”11
To be continued
Notes (various Bible translations): 1 Exodus 34:7. 2 1 Chron 16:9. 3 Psalm 17:8. 4 Psalm 111:5. 5 Deut 4:29. 6 John 14:14. 7 Psalm 48:14. 8 1 John 1:8-10; Prov 28:13. 9 christianhistoryinstitute.org. 10 Ephesians 3:20-21. 11 Jer 17:7.