Psalms 131

PSALM CXXXI

The psalmist professes his humility, and the peaceableness of

his disposition and conduct, 1, 2.

Exhorts Israel to hope in God, 3.

NOTES ON PSALM CXXXI

Some think that David composed this Psalm as a vindication of

himself, when accused by Saul's courtiers that he affected the

crown, and was laying schemes and plots to possess himself of it.

Others think the Psalm was made during the captivity, and that it

contains a fair account of the manner in which the captives

behaved themselves, under the domination of their oppressors.

Verse 1. Lord, my heart is not haughty] The principle of pride

has no place in my heart; and consequently the high, lofty, and

supercilious look does not appear in my eyes. I neither look up,

with desire to obtain, to the state of others, nor look down with

contempt to the meanness or poverty of those below me. And the

whole of my conduct proves this; for I have not exercised

myself-walked, in high matters, nor associated myself with the

higher ranks of the community, nor in great matters,

niphlaoth, wonderful or sublime things; too high for me,

mimmeni, alien from me, and that do not belong to a person in my

sphere and situation in life.

Verse 2. I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child] On the

contrary, I have been under the rod of others, and when chastised

have not complained; and my silence under my affliction was the

fullest proof that I neither murmured nor repined, but received

all as coming from the hands of a just God.

My soul is even as a weaned child.] I felt I must forego many

conveniences and comforts which I once enjoyed; and these I gave

up without repining or demurring.

Verse 3. Let Israel hope in the Lord] Act all as I have done;

trust in him who is the God of justice and compassion; and, after

you have suffered awhile, he will make bare his arm and deliver

you. Short as it is, this is a most instructive Psalm. He who acts

as the psalmist did, is never likely to come to mischief, or do

any to others.

ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIRST PSALM

I. The psalmist, having been accused of proud and haughty

conduct, protests his innocence, states his humble thoughts of

himself, and the general meekness of his deportment.

II. That his confidence was in God; in him he trusted, and

therefore was far from ambition.

III. And by his own example calls on Israel to trust in God as

he did.

I. He protests his humility.

1. There was no pride in his heart; and he calls God to witness

it: "Lord, my heart is not haughty."

2. There was no arrogance in his carriage: "Nor mine eyes

lofty."

3. Nor in his undertakings: "Neither do I exercise myself in

great matters." He kept himself within his own bounds and

vocation, and meddled not with state affairs.

II. What preserved him from pride was humility. He brought down

his desires, and wants, and views to his circumstances.

1. "Surely I have behaved and quieted myself." Have I not given

every evidence of my mild and peaceable behaviour? and I certainly

never permitted a high thought to rise within me.

2. I acted as the child weaned from his mother. When once

deprived of my comforts, and brought into captivity, I submitted

to the will of God, and brought down my mind to my circumstances.

III. He proposes his own example of humility and peaceableness

for all Israel to follow.

I. "Let Israel hope." Never despair of God's mercy, nor of his

gracious providence. The storm will be succeeded by fair and fine

weather.

2. "Let Israel hope in the Lord." Never content yourselves with

merely supposing that in the course of things these afflictions

will wear out. No; look to God, and depend on him, that he may

bring them to a happy conclusion.

Remember that he is Jehovah.

1. Wise to plan.

2. Good to purpose.

3. Strong to execute, and will withhold no good thing from them

that walk uprightly.

4. Trust from henceforth. If you have not begun before, begin

now.

5. And do not be weary; trust for ever. Your case can never be

out of the reach of God's power and mercy.

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