God’s word is meant to be experienced. Read, pray, sing, study, memorize, meditate upon and live the words of God. Try this with Psalms 131.
Experience humility. David was a shepherd boy when God called him to be king of Israel. It would be many years before he would sit on the throne, but he was perfectly content. He set pride aside and went through the experience of humility. When the time was right, he gladly served as a man after God’s own heart.
Of the seven things God hates that are listed in Proverbs 6:16-19, the first on the list is “a proud look”. Like David, we must first humble ourselves. Jesus taught His apostles to humble themselves as a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4). He set the example for His apostles when at the last Passover with them he washed their feet (John 13). The apostle Paul warned every person “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Peter wrote: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).
Experience submission. It does not come without an inner struggle. The last two words anyone would use to describe a lot of us would be calm and quiet. David takes a child as his model. Just like the weaned child rests content at its mother’s side, no longer clamoring for her breasts, so he, weaned of his ambitions, rests content, to be at the side of his God. In the same way, as the children of the Lord, we must learn submission.
Consider the ministry of Jesus. When He left the glory of heaven to lay in a manger in Bethlehem; when He fasted and prayed forty days and nights in the wilderness; when He went out into a desert place often to pray. That’s why when the time was right our Lord was able to steadfastly set His face toward Jerusalem; when on trial He as a sheep before his shearer was dumb; when in the garden He prayed, “Not My will, but Yours be done”; when on the cross He drank the cup of submission giving His perfect life for us all.
There is nothing too difficult, too hard, too demanding that God has called us to do, when we have gone through the experience of submission. We are content by the side of God.
Experience hope. David hoped in God at night watching his sheep, when he slew Goliath, when he hid from King Saul, when he fled from Absalom, when he confessed his sin with Bathsheba. His hope was everlasting. And this, he recommends to all his people: “O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever” (Psalms 131:3).
Hear the prophet Jeremiah: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). We will be happy, strong, and productive when we put our hope in God.
Before, you go into the world to be a light for Christ, you open the Bible in the home of some lost soul, you go into the assembly of worship, you go home to be with your family, you go to work or school, you get up to face each new day – experience Psalms 131.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135