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There are times when our head is telling us that God loves us and has it all under control, but life just doesn’t line up with that. David was one who knew how that works. So was Jesus. Some escape into fantasy or mindlessness to find peace. Christians learn to be still and focus on who God is and who he says we are. Our peace and dignity rest in him. It takes practice.

Dan: [0:01] Hi everyone, and welcome to Training for Life Redeemed. I’m Dan, I’m here with my dad, Dr. David Jackson, and we’re looking at Psalm 62 today. We’re going to dive into that, but first, Dad’s going to read it for us.


0 For the director

According to Jeduthun.

A song of David.

1 My whole being is still, alone before God,

My salvation comes from him.

2 He alone is my eyrie and my salvation,

my secure loft.

I will not be shaken greatly!

3 How long will you keep charging at a man?

He is like a leaning wall;

A fence being pushed over.

All of you will be killed.

4 Surely they plan to thrust him from his high position.

They delight in a lie.

With their mouths they bless but inwardly they despise. Selah.

5 Be still, my whole being, alone before God,

Because my hope comes from him.

6 He alone is my eyrie and my salvation,

My secure loft.

I will not be shaken.

7 My salvation and my dignity are based on God

The eyrie of my strength.

My refuge is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times, people.

Pour out your heart before him.

God is our refuge. Selah

9 The descendants of mankind are only a vapour.

The descendants of any man are a lie.

Weighed in the balances,

they are altogether a vapour.

10 Don’t put your trust in extortion.

Do not be futile through robbery.

Do not do what is unprofitable,

when strength will bear fruit.

Do not set your heart on such.

11 Once God spoke.

Twice I heard this,

that strength belongs to God.

12 And to you O Lord is covenant faithfulness,

for you, you repay a man according to his work.


Dan: [1:58] Well, Dad, I think I want to start by just focusing on the change of one word in a section that repeats itself. Oh, yes. We don’t know much about the context, really. It just says it’s a song of David. So anything we talk about there is really just hypothetical, made-up stuff. So we’ll just move on.

[2:16] So the first bit of the song repeats itself again later in the song.

And it’s this whole section of, you know, my whole being is still alone before God.

My salvation comes from Him.

He alone is my eyrie, is that right? eyrie. eyrie. And my salvation, my secure loft, I will not be shaken.

And the first one has, I will not be shaken greatly. And then later he just says, I will not be shaken.

And so he’s removed the word greatly there.

Now, greatly, I presume, has to be applied to the word shaken, by how the Hebrew is structured around this. It’s very emphatic.

So there’s then a shift, I guess, as David’s doing this. And I love this, because it’s something that happens all the time in prayer.

When you start praying, you’re like, oh, this is really sucky, I’m struggling, help me do not struggle. And as you get towards the end of the prayer, you’re like, you’ve moved on to a point where you’re like, God, you’ve got this.

[3:12] And there’s that element of God speaking to your heart as you’re praying, and it’s going, oh God, you’re all right. Yeah. That’s why you’re coming here in this prayer.

[3:22] So I love seeing this happen in David.

David: The song reminded me of a book I used to teach a class for kids who were emotionally disturbed and behavior disordered, which is a nice way of saying it was chaos and bedlam, and very, very destructive and hurtful. These kids had had terrible lives.

So, we’re in a classroom and kids are doing damage to themselves and others, and you’re trying to sit down and work this through with them so that they can rethink what they’re doing. And there was this great little book that was put together by a psychologist, that was a program that the counsellor brought in we wanted to use. And I didn’t think, actually, it was a secular book, it didn’t really have any answers, but the title was great. The first one was called Talk Sense to Yourself.

There was a book that came later that was a lot more amusing called, He Hit Me Back First.

But it’s where you do, you talk sense to yourself. And through these songs, God is giving us, that process of how to do that. And so David starts out saying, you know, I’ll get my theology right. I’m not going to be shaken by this. And then reality cuts in and you go, well, greatly. It is shaking me, that’s why I’m in this song.

[4:52] This is not a free ride in a little bubble. It’s hard. And so you have this talk sense to yourself. Let’s start, let’s put our theology on the table.

And as we put the theology on the table, we say, my head says that, but my emotion is over there, and my body’s over here making dumb choices. How do I bring the three together? Let’s start with the head.

So, when I approach a psalm like that, one of the things that concerns me.

[5:30] And this is my criticism of church life, I guess, I’ll ask the question, are we giving our people enough theology so that when they try to talk sense to themselves, they know the word of God well enough to know what that looks like?

I observe that we’re not so much doing Bible study as we’re doing, they call them growth groups, but growth groups are more social and relational. I hate that phrase, it’s all about relationships, because it isn’t. It’s all about the glory of God. So we’re finding people who don’t know the word of God and are struggling with huge, huge issues. So talk sense to myself, I don’t know what to say because I don’t know my Bible. And this guy does.

And so when he talks sense to himself, you just watch this disjunction.

My head, when it does know the truth, then has to pull my emotion in and bring my emotion, my behavior, in tune with what I know is true.

So he starts off and says, I won’t be greatly shaken. That’s what the Bible says.

[6:53] What’s my experience? Mm, not so much. So, as he talks sense to himself, get down to the second round of this and he’s a lot more assertive, OK, I can do this.

Dan: In between he’s actually talking about the enemies, who aren’t necessarily named here but probably Saul at this point, could be others, but the enemies are basically trying to push him down.

He actually talks about trying to push over a fence, which for me brings back imagery of an army line and as they meet together and one is trying to knock the other one over.

It’s a crowd pushing. Yeah, that’s right.

And so he’s telling his enemies and he talks about his enemies and then speaks about his enemies to other people and he says, you need to really trust in God, essentially, is what he’s going to come out to.

[7:50] I feel like this is real prayer, like one of the things that I like to see a lot of. In fact, we actually had a guy come out recently from the States to our church. He ran a thing for a week and then on Sunday he came over to our place, because our GC were meeting up, our gospel community, and then we broke up into our DNA, which are like our boys and our girls, smaller groups, accountability type stuff.

He was very, very impressed in how real we actually were with each other. He talked about how he often goes to these kind of groups and you talk to people about, what sins are they struggling with and they’re like, I don’t really have any that I’m struggling with. They’re so surface level and that’s just not real.

 [8:35] And the Bible is the opposite of that. When you read through these prayers, we don’t have prayer, I get frustrated when I’m leading a group and we’re collecting prayer points from people and someone’s like, I don’t really have anything to pray for and you’re like, dude, you’re not thinking enough about your life or you’re not sharing enough about your life with us for us to be able to pray for you because there’s always stuff in your life that needs prayer.

[8:58] And if you’re going to pray. [9:00] In a real way, particularly with other Christians. Other Christians it can be hard because you have to open up and share your actual life with them. But this guy from America, because our group was doing really well, particularly that day, he was just like, this is amazing to see you guys so deep. And we went deep really quickly with the group because we’re all parents, we all have kids, and so we’re like, once you get the time, you’re like, right, we’re not wasting the time. We’re We’re not going to sit here and flatterly talk about bits and pieces first. We’re going to get straight down to business.

[9:32] And this is, when you read the prayers, the psalms, or even the prayers that happen in narrative and all that kind of stuff, they’re not surface level prayers of, you know, oh my cousin’s sick and, you know, it’d be nice if we could manage our time a little bit better.

They’re real, you know, life’s hard, we’re in trenches, whether it be spiritual warfare, real persecution, and you get these real prayers that come out of it.

David: I had a comment just this last Sunday, I mean we have excellent preaching, but there’s one individual who was at our church who’s been through some pretty traumatic experiences, and she came out of church at the end of Sunday and just said, I wish, how was it, I wish I wish they wouldn’t keep saying the same thing over and over again in the same words.

[10:30] And part of my concern is that I, when I particularly, I mean it’s hit me translating these psalms. [10:39] Like all the different words for a refuge, there must be six of them in the Psalms, and the Bible translations sort of water them all down to one. So the idea of being up in an eyrie, which is not a word we use often, that’s where an eagle puts its nest, is an eyrie. It’s on the side of a cliff where nobody can get at you.

There’s a fortress, there’s something with a wall around it and battlements. There’s words for on high, inaccessible, all these different ways of describing what it is to be safe.

And somehow we sort of muddle it all down. And you end up with these cliches.

And cliches are really annoying when you’re in pain. So David is sitting here basically spilling his guts, not the sort of language you use on a polite church service, yeah?  [11:38] And that, I think, is one of the issues that we have in this song. You watch him talking sense to himself and there’s a reality here. And that reality brings us to, like this concept here, he talks about his dignity.

[11:58] You know, that war. One of the things that I didn’t realize, but when you read through the David narratives in the Bible, one of his biggest problems was what people were saying. It wasn’t so much the rocks and the spears that were being physically thrown at him, it was the fact that people were out there in the masses talking about him. And so when you watch 1 Samuel 13, 15, No, not those chapters. Sorry, got it wrong. 22, 24, somewhere in there.He… When Saul comes to kill him and he cuts off his robe, or he takes his water pot and his spear.

[12:45] He doesn’t say, just why are you killing me? He says, these are the evidence that what people are saying isn’t true. Now, I hadn’t realized that before. David’s biggest problem was that a mass of people were saying, David wants power. David is out for himself. David is trying to overthrow the king. David is a traitor, you can’t trust him. They were slandering God’s anointed. And it was the false accusers that were the threat, not Saul. Saul’s only problem was that Saul believed all this stuff. The reality is he probably started it.

But you see the same thing in Jesus. When Jesus was convicted at his trial, they brought two false witnesses forward who accused him falsely.

And so David is going through this and saying, these accusations, this slander, is just a growing wall of pressure that’s being brought to bear to bring me down like a wall.

[13:50] And where’s my dignity? Now, if people are saying these terrible things about you, where you’ve lost your dignity.

[14:00] It’s easy to, I mean, we’ve just passed a law that says if somebody is accused of a sexual assault, they can publish the guy’s name before he’s convicted. Okay, because we all want to know where all the pedophiles and the sex offenders are. And I understand that, but the problem with it is You’ve now started this huge wall of gossip and slander if the guy might be innocent.

And it’s as if we’ve already made up our mind, all you’ve got to do is accuse and obviously he’s guilty. And we’ve got problems with only 5% of rapists’ accusations get convicted, but the other 95% percent are now going to be named. And 5% of them might be innocent.

And David’s innocent. And this wall of slander is just, and he asks, where’s my dignity? And my dignity, my salvation, and my dignity are based on God.

[15:13] So push the wall down by all means, but you don’t push God down. And my dignity’s in him. So you can trash my reputation, that you don’t trash me.

Daniel: Yeah, and that’s a shift too of, you’re not relying on yourself either for your own dignity, for anything. David here is going through a process where he’s very clearly setting out that you need to rely on God, right? When he speaks to the congregation, he says, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart before Him.

God is our refuge. Yeah.

And that, when you’re looking at what’s happening, he’s got armies chasing him, all that kind of stuff. If he’s in a stronghold and whatever, He’s saying, no, this stronghold is not good enough. God is the one that’s going to keep me safe. I need to rely on Him. I need to come to Him. Because that’s the only way that my enemies are going to be held at bay. And even if, because David doesn’t know the end of his story, even if they do come through, it is still God who is the one who has covenant faithfulness, which there’s not really any good translation for the word. It’s just the absolute level of love and commitment and faithful working out of what he said he will do.

[16:29] And I think that for this kind of situation and for the situations that happen for Christians who are suffering. Is to then know that regardless of what happens here on earth, you’re talking about people who 5% get convicted, there might be 5% that are innocent that didn’t get convicted, and at least 90% who probably were guilty but didn’t get convicted.

David: I don’t think they got away with it. That’s right.

Dan: And so we rely on this, we rely on the fact that God is faithful.

David: And he will deliver justice. That’s right. And he will vindicate the innocent.

And so one of the things that I, we have this reliance, We worry in different ways by gender, I think.

[17:14] One of the things we observe in high school is the year eight tissue brigade, girls who go into complete meltdown because of what somebody said. It can be little, to a bloke’s perspective, it can be little, but to a year eight girl, it’s huge. And what people think, my appearance, all those sort of things. They’re incredibly powerful forces.

Blokes don’t get it, we misunderstand, but we do get what other blokes say about us. [17:48] And hurtful as all that may be, the solution to that is to go back and say, well, there’s what people may do out here, what does God say?

Does he say I’m useless? Does he say I’m garbage? Does he say I look like a dog? What does God say? Where is my dignity?

This affects us in terms of being believers in the world, because when people take away our dignity, that’s a way of manipulating us to be like them, So we conform, you know, if I lose my dignity because I got the wrong brand of phone.

[18:35] You know, my phone hasn’t been updated for 10 years, I’m obviously a dag, so I have to go out and buy your kind of phone so that you will like me and all this sort of stupidity that’s marketing.

[18:49] I was talking to a, well, a bishop, okay? And this bishop was telling me, he’s Anglican, that we have to have liturgy. By that he means the prayer book and the robes and all that stuff in church. Because if we don’t have liturgy, people won’t recognize that we are a mainstream church. They’ll think we’re a cult.

[19:19] Just let that sink in for a minute. We have to be a mainstream church, otherwise people won’t respect us. They’ll think we’re a cult.

[19:34] Well, you look at that from a minute ago. What is the reputation of the mainstream church? The mainstream church stands for nothing. The mainstream church has been bullied into going with the flow of the culture.

Where was Jesus? Was he in the mainstream church? Or where was David?

Derros That’s where we belong. And as a result, we go to all the other derros and bring the good news that Jesus redeems our dignity.

He redeems who we are. And so I think we go back to that first line, when David’s talking sense to himself, perhaps in the panic, perhaps in the, just the washing machine feeling of how things are going. And he just says, be still.

[20:40] And that’s a wonderful word. Just be still. It’s a bit awkward in the Hebrew, be still my nefesh. People translate it as be still my soul. So my body is madly vibrating and somewhere in here there’s a little container called my soul, and we’re trying to calm that down.

Nefesh is the whole person. Be still my life, my person, me.

I’ve got to bring my whole self just to stop and settle because God is my refuge and he’s got this and he’s my dignity and all these other external things.

They’re just part of the story. But I can be still.

And I think the picture of that is Jesus in the boat. He’s asleep. There’s been an earthquake. The Sea of Galilee is the earthquake. There’s a roaring wind sucking through. The waves are like nothing these fishermen have ever seen. They think think they’re going to die, and they’re amazed Jesus is asleep.

And they go over and wake him up, and he says, what are you waking me up for?

We’re all going to die. Oh, shut up, be still. Goes back to sleep.

[22:01] Who’s in charge here?

[22:05] My refuge is in him.

And that wonderful be still sense is almost a command just to stop and let that reality sink in. But yeah, the world is pushing my wall over. Yeah.

Dan: Well guys, that brings us to the end of this episode. If you would like to come and grab the study notes to go deeper, please head over to 125.

I almost said 62 then, that’s the chapter of Psalms where it was, the song.

If you’re enjoying this, please hit the subscribe button. Come and join us again when we go through Psalm 63, and have a fantastic week.