Psalms 58-65 He will render to each one according to his works

From Psalms 58-65

19 Psalms Fragment

The Psalm we look at today draws upon concepts of salvation, refuge, trust and judgment. Once again David uses it to encourage the people to put their trust in the LORD.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

1 For God alone my soul waits in silence;

from him comes my salvation.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Ps 62.1-2)

In David’s life, there is none before God. The opening line reflects his confident trust in the LORD. When he is in trouble, he waits for the LORD to save him knowing he will. David will not be shaken because the LORD will not abandon him. David then turns his attention to sinners.

3 How long will all of you attack a man

to batter him,

like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.

They take pleasure in falsehood.

They bless with their mouths,

but inwardly they curse. Selah (Ps 62.3-4)

Quite often the salvation David spaks of is salvation from the wicked he seek to kill him or oppress the poor and needy. He has given a short list of ther behaviors. Interestingly, David mentions they take pleasure in falsehood. They are lying to people. Blessing and speaking well of people to their face, but cursing them in their hearts. Perhaps a subtle warning to us all to align what we say with what we think and feel.

5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,

for my hope is from him.

6 He only is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;

my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah (Ps 62.5-8)

In his context of present threat and danger, David waits for the LORD. He takes refuge in the LORD. Normally someone’s ‘refuge’ is a place where they go to for protection, security and comfort. It is defendable, such that if someone opposed them they would be okay if they resided in their refuge. The LORD is David’s refuge. He calls out to all peope to trust in the LORD, to reach out to him and to think of him as their refuge. Is the LORD your refuge?

9 Those of low estate are but a breath;

those of high estate are a delusion;

in the balances they go up;

they are together lighter than a breath.

10 Put no trust in extortion;

set no vain hopes on robbery;

if riches increase, set not your heart on them. (Ps 62.9-10)

People can think of money and wealth as their refuge. Their comfort and security. But these things will pass away. They are a breath, a delusion. David encourages his listeners not to trust deceitful gain or riches. David is a good example of someone who has been poor and rich. But he has always been with the LORD. David chooses the LORD as his refuge over this world’s riches.

11 Once God has spoken;

twice have I heard this:

that power belongs to God,

12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.

For you will render to a man

according to his work. (Ps 62.11-12)

Power and steadfast love (care for his covenant people) belong to the LORD. David himself has been encouraged by this from others. David views both of these attributes of the LORD with an eye on the future judgment. The LORD will render to each man according to his work. Consider how each person lives his life. The wicked seek wealth by dishonest means, they persecute the righteous, and oppress the poor. The outcome of their way of life will be bad.  On the other hand those who trust in the LORD, wait for his salvation and hide in him as their refuge live in a conpletely different manner. The outcome of their way of life will be entirely different.

Story of Jesus

In Romans Paul argues the LORD does not give preferential treatment to the Jews in the final judgment, but applies the same logic to the final destinies of Jews and Greeks.

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. (Rom 2.6-11)

Verse 6 of this passage is probably from Psalm 62. If we apply the overall context of Psalm 62 to the way those who ‘seek for glory, honor and immortality’ live, we know they also trust in the LORD, take refuge in him and wait for his salvation. Paul also refers to this salvation at the end of this section of Romans.

22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Rom 4.22-25)

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