Sunday, February 6, 2011


O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.


Came across this Psalm today and it amazed me. Of all the books in the bible, I think the psalms read most like diary entries: cries for help, shouts of joy and delight and the sounds of God's people returning to him in penitence, acknowledging the need for His grace. Psalm 131 is a gem, a tiny 9 liner in the middle of the book of spawned the sprawling psalm 119 and the beautiful psalm 23.

When I first read it, I thought it was a spoof. Are you kidding me? David the man of God writing that his heart 'is not lifted up'? That he hasn't been thinking of great and marvelous things of God? I looked it up and people, it was for reals. This psalm is really and truly from the bible and written by King David, father of Solomon.

I have a confession to make. In the last few weeks, I've been horrendously distracted from my bible study and regular sleep by an iPhone game and I'm roundly ashamed. It's only now that I'm returning to my regular programme of disciplined study, work, exercise and sleep but even so, all in I've lost a few weeks of my life.

So when I read this, I thought, yeah me too. I haven't been raising my eyes to God or lifting up my heart. But like an errant child, I returned to hope in God, glad that he neither slumbers nor sleeps.

It also reminded me of this CS Lewis quote:

" Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."(The Weight of Glory, 26)

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