I have been preaching this summer on the “Songs of Ascents”—Psalms 120-134. I felt months ago that God was leading me to preach through these Psalms. As has happened many times in my preaching ministry, I now sense that God has prepared us for the Flood through this series. Sunday, August 14, I was supposed to preach on Psalm 131. Since we were not able to meet that Sunday, I preached from this text Sunday. God knew.
I titled the sermon “A Short Lesson that Seems to Take a Long Time to Learn.” Go Read Psalm 131. The Psalm is only three verses. Each verse seems to make a statement and each of the statements build upon each other.
In verse 1, we see the pride that we all need to lose. The first step in really trusting God is to lose our pride—to come to the end of ourselves. I have sensed people coming to the end of themselves as they view devastation everywhere.
The short lesson that seems to take a lifetime to learn is that there will always be things that I want to change, but I cannot change; things I want to do that I cannot do; things I want to know, but I cannot know; things I want to control, but are beyond my control.
In verse 2 we see the peace that we all need to have. Notice the way this peace is introduced. “Instead” links back to verse 1. Only when I have relinquished pride in my life, can I calm myself in God’s peace. Understand, we can’t do verse 2, if we have not done verse 1. There is a link to trusting God and not trusting ourselves.
Jesus used a similar metaphor as the Psalmist. As usual, the disciples were arguing about greatness. “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus gave them an object lesson. He called a little child and had the child stand among them. Then He said, “I assure you. Unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-5)
Now in verse three, having seen the pride we must lose and the peace we must have, we see the position we all need to take.
If we have seen in verse 1 the conviction to lose pride and in verse 2 the contentment when we are at rest with God, now in verse 3, we see a simple conclusion. Put your hope in the Lord. And it comes in the way of an invitation. “Israel, put your hope in the Lord.” We could say today, “Louisiana, put your hope in the Lord.”
Note well, that this is both now and forever. I have often thought how tragic it is for us to put our hope in the Lord for eternity, but not be willing to put our trust in Him now.
Put your hope in the Lord Today!
(This post is based on the message “A Short Lesson that Seems to Take a Long Time to Learn” which you can watch at fbclaf.org/video)