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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

February 08 2024


Thursday February 8

“Like a Weaned Child…”

 

Psalm 131:1-3   A Song of Ascents.  Of David.

1 LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.

2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.

 

Psalm 131 is the twelfth of the fifteen “Ascent Songs” or “Pilgrim Psalms”. This is a psalm about humility. From the title we know it was written by David. If anyone in Israel had reasons to be proud, it was David. The eighth son of a common citizen, he began as a humble shepherd and yet became Israel's greatest king. A courageous soldier, a gifted general and tactician, and a sincere man of God, it was David who defeated Israel's enemies, expanded her boundaries, and amassed the wealth that Solomon used to build the temple. David was human, and like all of us, he was guilty of disobeying the Lord, but he was always repentant and sought God's merciful forgiveness. Except for a few lapses into selfishness and sin, David walked with the Lord in a humble spirit. In this brief psalm, he shares with us three essentials of a life that glorifies God and accomplishes His work on earth.

 

In verse 1, we first learn that we need to be honest and accept ourselves. We move toward maturity when we honestly accept who we are, understand what we can do, accept both and live for God's glory. Rejecting or hating ourselves, fantasizing about ourselves, and envying others are marks of immaturity. David had seen some of this kind of behavior in his own son Absalom as well as in King Saul. A proud heart refuses to face reality, a high look covers up hidden inadequacy, and arrogant ambition impresses some people but leads ultimately to embarrassing failure (Jer. 45:5). When you accept yourself and your lot and thank God for the way He made you, you do not need to impress people. They will see your worth and love you for who you are. Spoiled children want to be seen and heard and they get involved in things they cannot handle. David did not promote himself; it was all God's doing.

 

In verse 2, we should seek to have a humble heart and accept God's will. Hebrew children were weaned at ages three or four, and this experience marked the end of their infancy. But most children do not want to be deprived of their mother’s loving arms and satisfying breasts, and they feel rejected and unwanted. But after the crisis of birth, each child must eventually be weaned and learn the first lesson in the school of life: growing up involves painful losses that can lead to wonderful gains. Maturing people know that life is a series of gains and losses, and they learn how to use their losses constructively.

 

If children are to grow up and not just grow old, they must be able to function apart from mother. This means weaning, going to school, choosing a vocation, and probably marrying and starting a new home. They must learn that there is a difference between cutting the apron strings and cutting the heartstrings and that these separations do not rob them of mother's love. God's goal for us is emotional and spiritual maturity (1 Cor. 13:11; 14:20; Eph. 4:13-15), and God sometimes has to wean us away from good things in order to give us better things. Abraham had to leave his family and city, send Ishmael away, separate from Lot, and put Isaac on the altar. Joseph had to be separated from his father and his brothers in order to see his dreams come true. Both Jacob and Peter had to be weaned from their own self-sufficiency and learn that faith means living without scheming. Weaning can be painful but is necessary in life!

 

The child that David described wept and fretted but eventually “calmed” down and accepted the inevitable. The word describes the calming of the sea or the farmer's leveling of the ground after plowing (Isa. 28:25). Instead of emotional highs and lows, the child developed a steady uniform response, indicating a giant step forward in the quest for maturity. Successful living means moving from dependence to independence, and then to interdependence, always in the will of God. To accept God's will in the losses and gains of life is to experience that inner calm that is so necessary if we are to be mature people.

 

Finally in verse 3, we must place our hope in the LORD as we anticipate the future (v. 3). Infants do not realize that their mother's decision is for their own good, for weaning sets them free to meet the future and make the most of it. The child may want to keep things as they are, but that way lies immaturity and tragedy. When we fret over a comfortable past, we only forfeit a challenging future. In the Christian vocabulary, hope is not "hope so" or “wishful thinking”. It is joyful anticipation of what the Lord will do in the future, based on His changeless promises. Like the child being weaned, we may fret at our present circumstances, but we know that our fretting is wrong.

 

Today we need to remember that our present circumstances are the womb out of which new blessings and opportunities will be born (Rom. 8:28).

 

God bless!

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