This short Psalm is brief, but powerful in the significance of its message. It contains an implied promise of a peace that few in this world appear to experience – even when asleep! What is the nature and quality of the peace discovered by David?
The words ‘with’ and ‘within’ are literally ‘upon’. The child is perhaps lying on the mother’s lap, but is weaned, not anxious for milk from the breast. It’s needs are satisfied and it is mature enough to not fret over being fed. Now that we have rejected pride and haughtiness and have our hope in God (v3), we have no fears. Therefore peace is ours. True peace, not false hope, or the folly of believing there will be no further trials in this life, but a settled conviction that whatever happens God has our best interests at heart and that our soul is safe,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
We are at peace when we accept God’s terms for peace. God commanding and us responding. These terms are terms of love, but they are terms of total and unconditional surrender,
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:31–33 NIV)
This surrender is to the only one who can give us real peace. In surrendering to God we are placing ourselves under His benevolent and all-powerful protection. But does this make us passive? Surrender seems that way.
Some Christians seem to think that the antidote to pride is to become passive. Since we should not be think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3) we should play safe and think too lowly of ourselves. Well, that is not what the passage says. Instead it urges us to,“…think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:3)
We are not to be doormat disciples, but instead to take on a healthy model of trust,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:14–16 NIV)
This is not calling us to admire helplessness, but willingness to be led, taught and blessed. When we wrestle with God for the peace we need it is not always easy, but is worth the struggle.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below.