A Song of Quiet Trust

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 131, 132, [133] (Morning)
Psalm 134, 135 (Evening)
Zeph. 3:1-13
1 Pet. 2:11-25
Matt. 20:1-16

A Song of Quiet Trust

Psalm 131 is like a distilled spirit: a small and humble draft, it packs a punch once it’s been swallowed. It’s small enough for us to take whole in one quick shot:

1 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.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.

This “Song of Quiet Trust” is by and about David; one would hope someday it could be about each of us. David would have had to be completely confident in saying he was humble, and not haughty, because here he speaks directly to God, which is a far cry from trying to address or impress other people. It would take a well-examined and well-known heart to declare to God’s face that it was free from pride, especially when it’s a heart that knows that God knows our hearts.

But the record does show David really was consistently content with his station in life, even as a lowly shepherd, not clutching and grasping to feed himself on wealth or power. He erred, and sinned, but God knows he never sought higher office; he passively received whatever anointings God sent him. And David knows God knows, and he confidently trusts God, from whom no secrets are hid, and who forgave his failings.

Honest humility and complete confidence make an unusual mixture, and a powerful cocktail. A leader having either one without the other might leave a bad taste, but together each complements and balances the other. Sweet and strong. Humility, to trust in God rather than in self. Confidence, to trust in God absolutely.

David’s prayer for the rest of Israel never mentions whether in the past we may have fallen short of trusting in God. Instead he entreats that we begin today, “from this time forward.”

Written by Ellis Ralph

Ralph Ellis was a stressed-out, overworked manufacturing engineer, but threw all that away, devoting his energy instead to being the unknown folk singer/songwriter Ellis Ralph. Playing in pubs, churches, and retreats, and becoming a duo with sexy electric bass player and singer/songwriter Judi Neal, Ellis Ralph has had much more fun than Ralph Ellis ever did, and has no plans of going back to being a responsible adult. Ellis attends 11 o’clock service, and loves taking a turn to read or to bear the chalice.

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