Psalm 62:1
In God alone my soul finds rest; my salvation comes from Him.
WaitingW. Forsyth Psalm 62:1
A Testimony and an ExhortationHomilistPsalm 62:1-12
Danger and SafetyC. Short Psalm 62:1-12
Faith TriumphantJ. Stalker, D. D.Psalm 62:1-12
Silence to GodA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 62:1-12
This is a Psalm of TestimonyW. Forsyth Psalm 62:1-12
Waiting Upon God is the Soul Casting its AnchorBridge.Psalm 62:1-12

It includes two things.

I. AN EXPRESSION OF PERSONAL CONFIDENCE IN GOD. Some trust in themselves; others in their fellow men; others, in the laws of nature. All this is so far good. It is well to be self-reliant. It is well to take advantage of the wisdom and help of others. It is well to act in the line of law, and in dependence upon the settled order of things with which we are connected. But there is something higher and better. The true way is to trust in God. Trust in God puts things in their right places; inspires courage and fortitude; ennobles and satisfies our whole being (vers. 5-7).

II. AN EARNEST EXHORTATION TO ALL MEN TO PUT THEIR TRUST IN GOD. (Vers. 8-12.) All men have their trials. There will come times when they are troubled and perplexed, when they must look out of themselves anxiously for help. They are tempted. They are in danger of putting their trust in objects that are vain and worthless. If disappointed, they are apt to get soured and hardened in sin. The remedy counselled is twofold.

1. Trust. God is the true and only Being worthy of supreme trust. There is everything in him to inspire confidence and hope. "At all times." In the darkness and in the light, in adversity as won as prosperity; when he hides his face as when he makes his countenance to shine upon us.

2. Prayer. We are always free to come to God. We may tell him all that is in our hearts. What a joy in this trust! What a comfort in this unbosoming of ourselves! God will not only hear, but have pity. He will not only answer, but magnify his "power" and his "mercy" in our deliverance. Who so fit to give this counsel - as to trust and prayer - as the man who is speaking from the depths of his own experience, and from the abiding convictions of his own heart (2 Corinthians 4:13; 1 John 1:1-3)! - W.F.

Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.
He prophesieth not simply of the stability of the kingdom in his own person and posterity, but under the type; namely, he speaketh of the perpetuity of the kingdom of Christ, the true King of Israel, for which end he prayeth that mercy and truth may be forthcoming to subjects of Christ, that His kingdom may be prolonged; and so David in his time, and all the saints in their time, may joyfully praise God continually. Whence learn —

1. It is not unusual with God, together with present consolation, and the light of future salvation in Christ, to reveal also and give assurance of great things concerning Christ's kingdom.

2. The glory of Christ and perpetuity of His kingdom is every subject's good and comfort, for this is comfort for David, that Christ shall live for ever, that He shall abide before God for ever.

3. The kingdom of Christ, and government of His subjects in His Church, shall be allowed of God, and be protected of God, and blessed of God for ever, however it be opposed by men in the world.

4. The perpetuity of Christ's kingdom and preservation of His subjects in this life, till they be possessed of heaven, is by the merciful remedying the misery, and removing of the sin which they are subject unto, and by performing of what He hath promised and prepared through Christ to bestow upon them.

5. The best retreat that can be made after wrestling and victory over troubles is prayer and praises; as here David after his exercise prayeth, "O prepare mercy and truth"; and then saith, "unto thee will I sing."

6. As the main matter of our vows is the moral duty of rejoicing in God, and hearty praising of Him, so renewed experience of God's mercy and truth towards His people in Christ is the main matter of our joy in Him and praise unto Him: "O prepare mercy and truth," etc.

(D. Dickson.).

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.

1. Concerning self (vers. 1, 2, 6, 7). His confidence in God was —

(1)Supreme. "He only is my Rock."

(2)Steadfast. "I shall not be greatly moved."

(3)Pacific. "Truly," or, "is silent my soul."

2. Concerning contemporaries.

(1)Malignant (ver. 3).

(2)False (ver. 4).David's testimony concerning his contemporaries is applicable to the men of our age. Read the malignity of our times in the bloody wars, etc. Read the falsehood of our times in the schemings of politicians, the tricks of tradesmen, and the hollow shams in all departments of life.

3. Concerning God (vers. 11, 12).

(1)His power. All kinds of power belong to Him — physical power, intellectual power, moral power.

(2)His mercy. God's kindness is even greater than His power, inasmuch as it inspires, directs, and controls. It is kindness that nerves and moves the Omnipotent Arm.

(3)His justice. This testimony of God is sublime and meets our highest ideal.


1. To self (ver. 5). Man is a duality; in him there are two personalities in one. These often battle with each other, sometimes blame, and sometimes commend each other. Man is constantly exhorting himself, sometimes to be more industrious in business, more accurate in studies, more temperate in habits. Here is a man exhorting himself to wait only on God. This religious exhortation is —

(1)Most available. Every man has a preacher within.

(2)Most efficient. All outward preachers are only available so far as they can rouse the inner preacher, and make him thunder in the great temple of conscience.

2. To others.(1) Concerning a right object of trust. "Trust in Him at all times," etc. Trust Him, not only when the weather of life is calm and sunny, but trust Him amidst the rush of tempest, the roar of thunder, and the convulsions of volcanoes. Trust Him fully; pour out your heart. As all the roots of the tree strike into the soil, so let all the sympathies of your nature strike into God.(2) Concerning a wrong object of trust. "Trust not in oppression," etc.Men do trust in oppression, not only tyrants, warriors, slaveholders, but unjust masters and mistresses that expect more service from employes than is just: hence the exhortation, "Trust not in oppression;" "If riches increase."(1) Here is a circumstance which most desire. Some for wrong reasons, some for right reasons.(2) Here is a possibility which some may possess. "If riches increase." In some it is impossible; the poor men often get rich in one or two ways, either with or without their efforts.(3) Here is a duty which all should discharge. "Set not your heart upon them." Why? Because to love them is unworthy of your nature. Because to love them is to injure your nature. Because to love them is to exclude God from your nature. Because to love them is to bring ruin on your nature.


The psalm falls naturally into three parts of four verses each; and in the original each of these begins with the same particle, which unfortunately is either not translated in our versions, or rendered by different words. It means Yes, Surely or Verily, and expresses a conviction freshly acquired. This is the character of the entire psalm: it is a series of maxims hewn straight from life.

I. THE SILENCE OF FAITH (ver. 1-4). "Truly my soul waiteth upon God," literally, "is silent unto God." Silence is sometimes very eloquent. When one has suffered a great wrong or is accused of some outrageous baseness, there may be an impressiveness in dignified silence, which the loudest protestations could not equal. In the trial of Jesus there are three or four moments of silence which perhaps bring home to us the height of His moral grandeur as powerfully as anything in His life. So faith has its silence. It is not always silent. On the contrary, it sometimes cries aloud; it groans and complains; it argues and beseeches. Perhaps the faith of the psalmist had passed through these stages before reaching the silent stage, for he tells us (vers. 3, 4) that he had enemies, who bad pushed their attacks to the verge of murder. In such circumstances, faith may well have cried or groaned or argued; but these stages are past; and now it is silent before God. It lies before Him in perfect peace, confident that His will must overrule all. For (ver. 2) He is a rock and a defence; and therefore, says the child of faith, "I shall not be greatly moved."

II. THY INSTRUCTION OF FAITH (vers. 5-8). Having attained to such a height, he is seized with the spirit of a teacher.

1. He begins with instructing himself. "My soul, wait thou upon God." When we get up to heights of experience, we ought to mark in the rock how high we have climbed, for we know —

"How difficult it is to keep

Heights which the soul is competent to gain."When we are high up, there are outlooks which we are unable to see at ordinary times; and it is well to record them as is done here. The truths about God which we thus learn in moments of great experience are the most precious portion of all knowledge: they are better than we can learn from books or doctors or sages. Blessed is he who possesses convictions which he has not been taught by men, however wise, but has wrung out of his own experience.

2. He also instructs others (ver. 8). It is the natural way of experience to overflow into testimony; and when the soul has attained rest itself, it naturally seeks to assist the struggling. Thereby it not only proves that it has attained, but extends and strengthens its attainments; because we are never safer or healthier than when we have left off thinking of ourselves and are able to care for others.

III. THE ALTERNATIVES TO FAITH (vers. 9-12). In this last section the psalmist contrasts faith in God with the other refuges in which he was tempted to put his trust. These were men (ver. 9) and money (ver. 10). To one in David's position, it would naturally seem a great thing to have men's alliance; but he had tried them and found them wanting. This is a word for all times: by any one who has a great cause — who is fighting for Christ's cause — democracy and aristocracy are alike to be distrusted; God alone is the watchword. The other substitute for God which David was tempted to trust was money, whether obtained by foul means or fair; and here he touches a still more universal chord. In thinking of the future and of the changes and chances of life, we are all tempted to look in this direction. How many are devoting themselves to the pursuit of money, caring little for scruples, but only feeling that, if they had enough of it, all would be well. Others, seeking wealth by honest means, have the same confidence. But the poorest man who has faith in God is safer. This is the testimony of Scripture, and it is the testimony of experience as well. So we come back to the wisdom of the man of God. Once, he says, he has heard, yea, twice — that is, it has been borne in on him again and again as a Divine truth — that "power belongeth unto God." This is the end of the whole matter; this is the resource that will avail in every difficulty, which will last through time and through eternity.

(J. Stalker, D. D.)

(with ver. 5): — "My soul is silence unto God." That forcible form of expression describes the completeness of the psalmist's unmurmuring submission and quiet faith. His whole being is one of great stillness, broken by no clamorous passions; by no loud-voiced desires; by no remonstrating reluctance. That silence is first a silence of the will. Bridle impatience till God speaks. Take care of running before you are sent. Keep your will in equipoise till God's hand gives the impulse and direction. We must keep our hearts silent too. The sweet voices of pleading affections, the loud cry of desires and instincts that roar for their food like beasts of prey, the querulous complaints of disappointed hopes, the groans and sobs of black-robed sorrows, the loud hubbub and Babel, like the noise of a great city, that every man carries within, must be stifled and coerced into silence. We have to take the animal in us by the throat, and sternly say, Lie down there and be quiet. We have to silence tastes and inclinations. There must be the silence of the mind, as well as of the heart and will. We must not have our thoughts ever occupied with other things, but must cultivate the habit of detaching them from earth, and keeping our minds still before God, that He may pour His light into them. Alas! how far from this is our daily life! Who among us dares to take these words as the expression of our own experience? Is not the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, a truer emblem of our restless, labouring souls than the calm lake? Put your own selves by the side of this psalmist, and honestly measure the contrast. It is like the difference between some crowded market-place all full of noisy traffickers, ringing with shouts, blazing in sunshine, and the interior of the quiet cathedral that looks down on it all, where are coolness and subdued light, and silence and solitude. This man's profession of utter resignation is perhaps too high for us; but we can make his self-exhortation our own. "My soul! wait thou only upon God." Perfect as he ventures to declare his silence towards God, he yet feels that he has to stir himself up to the effort which is needed to preserve it in its purity. Just because he can say, "My soul waits," therefore he bids his soul wait. That vigorous effort is expressed here by the very form of the phrase. The same word which began tim first clause begins the second also. As in the former it represented for us, with an emphatic "Truly," the struggle through which the psalmist had reached the height of his blessed experience, so here it represents in like manner the earnestness of the self-exhortation which he addresses to himself. He calls forth all his powers to the conflict, which is needed even by the man who has attained to that height of communion, if he would remain where he has climbed. And for us who shrink from taking these former words upon our lips, how much greater the need to use our most strenuous efforts to quiet our souls. If the summit reached can only be held by earnest endeavour, how much more is needed to struggle up from the valleys below.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

It was the speech of Taulerus, one that Luther prized above all. Says he — Though the mariners may make use of their oars in the time of calm, yet when a storm comes down the mariners leave all and fly to their anchor. So, though at other times we may make use of resolutions and vows, and the like, yet when the storm of temptation comes down, nothing then but fly to the anchor of faith, nothing then like to casting of anchor into the vail.


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