Psalm 131: With Childlike Trust

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.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.

–Psalm 131 (ESV)

Says Charles Spurgeon of Psalm 131, “Comparing all the Psalms to gems, we should liken this to a pearl: how beautifully it will adorn the neck of patience.  It is one of the shortest Psalms to read, but one of the longest to learn.  It speaks of a young child, but it contains the experience of a man in Christ.  Lowliness and humility are here seen in connection with a sanctified heart, a will subdued to the mind of God, and a hope looking to the Lord alone.  Happy is the man who can without falsehood use these words as his own.”

276, “Not Haughty is My Heart”

(Sung by Cornerstone URC in Hudsonville, MI)

The Psalter Hymnal’s single versification of Psalm 131 beautifully matches the simplicity of its source.  Number 276 is intelligible yet carefully composed, ably balancing both poetry and Scriptural accuracy.

With childlike trust, O Lord,
In Thee I calmly rest,
Contented as a little child
Upon its mother’s breast.

Rounding out this selection is the wisely chosen tune, TRENTHAM.  Familiarly set to the words of “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” this melody is simple (again!) and poignant.  All in all, I have no complaints to make about number 276!

In the past, we’ve sung “Not Haughty Is My Heart” following the reading of the Law and the assurance of pardon here at West Sayville, but it could serve a variety of occasions in worship—baptism, profession of faith, and so on.  In any case, whenever we read or sing Psalm 131, may our hearts be filled with the same worshipful humility that prompted Spurgeon to exclaim, “O Lord, as a parent weans a child, so do thou wean me, and then shall I fix all my hope on thee alone.”

Ye people of the Lord,
In Him alone confide;
From this time forth and evermore
His wisdom be your guide.

–MRK

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