Only God: When He is All You Have
September 30, 2022
-by Dr. J. Vernon McGee, from the digital booklet "Only God: When He is All You Have"
Called the man after God’s own heart, shepherd boy, and king, David experienced many storms in life. His story can be a great encouragement to you when you face trials and when problems seem to block your progress. You can read his story and know that he had similar problems. Yet born out of this life often touched by trouble, David was used by God to give us the hymnbook of the Bible, the book of Psalms—a beautiful, nuanced, and rich collection of how to praise God.
Psalm 62 is a striking example of David’s heart during the greatest crisis of his life. In it, his soul is laid bare, and we can look into its depths. It tells of the greatest crisis that came to him—when David’s son led a rebellion against him, and David was forced to run. In his flight from Jerusalem, we witness the greatest crisis, his faith’s supreme test of the old king’s life.
Absalom’s march into Jerusalem forced a time of decision. Some chose David; others chose Absalom. David found out who were the loyal and the disloyal in his ranks. The betrayers and followers were well-marked. David knew the sting of the voice of the mob, and Psalm 62 is the song of David in that moment of anxiety.
David had committed his way to God; he traveled in the spiritual stratosphere, living above the storms, shocks, and stresses of this life. As we read this psalm that burst forth from his heart in that hour of betrayal, defeat, and testing, we’re amazed to find not one note of discouragement, no suggestion of fear, no word of distress. There is neither rancor nor bitterness welling up in the heart of the psalmist. He sings a song of salvation, a paean of praise, an opus of optimism. It’s a song of sanguinity, a thesis of trust, and a work of wonder. How could David write such a “Hallelujah Chorus” out of an experience so dark?
My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation…. My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him…. Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie. -Psalm 62:1, 5, 9 nasb
Here we see the deep conviction that motivated the life of David—the currents that swept over his spirit, guiding and directing him through life. Here, for the first time, we see David’s soul laid bare. While you don’t see the heart of the man in the historical account, you do see him in clear view in this song of his soul. His favorite son is in rebellion, actually seeking his life, and now his enemies have come to the front. They have moved to lay hold of him so they might destroy him. Some of his friends have turned traitor. David was forced to flee, for he would not offend Jerusalem, his beloved city, by doing battle within her walls. Therefore, he left and returned to the caves of the earth. He had been dealt a cruel blow.
Weaker men have crumpled under circumstances less trying than this, but from David we hear no complaint, no condemnation, no criticism. He was committed to God and cast himself upon Him. There was nothing to say; he had no defense to offer. He said God had permitted this thing to come to him and that the outcome of it all held no concern for him. His one concern was that he remain in the hands of God. He was undisturbed, unmoved by the things taking place around him.
Beloved, while small men cried for a miracle, David avowed to walk in the dark, trusting God. Oh, for a faith like that—a God-given faith!
Is the time of faith only on a sunny day when there’s not a cloud in your sky? Is it when everything is going exactly right, with nothing to mar your outlook? David’s answer is that the best time to trust God is at the crisis moment of your life—“My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him” (Psalm 62:5 nasb). David wasn’t making a wild prayer. He wasn’t demanding God do anything. Instead, David said, “My hope is from Him.” He expected God to put into his heart the thing He wanted done; therefore, he would be praying for the thing that was best.
Friend, you can trust God because He has all power, and He can do anything He wants to do! We catch the thinking of the psalmist that power belongs to God. It did not reside in David. He was simply a great king because God made him a great king. Now He had permitted that David be made to leave Jerusalem, and if it was not God’s will that he return, then he would not go back. But David was resigning all to God, for He is the One alone who has all power.
- Read Psalm 62. Now that you know the background, what does David’s example teach you?
- Dr. McGee said, “The little word ‘only’ occurs at least three times in Psalm 62. I think it was Spurgeon who was the first to call this ‘the only Psalm’ because of the emphasis it places on the word ‘only.’” Circle or highlight the word “only” in your Bible.
- Notice and circle the word “selah.” Dr. McGee said, “You’ll find it twice. You don’t have to verbalize selah when you’re reading the psalm aloud. It’s like punctuation, meaning you’ve gotten to the end of the thought. It’s meant to make you pause and think about it.”
- Choose a verse in Psalm 62 that’s meaningful to you and underline it. Ask God to help you commit it to memory and to bring to mind the hope you have in Him the next time you feel overwhelmed by difficult circumstances.