Speak to Your Soul
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 116:7-9
David had good reason to fear and to despair. The prophet Samuel had told him that God would crown him king of Israel. But immediately after David received that promise, the current king, Saul, threatened to kill him. David had to flee, and most of his friends deserted him. After David became king, he still faced many trials: wars, revolts, family conflicts, and the deaths of three sons.
But David did not give in to the temptation to fear and despair. Instead, he spoke to his soul: “Find rest, O my soul,” he said (Psalm 62:5).
David wasn’t the only psalmist that spoke to his soul (See Psalm 42:11 and 146:1). When the psalmists spoke these words, they weren’t muttering to themselves. They weren’t wishing or idly thinking. Nor were their words the self-talk which is popular today. They didn’t say to themselves, “Think positively. You’re good enough. You’re smart enough to handle this. Look at how wonderful you are.”
They didn’t look at themselves at all. They knew they weren’t good enough or smart enough to handle frightening, desperate situations. David knew he was a sinner (2 Samuel 12:1-14). In an act of will, another psalmist reminded his soul of God’s goodness in the past. God had saved his life, had kept him from unquenchable tears, and had kept him from unforgivable sin “in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:8-9).
When David spoke to his soul, he also spoke to God, acknowledging what He had done in his life already. He wrote, “My salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (62:1-2).*
When we are tempted to fear or despair, we can do the same thing: speak to our souls. We can fix our eyes on what God did in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for sinners like us. He comforts, gives peace, dries our tears, and guides us “in the land of the living.” Now. And some day there will be no more sin, no more pain, no more tears, and no death (Revelation 21:4).
Speak to your soul as the psalmists did. Say with David, “I will never be shaken.”
Study Psalm 116. Which of God’s attributes encourage the psalmist in the midst of extreme anguish? What does the psalmist promise to do in gratitude for God’s goodness to him?
Many of the psalmists spoke to their souls. See Psalms 42;11, 103:1-2; 143:8, 146:1. What did they tell their souls to do?
According to Hebrews 4:9-16, how and why can we enter God’s rest?
In John 14:27 Jesus told His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” What had He just promised them that would help them to do that? See John 14:25-27 and Galatians 5:22-23. How has that promise been extended to you?
Nancy J. Baker
*Read another devotion based on Psalm 62: Go to Hope under Dig into Words.