In November 2013, a Bay Psalm Book sold at auction for $14.16 million, making it the world’s most valuable book. The Bay Psalm Book, the first ever written and printed in America, is a Puritan translation of the Psalms, used in their worship services. Only eleven copies survive from the 1,700 originally printed in 1640.
The Psalms are indeed a rich and rare part of Scripture! Psalm 131 shows us a trilogy of virtues that help summarize our month’s study on worry and contentment: humility (v. 1), faith (v. 2), and hope (v. 3).
Humility is the opposite of pride. A king like David, whose word was law, could easily have considered himself to be the one in control. But he had learned that “great matters” are for God alone (v. 1). The Lord is the One with the whole world in His hands! To worry about things “too wonderful for me” is a kind of arrogance or presumption (see Job 42:3; Ps. 139:6). Humility properly recognizes that these things are under God’s sovereignty.
Faith is illustrated by the picture of a weaned child with its mother. David had gotten over the anxiety of running the universe, as it were, and “calmed and quieted” himself by wholly trusting God. Such a child has experienced the provision and comfort from his mother and knows he can have high level of trust and confidence in the parents. As Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”
Hope flows naturally from the first two virtues, and is not possible without them. Israel and David and we should be like that child. Our hope is based on the fact that God is indeed running the universe. He is the King of kings!
Apply the Word
Write out a prayer of praise with reasons you have to rest in the Lord. These might include attributes of who God is, specific Scripture verses, the blessings of being redeemed, or answers to prayer. Whenever you feel tempted to worry or anxiety, turn to this prayer to remind yourself of the best and only Source of true peace and contentment.