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The Daily Office: Day 46- The Humility and Contentment of a Child

Silence for 2-5 minutes:

If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.


Psalm 131

1 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 powerfully speaks to us in our present moment of turmoil, unrest, and anger.  It is a Psalm of David and many scholars believe he wrote it when on the run from Saul.  Obviously, David had the opportunity and reason to attack Saul and seize the monarchy for himself.  After all, hadn't Samuel anointed David king and pronounced God's complete rejection of Saul?  Still, David refuses to take matters into his own hands.  Instead, he finds contentment in God and trusts his Lord with his very life and destiny.

The first part of the Psalm deals with our hearts.  David says that inwardly, he is not proud.  He has adopted a position of childlike humility.  Andrew Murray states that humility is complete dependence upon God.  For the Christian, that total dependence requires that we trust the righteousness of Christ alone and abandon all self-righteousness.  I have noticed that when I am angry at others, self-righteousness will soon follow.  No wonder that Paul admonishes us to put away all bitterness, rage, anger, quarreling, and slander, along with every kind of malice.  (Ephesians 4:31) 

Then, David turns our attention to the external world.  He says that his eyes are not proud.  Literally, David says that he is not looking down his nose at other people.  How essential for us to refrain from judging others with whom we disagree.  Instead, we are summoned to love all humans and especially our enemies.   It is also worthy to note that David refuses to speak about great things that are beyond his expertise.  Let us adopt this prudent position as well during these volatile times. 

Finally, David says that his contentment is in the Lord alone.  What a beautiful image he paints of a weaned child sitting peacefully on their mother's knee.  The child is not fussy and demanding, like an unweaned child, but is utterly satisfied. God, like this mother, soothes the child with His comforting presence. 

I want to commit myself to embrace the wisdom of this Psalm during this challenging period.  I hope you will as well.


Ask the Lord to give you a heart of humility.  Repent of looking down at anyone who you might feel is your enemy.  Ask the Lord for the contentment of a weaned child sitting on her mother's lap.


O Lord, I humble myself and repent of all arrogance and judgmentalism.  Help me to have your heart to love all humans.  Let me find my contentment in you alone.   I still my soul, like a weaned child, peacefully sitting on her mother's knee.  Amen



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