King David’s confession in Psalm 131 was that he did not concern himself with “things too great and too marvelous for me” (v. 1). This may seem like a strange confession for a king; after all, wasn’t this his calling? Of all people, should not a king be aware of great matters, analyze them, and then chart a wise course of action for his nation? If you continue to read through Psalm 131, you may have another question: Why does David confess, “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother” (v. 2)?
To understand David’s testimony, we must realize that David’s soul must have been in turmoil at some point before this. If this were not the case, he could not have gone through the process of calming and quieting. One of the things that gets many people stirred up is trying to understand what is beyond us. We may lose sleep trying to analyze current events, explain tragedies, or solve perplexing questions. When we go too far with this, we betray our pride. We have been trying to figure out what only God knows. We were never created to be all-knowing. We are not equipped to solve the world’s problems. Christ alone can do this.
David’s ancient testimony of letting go of overanalyzing is still relevant in our time. We live in the information age wherein we are inundated with “great matters” from all around the world. Most people have access to social media platforms where we are expected to chime in on the latest events. While awareness may be good, we should not try to carry the world’s problems on our shoulders. We will never be able to grasp every issue, much less come up with a solution. If we are not careful, we can end up trying to understand what only God knows about personal trials as well. There is a better way, and the Lord inspired David to testify about it.
David’s comparison of himself to a weaned child is a helpful picture. In ancient times, children were often weaned from their mother’s milk later than is common in many of our cultures. This meant more awareness than an infant had, and so weaning would be a challenging period. However, the day would come when children adapted to eating solid food and left their frustrations in the past. This was David’s testimony: after a lifetime of many trials and some “kicking and screaming” against providences, he had learned to accept God’s ways. He was now like a weaned child, content to be with his mother but without craving nourishment.
There was, however, more to David’s testimony than mere “letting go.” He taught this as he called his people: “O Israel, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forever more” (v. 3). When we hope in the Lord, we have a sure knowledge that He knows all things and that He is sovereign over all things. Let us trust that He is working all things out for the good of His people.